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Imperfection good enough for the Bowler of the Year

By KEVIN KELLY

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 8, 2000


Perfect games are nothing new for Joe LaVoy.

The New Port Richey resident has 20 300 games since he began bowling 30 years ago. But it was his only perfect game this year that helped LaVoy win the Bowler of the Year tournament May 29 at Lane-Glo Lanes North.

More than 30 bowlers, each of whom rolled either a 300 game or 800 series, participated. "There's a little prestige to go with it for a year until I try it again or get dethroned," LaVoy said.

Each invited bowler rolled two games to start before the field was cut in half, with the highest scorers advancing to the second round. Those qualifiers bowled two more games before the field again was cut in half.

In the third and final round, the highest scorer (LaVoy) was named the Bowler of the Year.

LaVoy bowled a combined 497 in the first round and a 450 in the second round. In the final, he didn't roll a perfect game, but his 258 was good enough to beat Hudson's Jim Babson, who rolled a 214, for the championship and $300 prize. "Anybody can be beaten on any given day," LaVoy said. "I just got lucky."

CREAM OF THE CROP: Bob Belmont and Rickie Ward were the only local winners at the 14th annual Cream of the Crop tournament last weekend at Lane-Glo Lanes North and Lane-Glo Bowl.

Belmont, from Dunedin, and Ward won the men's doubles division and $5,000 total in prize money.

Amy Dillon and Chris Barnes bowled a 4,438 to win the mixed doubles division and $5,000. Barnes leads the Professional Bowlers Association standings after seven events.

Other notables who participated included PBA hall-of-famer Walter Ray Williams, five-time PBA champion Roger Bowker, 1992 PBA Rookie of the Year Jason Couch and Mark Mosayebi.

Mike Sealy shot a plus-636 in 10 games for the all events title and $1,625 while Janette Pieszcynski of New York won the women's singles division by shooting a plus-355. She also was the all events winner and pocketed a total of $3,600.

Mike Roberts won the men's singles with a 2,244. He took home $6,000.

Valerie O'Neill, who bowls out of Lane-Glo Lanes North, finished ninth in the Women's Singles division. She was two spots ahead of Dede Davidson, who is 17th in the PWBA's standings.

UPCOMING: For the dads, Hudson Bowl will hold a Father's Day tournament at 2 p.m. June 18. The entry fee is $14 in advance and $16 the day of the tournament. For more information, call (727) 863-5481.

The Suncoast Senior Regional Bowling Tournament will be held July 29-30 and Aug. 5-6 at Hudson Bowl.

The ABC-sanctioned event has a 90 percent of 210 handicap and is open to all members 55 and older. The entry fee is $15 per event.

The tournament will feature a four-bowler team event, two singles and one doubles competition. For more information, call tournament manager Bill Scoville at (727) 863-3767 or (727) 862-5523.

LEAGUES FORMING: Hudson Bowl is creating two leagues for the summer.

The Business League, scheduled to start June 27, will bowl at 6:15 p.m. Thursdays. It costs $10 per week.

The center also has formed a kids league at 6:15 p.m. Fridays. More than 20 children, ages 6-11, already have signed up. For more information, call Hudson Bowl at 863-5481.

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