A Lot Is Happening In The Lanes

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PBA Tour returns to ABC

PBATour.Com: The Professional Bowlers Association on ABC was once synonymous with Saturday afternoons in living rooms across America. The 36-year-long institution ended with a tearful farewell from legendary sportscaster Chris Schenkel and Nelson Burton Jr. in 1997.

Recently, the PBA Tour announced its return to that familiar spot after a 14-year absence. The finals of the record $1 million PBA Tournament of Champions will air live Saturday, Jan. 22 on ABC at 2:30 p.m. (eastern time) from Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas.

As a diehard fan of bowling, this is a huge milestone accomplishment for the PBA and for America’s millions of bowling fans. Perhaps the most memorable moment in bowling history happened at the 1970 PBA Firestone Tournament of Champions when Don Johnson came within one pin of perfection, rolling a 299 to capture the title on ABC. Last year, the Tournament of Champions produced another historic moment when Kelly Kulick became the first woman to win a PBA Tour event on an ESPN telecast that attracted 1.7 million viewers.

Word has it Nelson Burton might join forces with Randy Pederson to share voices on ABC that day.

Local bowlers head to Reno

This coming March, Lefty’s Corner will be entering two teams in the USBC Championships in Reno, Nev. Ten local bowlers will be competing for the $6 million prize fund, bracket events, side pots and the best bowlers in the nation. If you haven’t bowled in Reno and experienced this event yet, let me tell you, it’s the Taj Mahal of bowling. If any bowlers are interested in going, please call Josh Reid at (928) 474-9589 or (928) 468-2429.

High School bowling team

The one thing most bowlers have asked me of late is what has happened to our future of bowling here in the Rim Country. Our youth league is on the rise here with mainly 5-10-year-old kids, but our teenagers are not participating in the sport. I think it’s mainly due to nobody wanting to educate them on the sport.

Actually, there is lots of scholarship money in bowling, starting on the high school level, and collegiate bowling is at an all-time high right now.

Local bowlers Jim Woods and Steve Hansen have offered me their assistance in getting a high school team put together. We would love to have an established team, so they can experience team and single competition against other state high school teams and earn scholarships. I think it would be an unbelievable experience for our local students to compete this coming July in the National High School Bowling Championships, worth $100,000 in scholarships. The top Boy/Girl bowler will take $15,000 in scholarships.

Honor scores

Top 5 Male Averages: Josh Reid, 246; Steve Hansen, 225; Erick Barnick, 217; Travis Powell, 206.

Men’s Series: Josh Reid, 812, 801; Erick Barnick, 771; Steve Hansen, 736; John Vitale, 732; Stan Jackson, 727.

Men’s Game: Erick Barnick, 290; Josh Reid, 289; Steve Hansen, 279; Bill Shedd, 277; Bob Burlison, 270.

Top 5 Female Averages: Diana Ruach, 177; Karen Busalacchi, 164; Janice Weldo, 165; Judy McKeen, 160; Debbie Gonzalez, 159.

Female Series: Diana Ruach, 595; Debbie Gonzalez, 556; Janice Weldon, 555; Patty Behm, 555; Karen Busalacchi, 545.

Female Game: Debbie Gonzalez, 225; Janice Weldon, 220; Diana Ruach, 220; Mae Sparks, 214; Karen Busalacchi, 212.

Top 5 Boys Average: Joshua Belia Reid, 100; Ethan Bossert, 97; Seth Allison, 97; Ty Sinyella, 92; Aldan Parsans, 83.

Top 5 Girls Average: Makayla Reid, 92; Cailey Van Buren, 87; Julia Basset, 87; Veronica Vulk, 84; Novaly Reid, 75.

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