With excitement and interest building around the recently announced All-American High School Championships, event sponsors decided to broaden the nomination process and extend the deadline for participants.
Anyone - coaches, parents, media, friends and even athletes themselves - can nominate state recognized varsity bowlers. Nomination and application forms must be postmarked by Jan. 15. The premier event not only will showcase the nation's top prep bowlers but will help promote the growth of the sport at the high school level.
Only senior bowlers in states with recognized varsity level programs are eligible to participate. Currently, 16 states have both male and female varsity programs, two states recognize varsity bowling for girls only and one has an adaptive program for those with physical and mental challenges. Twenty-six states have club level programs. Florida has both a recognized system and a club level. Details regarding eligibility, along with application and nomination forms, are available at pba.com and bowl.com.
The two-day tournament is March 24-25 and will coincide with the PBA World Championship in Grand Rapids, Mich. The newly-crowned girl and boy high school champions will team with professionals Kelly Kulick, the first female PBA exempt bowler, and a member of the Denny's PBA Sponsor Competition Team for a one-game doubles match.
After the Denny's World Championship, the high school finalists will take to the lanes for the chance to compete for $10,000 in scholarships on a PBA oil pattern and in an arena setting before more than 2,000 spectators. The finals will air on ESPN on April 22.
JUNIOR PBA: The PBA has formed the PBA Junior Membership Program. The program, which gives junior bowlers ages 17 and under the opportunity to receive exclusive offers from the PBA, costs just $25 annually. Participants will receive equipment discounts from select PBA product-registered companies, exclusive e-mail news bulletins from the PBA, a monthly tip from some of the top bowlers from the tour, a free PBA yearbook, a free month of PBA Strikepass and a PBA junior membership card that gains access to the official PBA Junior Membership home page on www.pba.com that contains exclusive online contests and promotions.
NABI: Bob Murphy of Venice edged Mark Michel of Lutz 238-198 in the finals of last weekend's tournament at AMF Venice, taking home a $240 purse. Michel won $60 with a weekend high average of 200.
The National Amateur Bowlers Inc. will not be here next week as originally scheduled. The Club 570 outing at Countryside Lanes was canceled. Club 580 will be at AMF Semoran in Orlando at 11 a.m. on Sunday for a $100 jackpot. Call (863) 667-4779.
PBA: The tour heads to AMF Country Club Lanes in Baltimore, Md., for the Beltway Classic, Dec. 6-10. The Tour returns to the Baltimore area for the first time since 1996 when Mike Aulby won the 25th of his 27 career titles. The live ESPN finals are Sunday at 1 p.m The winner will take home the $25,000 top prize and an exemption for the 2007-08 season.
David Traber makes his 2006-07 debut as an exempt bowler, replacing the injured Mark Scroggins (torn hamstring), the third bowler this season to defer his exemption due to an injury. Traber, whose brother, Dale, is exempt, replaces Scroggins, whose twin, Mike, also is exempt.
Last week, despite a 7-10 split in the 10th frame that nearly cost him the match, 2005-06 PBA Player of the Year Tommy Jones captured his ninth career title with a 222-221 win over roommate Wes Malott in the Ace Hardware Championship at Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe.
After squeaking by all-time titles leader Walter Ray Williams Jr. in the semifinals, Jones strung together six consecutive strikes in the title match to open a lead against Malott, who was looking for back-to-back titles. Jones, however, left a 7-10 split in the 10th frame. After leaving a 9-pin with his first ball in the 10th, Malott had a chance to tie with a strike. He left a 2-pin this time, giving Jones his first win of the season.
With his win last Sunday, Jones' total career PBA earnings are up to $828,201 in 188 career PBA events (including Regional Tour events) giving him a legitimate shot at Chris Barnes' record for fewest events to reach $1-million. Barnes reached $1-million in 220 events, meaning Jones needs to earn $171,799 in 31 events to break the record, an average of $5,541 per event.
Now that he is exempt, David Traber should be the next bowler to go over the $1-million mark in career earnings as he is guaranteed a paycheck each week. With $997,663 in career earnings, Traber can go over $1-million in earnings if he finishes eighth this week.
CHATTER: 300s at Liberty were celebrated by Dwayne Smith (736), J.R. Tapper (778), and Frank T. Fernandes (701). Tom Milton tied Tapper for the best in house with a 277 for a 778-series. 480 students, coaches and family members showed up at the Pinellas County High School League banquet for awards and highlights. Of them, Ryan Burkett from Gibbs received the Mary Laird Clean Series Plaque for his 226-244-206/676 series bowled on Oct 12. It was the only clean series rolled this year.
Liberty - Sandy Murphy 217, Marty Murphy 749, Tom Weigand Jr. 716, Joe Wendell 277/700, Keith Glasgow 279/708, Bill Ward 279, James Campbell 765, Chad Whalen 726, Gary Brunner 726, Dan Shirley 711, Charlie Finch Jr. 711, Debi Kidd 260/624, Mariann Russo 246/639, Pat Berwick 247, Patty Miles 222, Lynne Hamlin 207, Bob Nickerauer 279/727, John Smith 755, Bob Montone 716, John Cole 703, Billie Coleman 266/633, Chris Riveria 277, Adam Lester 277/700, Jason Perry 718, Kristin McKee 244/605, Ray Baumbach 278, Bob Smolka 735, Ben Dowler 711, Ron Sullivan 738, Nick Gates 278/705, Pablo Lakilak 722, Eric Havener 279, Cary Cook 741, Frank Slaughter 279/741, Lance Lonsdale 740, Cindy Michael 234, Bill Wilder Jr. 276/748, Mark Wenster 279, Bill Worth 279, John Cole 278/716, Jerry Vann 750, Greg Ickes 717, Pablo Lakilak 713, Ray Pannone 712, Bill Perry 760. YABA: Zack Higham 246/600, Jack Thoma 237/618, Bob Harman 235, Josh Given 211, C.J. Bennett 209, Jake Britts 206/610.
Seminole - Rod Solomon 298/721, Tony Livingston 289/726, Ziggy Podlas 289/721, Dave Aregano 749, Shaun Goucher 748, Sam Salone Jr. 726, Doug Rohr 725, Jason Jelinski 714, Tiffany Crosby 604, M.J. Till 222/606, Tony Crismali 162 avg 246/623, Roger Thomas 166avg 227/622, Jennett Whitworth 245/636. Seniors: Betty Van Dyke 210/520. Youth: Sean Bruce 223/645, Paul Podlas 605.