Cooperation key to posting results
By PHIL GULICK
© St. Petersburg Times,
Letters to the editor, which arrive mainly via e-mail these days, are fascinating to read, especially ones that knock my writing, the subject matter of my columns or the origin of my birth.
Several crossed my screen the other day in regard to a recent column that included the accomplishments of the YABA overachievers at Countryside Lanes. League directors Bill and Cheryl Bedford moved to the center from Pasco County last year and immediately became "cool" with the kids.
In fact, their approach to coaching, their smartly run leagues and their creative ideas drew not only local youngsters, but brought many of their former students into the program from the surrounding counties. For many, it's a long drive on U.S. 19 from New Port Richey or Holiday, sometimes three times a week.
One e-mail blasted me for "doting" so much on the more than 200 "Kountryside Kids," noting there are other fine youth leagues throughout the county that deserve the same coverage.
I agree. When I get the same cooperation from other centers and their youth coordinators, they also get coverage. I can't and don't play favorites. Parents can be very protective and complain often when they feel their children have been jilted by the press. All deserve their day in print.
More than one e-mail wanted to know why certain honor scores did not appear in this space. All but two of the 14 centers in Pinellas County provide scores weekly to this column and have been doing so for many seasons. However, often a score is omitted or a week is missed and that's when bowlers quickly jump to their e-mail or phone.
My answer? If scores aren't faxed, e-mailed or snail-mailed to me, they aren't published. It's up to league secretaries, control desk personnel and managers to see that scores are posted here every week. It amazes me how much weight a single line of agate affects a bowler's attitude toward this writer and this column. It's beyond comprehension.
Although bowlers, by and large, are an outspoken bunch, it's also surprising they don't gripe more about their centers, lane conditions, the plethora of honor scores or their associations. There's a T-shirt on the market that displays 100 bowlers' excuses and I wonder why I don't hear more of them. Maybe, despite their gripes, bowlers are a contented lot.
The latest issue of Bowling Magazine, the official ABCWIBC publication, printed an interesting letter to the editor from Vaughn Werning, president of the Fort Dodge (Iowa) Bowling Association.
Werning's opinion was that the industry could hold down the flood of honor scores by "limiting the aggressiveness of the balls."
Werning expressed surprise by the action of today's newest balls compared to the old rubber ball he used to fire down those old urethane lanes. He also knocked the idea of the ABCWIBC's new Sport Bowling program, saying it would be bad for the game. Get a life, guy!
Sport Bowling is a big howl at AMF Kenneth City Lanes, the only Pinellas house experimenting with the new program designed to test a bowler's true ability.
Anyway, that's my letter to the editor and I, too, am now content.
BARNES HOT: Cliff Barnes, 19, of New Port Richey, is having a hot season and he's headed for Reno, Nev., hoping to make it even hotter.
The right-hander recently won the Loschetter tournament's upper division at Tavares along with the Kuchler event at Oviedo, adding more hardware to his growing trophy count.
Barnes, a Pasco-Hernando Community College student, was the top qualifier at Tavares and defeated Shane Bates 243-191 to win the title and $150 in scholarship money. The event is run by Mary and Chris Loschetter.
This season, Barnes has rolled three 300 games, an 803 series, won two other state scratch events and qualified for the USA Junior Gold Tournament in Reno, which will be held July 8-14. Barnes competes in the Countryside Lanes' YABA program where he won two scratch titles and bowler of the year honors.
Kelly Fecke, of Palm Harbor, finished sixth in the Loschetter's lower division and is also qualified for the Junior Gold competition. Kelly McManus, of New Port Richey, was eighth in the same division and also is headed to the nationals.
Another young bowler making the Reno junket is Jamie Potter, who fired a 739 scratch series at Countryside Lanes. Potter is averaging 205, holds the high game and series marks for girls and is first in match-play points for the girls. She is already sporting a YABA ring after firing a 298 game last summer. WORRALL'S NINTH: St. Petersburg's Kent Worrall won his ninth NABI title and $360 at Liberty Lanes on June 10, defeating Tampa's Michelle Webster 255-215.
Clearwater's Dennis McIntosh was third, St. Petersburg's Clark Valette was fourth and Clearwater's Frank Ballou was fifth. Worrall also won the Platinum Division and another $230.
St. Petersburg's Don Lebo defeated McIntosh to win his first title and $360 at Seminole Lanes last Sunday. Cathy Worrall and Les Foerster of St. Petersburg were third and fourth, respectively, and Bradenton's Donna Kulb was fifth. Seminole's Gary Halstrom won the Platinum Division and $220.
NABI will stage Sunday-only events this summer with the next one at AMF Clearwater Lanes Sunday.
GELDHAUSER WINS: Paul Geldhauser waded through four opponents to win the Florida Bowlers Club tournament at Sunshine Bowl on June 10.
Geldhauser defeated Melvin Burkepile 256-176, eliminated Mike Vitel Sr. 257-212 and stopped Doug Bell 214-203. Geldhauser won the title by beating Steve Felsman 212-170.
The tournament moves to Seminole Lanes on July 1.
AROUND THE LANES: Roger Wise Sr. rolled a 300-726 at AMF Kenneth City Lanes. ... Jason Scanga nailed a 300 game at Seminole Lanes. ... Seminole Lanes is running Teen Nights 2001 on Thursdays from 9:30 p.m. to midnight through Aug. 16. The fee is $9. ... The Greater Pinellas Youth Leaders will host a scholarship tournament July 29 at Ten Pin Lanes with a $15 entry fee and handicap scoring. ... The Iron Man Invitational Scratch Marathon opens July 14 at Sunrise Lanes, moves to Seminole Lanes later that day and concludes July 15 at Sunshine Bowl. The entry fee is $140 and a $1,000 prize goes to the winner (based on 28 entries).
-- Contact Phil Gulick at email@example.com.
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