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By PHIL GULICK
© St. Petersburg Times, published December 22, 2000
Looking back on 2000, Tampa Bay's bowling community endured a year of positive accomplishments, a couple of milestones and a few negatives.
Here are some highlights:
Contour Power Grips of Milwaukee, Wis., beat Clearwater's Top of the Line Pool Service to win the ABC Brunswick World Team Challenge (BWTC) at Seminole Lanes. The BWTC revisits the center Jan. 20-21.
Jerry Krauss, one the most progressive pioneers in the industry, brought a facsimile of the prestigious European Gold Ball Tournament to Pinellas County with the International Challenge Matches, featuring players from several European countries and the U.S.
A group of fired-up collegians discovered just how versatile the game can be as the TNN Network introduced "Rockin' Bowl", featuring coed teams competing in non-traditional formats.
Bradenton's Dave Soutar became only the second player in history to win a PBA tournament in five consecutive decades, joining the legendary Dick Weber. Soutar captured the Senior Masters and won The Villages' outdoors Senior Tournament of Champions.
Bob Gates, Pat Scanlon and Kent Fecke found a few good men and women and inaugurated an upper Pinellas High School League that included players from Largo, Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs and Clearwater.
Left-hander Darryl Dempsey, member of the St. Petersburg Association Hall of Fame, won three of four titles in the Men's City Tournament -- singles, doubles and all-events.
Matt Meredith captured three divisional titles in the Greater Pinellas Young American Bowling Alliance City Tournament -- team, doubles and singles.
The Smith & Freeman team -- Christopher Samuels, Cedric McAffee, Joe Lavoy and Dann Sellers -- won scratch and handicap titles in the Suncoast Men's Association City Tournament.
Debbie Smyth, Victoria Kelleher, Edna Rooks, Doris Landsman, Rosie Matteoni, Joanne Sweeney, Nancy Silva and Rose Marie Voisine took individual championships in the Clearwater Women's Association City Tournament. The Foxes captured the team title.
Chris Peters, Rob Glaser and Mike Slade bought the PBA -- lock, stock and players -- for a reported $5-million and immediately initiated unique changes.
Howard Merica, 75, rolled his first 300 game and a 710 series.
The St. Petersburg Association elected a president at its annual meeting. It triggered a walkout by executive director Dave O'Brien and his wife, Carol, the first vice president and a candidate for the job.
For the second consecutive year, a bill to help finance a proposed World Bowling Village near Disney World failed in the Florida Legislature.
Steve and Trudy Lavoie's Youth Bowlers Tour continued to provide college scholarship money to talented players. Brian Halstrom, Nick Gates and Shawn Ryan have been its beneficiaries.
St.Petersburg's Cedric Roberts, 12, won the 12-21 age group handicap title in the Florida State Coca Cola Youth Championships in Pensacola.
More than 150 youngsters enjoyed the discipline, challenge and fun provided by league directors Bill and Cheryl Bedford in their multi-leagues at Countryside Lanes.
Keith Nichols literally slept on his new job as Countryside Lanes general manager, but he was wide awake to initiate changes at the center. Tampa's Darin Hays won the PBA Southern Regional there.
Competitors from the Suncoast Young American Bowling Alliance (YABA) associations walked off with five championships in the Florida State YABA Tournament.
Tampa's Dave Olm and Pinellas Park's Lisa Heym won the National Classic Bowlers Association 11th annual state rankings tournament.
Defending champion Bonnie Joel of Tampa and six-time champ Bob Belmont captured titles in the Florida All-Star Match-Play Championships.
Ten Pin Lanes in South Pasadena celebrated its 50th birthday as one of the oldest centers in the state.
Skyway Lanes new owner Jerry Gross and general manager Judy Allen turned the house around and filled up many leagues with new bowlers.
Greater Pinellas YABA youth-adult winners were Neil Minor, Tim Dunbar, Melissa Henrikson, Jeff Cole, Cedric Roberts, Steve Stoddard, Hector Latorre and Joe Minarik.
Winners in the Upper Pinellas YABA youthadult tournament included Nick Irvine, Scott Inman, Grovie Dalzell, Ernie Pietroburgo, Dan Goodan, Stacy and Thomas Bates, Lauren Gifford and Joe Tucker.
The Pinellas County High School League attracted a record 14 girls teams and 27 boys squads for its 28th season. Gibbs, Palm Harbor, Seminole and East Lake won the championships. For the first time in four years, no Pinellas team earned a title in the state tournament.
Tampa's Lucy Giovinco Sandelin set an unofficial record for Team USA berths, her seventh, when she was named to the 2001 squad after the USA Bowling Championships in Reno, Nev.