St. Petersburg Junior College bowling coach Rita Buchan made her point: "We're just a small junior college nobody's heard of and it's tough to get bowlers _ and money."
The Trojans were the only junior college in a high-powered field of 27 colleges and universities in the annual Southern Intercollegiate Bowling Conference championships last weekend at Clearwater's Shore Lanes.
Sophomore Brian Davis, however, has given the Trojans some notoriety. Two weeks ago he finished second in the Association of College Unions-International (ACU-I) regional qualifier in Tampa. He will compete in the ACU-I national championships March 1, part of the ABC National Championship Tournament in Corpus Christi, Texas. The other qualifiers were the University of Florida's Eric Cox, the regional winner, and Jack Sardegna, who finished behind Davis.
"I was leading halfway through the nine games, but my game went sour on me," said Davis, a Northside Christian High graduate. "Still, I was happy with my performance and I'm really looking forward to the nationals."
Other SPJC team members are freshmen Tammy Gibson and Roger Davey, and sophomores Carey Cook, Andy Sanderbeck and Ken Hinton.
"We don't offer scholarships or have the travel money like the big schools, so we really have to scrape to travel," Buchan said. "Ask anyone from FSU or Florida and they'll tell you it's important for these youngsters to get high-caliber competition at the college level. That's the only way they can improve their games."
Buchan is a vociferous spokeswoman for the team, cajoling, begging and sweet-talking potential sponsors and contributors. "It's the only way to get anything done for the kids," she said. It's a sign of the times, though, she added.
Former SPJC standouts Cameron Lashbrook and Glenn Foerster led Florida State University to the men's conference title Friday night, beating the University of Florida for the first time in eight years. Lashbrook-Foerster then gained a first-place tie with Cox-Sardegna in the doubles. Sardegna fired a 300 game during the tournament.
"The coaching and competition is awesome," Foerster said. "It's a whole different game from junior college to major college competition and I know what Rita is up against. We aren't scholarship players either, but we do get to compete on a wider scale against tougher teams than I did at SPJC."
The UF women, with Mariaelisa Greenwood leading the way, defeated FSU for the women's title Friday night. They bowled without Linda Woods, who is nursing a wrist injury. Woods, two-time defending ACU-I national champion from Hudson, came in Sunday to win the singles title with a 631 series. She teamed with Lee Corey for the doubles crown and helped the Gators to the individual and team all-events titles.
"This was one of the most competitive championships I've seen in my eight years," said George Cejka, president of the conference and director of the FSU bowling program.
The field included Division I, II and III champions and runners-up.
Krisel, Schmidt win: Harriett Krisel rolled a 681 series to win the Division One singles title as the 33rd annual Clearwater Women's Association City Championships ended Sunday at AMF Clearwater Bowl.
Bea Schmidt's 696 series captured the Division Two singles, ousting first-week leader Liz White. Those were the only changes in the first-week leaders.
White and Janet Reed won the Division Two doubles, and Debbie Stanley and Bobbie Davison captured the Division One doubles title.
Hammer Time won the Division One team title with Jill Ontiveros, Darlene Finocchi, Tina Sumlin and Genevive Travet. Bowling Buddies, with Dot Williams, Lynn Wharron, Heidi Cairl and Michele Presley, grabbed the Division Two title.
Cerillo rolls 300-804: Northeast High senior John Cerillo nailed a 300 game and 804 series last week in the NCBA Junior Traveling League at Crossroads Kenneth City Bowl.
Cerillo managed games of 300, 235 and 269 for his career high series. Last October, Cerillo became the first junior bowler to roll a 300 game in the Greater Pinellas YABA Youth-Adult Tournament at Ten Pin Lanes. Coincidentally, Ray Chessereau fired an 803 series at Sunrise Lanes last week. Chessereau was Cerillo's partner during the youth-adult tournament.
Eggleston wins NABI: Clearwater's Sue Eggleston defeated two other women to win the NABI Club tournament at Seminole Lanes Sunday and collect $1,100. Eggleston beat Clearwater's Stephanie Faul 200-179 in the semifinals and St. Petersburg's Joann Riske 204-186 in the final.
NABI tournaments are at Tampa's AMF University Bowl and Ocala this weekend.
Around the lanes: The Greater Pinellas YABA City Championships run the next two weekends at Twedt's Lanes. The Style Master 300 tournament visits Largo Lanes this weekend with the cut-rate $19 entry fee. Liberty Lanes stages its annual 300 Tournament Feb. 29; it's open to anyone who rolled a sanctioned 300 game in 1991 in Pasco or Pinellas counties. The St. Petersburg Men's Association offers a fund-raising singles tournament for men and women March 7-8 at Liberty Lanes. Entries close Feb. 25 for the 50th annual St. Petersburg Women's city tournament. Entries close March 4 for the Suncoast Women's senior doubles and singles event. The state high school tournament is Feb. 29 at Crossroads Kenneth City Bowl.