Growing up on the wood lanes at Brockport Bowl is paying off in tournament victories for Chris Bardol, who has become a force to be reckoned with at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen and Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.
The 28-year-old right-hander, son of former Brockport Bowl manager Ray Bardol, has been putting up impressive numbers (300 games and 800 series) in league play at Rose Garden Bowl, and on Nov. 13, he translated that success into a first-place finish in the ninth annual Triple O Mechanical Handicap Singles Tournament.
Bardol defeated 69-year-old Don Perrault of Rochester, 236-182, in the title match to win the $500 first prize (see photo above, with Tom Sardou, left, proprietor of Rose Garden Bowl). The tournament drew 69 entrants, just three short of the maximum, and the most ever in the event sponsored by Luke Giannone, owner of Triple O Mechanical in Bergen.
"I'm just used to it, having grown up on older wood (lanes)," Bardol said. "I'm not sure whether it's my ball roll or what, but typically I bowl good on wood."
Bardol rolled games of 234-233-245 for a 712 series during the qualifying round (to place ninth out of the 16 who advanced) and followed that with games of 248, 267 and 260 in the eliminator finals before finishing with the 236. In the eliminator finals, each round featured four bowlers on pair of lanes with the top two from each pair advancing.
The day before, Bardol was part of the winning team at the Brian Morasco Memorial no-tap tournament in Batavia (see below) and this past weekend, he cashed at the Beat the Champ qualifier at Mancuso's (but fell short of making the TV show).
At the Triple O tourney, Perrault qualified with 706 and advanced to the final round with games of 181, 233 and 253. The right-hander earned $250.
Other cashers were Scott Dingman of Rochester and Pat Brick of Tonawana, $125 each; Jerry Menzie Jr. of Bergen, Rodney Jopson of Churchville, John Martorella Sr. and Ricky Zinone of Rochester, $70 each; and Brian Green of Batavia, Harris Busmire of Bergen, Jeanette and Rob Sease of Brockport, and Pat Bruton, Andrew Goodwin, Jeff Dewar and Kara Mangiola, all of Rochester, $50 apiece.
Martorella rolled two 300 games, while Dingman posted a 300 game and 813 series (during the eliminator rounds). The tournament was certified by the United States Bowling Congress.
WAGNER, GRAVANDA TO COMPETE ON 'BEAT THE CHAMP' TV SHOW
If there was a "club pro" equivalent in bowling, Rich Wagner would have that title at Mancuso Bowling Center.
Wagner, now 33, has occupied the top rung of the ladder at the Batavia establishment since his early teens. On Sunday, he continued his mastery of the lanes there by rolling an 815 series to capture the No. 1 seed during qualifying for the Beat The Champ TV show, which is aired by WBBZ-TV (MeTV) on Saturday afternoons (and repeated on Sunday evenings).
The lefty was one of 24 bowlers who advanced to the final round out of the 103 entrants who put down their $30 in an attempt to bowl on TV. When the smoke had cleared, he topped the list by virtue of his 257-279-279 performance.
He and veteran Fred Gravanda, a former Channel 4 Open champion back in the 1980s, will represent Batavia on the new version of Beat The Champ, which will be taped at Mancuso's on Nov. 30, starting at 10 a.m. Gravanda posted a 670 series to place seventh, which was good enough since the top nine advanced to the TV show.
All of the others who made it are from the Greater Buffalo area, except for Paul Tatone, a St. Catharines, Ontario resident.
On the TV show, the winner of each match will receive $100 and the loser will pocket $50.
Here's how the taping will work:
-- Show No. 1 (to be aired on Dec. 10) -- Wagner will face the current champion, with the winner of that match facing Tony Dolan, and the winner of that match facing Pat Brick to determine the "champ."
-- Show No. 2 (to be aired on Dec. 17) -- The champ will face Jeff Pohlman, with the winner of that match facing Chuck Jagodzinski, and the winner of that match facing John Danielewicz to determine the "champ."
-- Show No. 3 (to be aired on Dec. 24) -- The champ will face Gravanda, with the winner of that match facing Paul Tatone, and the winner of that match facing George Szczublewski to determine the "champ."
-- Show No. 4 (to be aired on Dec. 31) -- A mixed doubles tournament featuring four teams from the Genesee Region -- Rich and Jen Wagner, Chris and Jenn Bardol, Frank Jarkiewicz and Laurie Morgante, and Mark and Penny Brown.
The public is invited to watch the taping.
HONOR SCORES: FOUR 800 SERIES, FOUR 300 GAMES
Recent honor score bowlers in league play in the Genesee Region USBC:
-- Bob Hodgson, 810, Medina Lanes, Nov. 9. The retired school teacher has several 300 games and 800 series at his hometown lanes, the latest a 280-273-257 effort in the Wednesday Community League.
-- Bill HIckman, 300, Oak Orchard Bowl, Albion, Nov. 11. Hickman notched his first USBC-certified perfect game on lanes 7-8 in the Friday Night Mixers League. The 38-year-old right-hander started with 300 and finished with a 697 series, using a Storm Crux Pearl bowling ball.
-- Curtis Foss, 800, Oak Orchard Bowl, Albion, Nov. 11. A prolific scorer, Foss fired 264-269-267 on lanes 3-4 in the Friday Night Mixers League. Despite spending much time in Florida recently, Foss already has two 800 sets and a 300 game this season.
-- Ray Neuman and Mike Allis, 300, Medina Lanes, Nov. 17, both in the Thursday Firefighters League.
-- Jason Quilliam, 805, Mancuso Bowling Center, Nov. 22. A late starter in the sport, the 37-year-old Batavian, owner of Game On on East Main Street, rolled a 300 game a few years ago and now has an 800 series to go with it.
Quilliam said he had been struggling of late, but moved his line farther to the right and consistently hit the 1-3 pocket.
"I piped it up 5 (the five board) and I couldn't miss," said Quilliam, who posted games of 268-247-290, leaving four 7-pins when he didn't strike. He notched the front eight strikes in the first game and, in the last game, finished with 11 strikes iafter an opening spare on lanes 13-14 in the Antique World Tuesday Coed League.
He said he was glad that his wife, Jen, and two young children were there to witness the achievement.
-- Matt Slocum, 300--815, Perry Bowling Center, Nov. 21, Monday Napa 400 League.
BRIAN MORASCO EVENT RAISES $1,600 FOR CHARITY
The first Brian Morasco three-person handicap no-tap tournament drew 40 teams on Nov. 12 at Mancuso Bowling Center and raised $1,600 for Genesee Cancer Assistance.
The event was directed by Mark Brown of Attica, who -- like many of us -- worked with and were friends of Brian, who passed away at the age of 57 on August 17.
Seven teams cashed, led by the trio of the two Seases and Bardol. Their 2,374 score edged the Wagners and South Byron's Darleen Balduf by three pins to capture the $580 first prize. The Wagners and Balduf earned $300 to split.
The Wagners teamed with Matt Balduf, Darleen's husband, to take third place (2,347, $190), while Dan Cone of Stafford, A.J. Allenbrandt of Le Roy and Matt Balduf finished fourth with 2,346, good for $180.
60-AND-OVER TOURNAMENT ON SUNDAY IN ROCHESTER
If you're at least 60 years old and if the competitive juices are still flowing, then the 60-and-Over Tournament Bowlers Club coordinated by Rochester and New York State Hall of Famer Tommy Kress is for you.
Kress' monthly scratch singles tournaments continue to be a popular choice for senior bowlers throughout Western New York, and this month's event is scheduled for this Sunday (Nov. 27) at AMF Terrace Garden Lanes on Ridgeway Avenue in Rochester. The three-game qualifying squad starts at noon (11 a.m. check-in), with the top 12 -- including guaranteed spots for those in the 65-69, 70-74 and 75-and-over age brackets -- advancing to the finals.
Steve Nowicki of Rochester won the season's first tournament last month, outpacing 31 other participants at AMF Dewey Garden Lanes. In the three-person finals, Nowicki rolled 209 to edge Charlie Gfeller of Rochester (206) and Frank Cascio of Buffalo (192) for the $200 top prize.
Gravanda was the top qualifier with 711, and other locals making the cut were Kevin Gray Sr. of Honeoye Falls (703) and Al Vlietstra of Geneseo (681).
The rest of the tour schedule is as follows:
-- Dec. 11, Bowl-A-Roll Lanes, Rochester.
-- Jan. 29, Parkview Lanes, Rochester.
-- Feb. 26, Pleasure Lanes, Hilton.
-- March 26, Rose Garden Bowl, Bergen.
-- April 23, Brockport Bowl,
-- May final tournament, TBA.
GENESEO, MOUNT MORRIS HOSTING NO-TAP EVENTS
Livingston Lanes in Geneseo is this year's host of the Bowlers to Veterans Link fundraiser tournament sponsored by the Genesee Region USBC.
The three-person handicap no-tap event is set for Saturday, Dec. 3, with squads at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The entry fee is $90 per team and first place, based on 30 teams, is $405. One in six teams will cash.
All proceeds will go to support services for hospitalized veterans at the VA Medical Center in Batavia.
To enter, contact Tom Fluker at 585-284-2637.
Mount Morris Lanes will host the Al Taylor Memorial three-person handicap no-tap tournament on Dec. 2-4, with squads at 9:30 p.m. Friday; 2, 4 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, and noon, 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday.
First prize is a guaranteed $750, and the entry fee is $90 per team.
This tournament offers an added "bonus" -- when a bowler leaves a split, it will be counted as a spare. As in all no-tap events, nine pins on the first ball counts as a strike.
To enter, contact Bob Santini at 585-658-2540.
NORTH SQUAD LOOKS TO EXTEND 'MARTH CUP' DOMINANCE
The North team (guys who bowl in Albion, Medina and Oakfield) will have "home field" advantage on Dec. 3 -- not that they need it -- as the Karl Marth Cup challenge match moves into its 23rd year.
Last year, the North defeated the South (Batavia, Attica and Le Roy areas) for the fifth consecutive year, and now leads the series by a 13-9 margin. This year's event will get under way at 1:30 p.m. at Medina Lanes, which means that this will be the first time the match will take place on synthetic lanes.
Competition includes doubles, singles, Baker-style doubles and Baker-style team, with points awarded for victories. The public is invited to attend.
Team rosters are as follows:
North -- Tom Allis, captain; Mike Lavender, Rob Sease, Aaron Verheyn, Scott Allis, Scott Gibson, Scott Shields, Roger Allis, Jim Foss, Rich Culver, Mike Allis and Jason Mahnke.
South -- Ed Doody, captain; Dean Cadieux Jr., Paul Spiotta, Mike Pettinella, Joe Trigilio, Fred Gravanda, Rick Saunders, Jim Pursel, Geoff Harloff, Gregg Wolff, and first-time invitees Brett Van Duser and Matt Slocum.
BATAVIAN LAESSER WINS YOUTH ELIMINATOR TOURNEY
Top-seeded Skylar Laesser edged fellow Batavian James Townsend to win the $208 top scholarship at the fifth annual GRUSBC Youth Eliminator tournament in Albion.
The title match was determined by a ninth and 10th frame rolloff after the two boys tied at 209. Laesser spared and then delivered three strikes to nip Townsend, who rolled two strikes before leaving two pins and getting the spare.
Townsend earned a $180 scholarship for placing second.
Sam Miller of Le Roy placed third, earning $150, and Ryleigh Culver of Medina was fourth, winning $120.
The fifth through eighth place bowlers each won $40 scholarships. They were Paige Snook of Albion, Emma Miller of Le Roy, Dennis Van Duser of Perry and Jesse Keller of Albion.
Youth from Oak Orchard Bowl, Medina Lanes, Perry Bowling Center, Scopano's Lanes, Le Roy Legion Lanes, Mancuso Bowling Center and Perry Bowling Center competed. Fluker reported that most matches were close and the scoring pace was high.
IN MEMORIAM: JOE GERACE, KATHY LEWIS
The area lost two more friends of bowling in recent days -- Kathy Lewis of Corfu and Joe Gerace of Batavia.
Lewis was the longtime secretary-treasurer of the Ladies Classic League at Mancuso Lanes (and now Bowling Center), a scratch league that featured the best women bowlers in Genesee County and beyond. Kathy was very meticulous (that was the school teacher in her) and extremely competent in her job, always looking out for her bowlers' best interests. I also had the opportunity to bowl with her in the mid-1990's on a short-season (NFL or NBA) at Mancuso's, and enjoyed her company. Kathy passed away on Nov. 11 at the age of 90.
Gerace, well known in Batavia for his civic and community involvement, also was an avid league bowler for many years. I remember seeing him practicing either the day before or on the same day as his league night -- most of the time on the pair of lanes he would be bowling on that evening. Joe also was the driving force behind the Rotary Club's multi-team participation in the annual Strike Out for Crossroads House fundraiser, which isn't surprising as he was all about putting others first. Joe passed away on Nov. 17 at the age of 80.