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Tarpon Springs native drops off the PBA tour

Steve Hoskins has decided to quit the PBA tour after 2{ years of success. Two weeks ago, on the national TV bowling show, Hoskins and partner Phil Ringener of Big Springs, Texas, finished second to Bob Benoit and Del Ballard Jr., in the $125,000 PBA Beaumont, Texas, Doubles Classic.

"That most realistically was my last PBA national stop," Hoskins said from his Tarpon Springs home.

"After weighing all that has happened in my 2{ years on the tour, I've decided to hang it up and go to school," Hoskins said. "It took nearly a year to make the decision. I had set a pretty high money earning mark at the beginning of this season and I almost made it. But that's not the reason I'm quitting.

"I'm extremely pleased about how I bowled on the tour, the things I learned and how I handled everything. Now it's time to move on to other things."

Hoskins will be going to school full-time, the college and the major yet undecided. "It all depends on several things, especially where my girlfriend, Kelly Gore, goes to work." Kelly is working on a master's degree at Florida State University. She and Steve have been together four years.

Hoskins, 22, was the 1989 PBA Rookie of the Year after earning nearly $40,000 his freshman year on the tour. His highest finish before last Saturday was second at Austin, Texas, last year. Hoskins cashed in at more than 70 percent of the events he entered. He earned more than $120,000 in his pro venture, he said.

"The hardest decision was to give it up at a time when I was most successful," Hoskins said. "I don't foresee going back (on tour), but I'll bowl the U.S. Open because I'm eligible, maybe the Florida stops and certainly the PBA regionals."

Tampa's Tom Crites, five-time PBA winner, is the lone Suncoast representative on the PBA tour. St. Petersburg's Tom Milton, a four-time winner, retired two years ago.

WIBC Championship update: The Jolly Ladies from Philadelphia took over the Division I team lead with a 2,751 after the eighth week of competition. Lina Rincon and Bonnie Van Steenburg of San Antonio, Texas, grabbed the division's doubles lead with a 1,227 pinfall. The tournament ends June 20.

ABC Championship update: The tournament ended May 26 with four records established, including 72 perfect 300 games, and a total prize payout of nearly $1.5-million.

Florida bowlers did not fare well. Only two teams, from Merritt Island and Jacksonville, finished in the top 100. Only one doubles team and two singles competitors from Florida finished in the top 100.

Giovinco wins state Team USA: Tampa's Lucy Giovinco beat Orlando's Gene Range by one pin in the Florida state Team USA-92 finals June 2 at Apopka's Wekiva Lanes. Giovinco, plus five other women and the top six men advanced to the regionals in Montgomery, Ala., June 29-30.

St. Petersburg's Mike Buchanan finished third in the men's division with a 1,778 over the nine games. Fred Torr of St. Cloud won the title.

Giovinco will compete in the Team USA regional, travel to Los Angeles for Olympic Festival '91 competition July 13-17, then back to Atlanta for the Team USA national showdown July 21-27. If she finishes in the top six women there, Giovinco will again earn a Team USA spot.

Giovinco and partner Cindy Coburn-Carroll lead the WIBC Championship Open Division doubles with a 1,318 total.

Kodish a nominee: Stan Kodish of New Port Richey is the first nominee received for the Times' Amateur Bowler of the Year honors for Pasco County.

Kodish averaged 200 in the one scratch league he bowled at Lane-Glo North Lanes. His greatest contribution, however, was the long hours he spent in his pro shop at the center helping bowlers with equipment and encouragement.

Nominations may be made by any sanctioned Pasco County bowler, league president, secretary or proprietor.

Nominees may be male or female, senior, regular or youth bowlers who are sanctioned in Pasco County. They must have bowled the full 1990-91 season. There were no awards last season because not enough nominations were received.

Send a short bio on your nominees to: Phil Gulick, 8495 Magnolia Drive, Seminole, FL, 34647. Nominations must be received by July 1.

Around The Lanes: NABI is at Imperial Lanes in Temple Terrace and Mariner Lanes in Spring Hill next weekend. More than 40 Suncoast NABI tournament winners are eligible to compete in the NABI Nationals in Las Vegas this weekend. The American Wheelchair Bowling Association's (AWBA) 30th annual national championship is June 24-29 at Largo Lanes.