Medina’s Ryleigh Culver is well on his way to becoming the next “young phenom” on the Genesee Region USBC bowling scene.
The 10-year-old right-hander placed first in the Boys U12 division at the New York State Region 2 Pepsi USBC Youth Championships last weekend at AMF Dewey Garden Lanes in Rochester, and now will head to King Pin Lanes in Rome on May 19 to compete for a state title.
Ryleigh posted games of 262, 201 and 210 for a 673 series to top the list of 32 boys who participated in his division. He had it going right from the start, rolling the first eight strikes in the opening game.
“He’s been practicing a lot and we work with him on his game,” said his dad, Richard Culver II, noting that Ryleigh’s grandfather, Rich, also is a big part of Ryleigh’s success.
The practice definitely is paying off as Ryleigh has upped his average to 176, a remarkable number for a 10-year-old.
Several other area youngsters fared well at the tournament.
Batavian Jacey Wagner, daughter of standout bowler Rich Wagner, placed second in the Girls U8 division to earn a scholarship.
In Girls U12, Lorelei Sanders of Medina and Allie Faryna of Perry placed third and fourth, respectively, while in the Boys U20 division, Dennis Van Duser of Perry placed 11th with a 664 series and Trevor O’Dell of Oakfield was 13th with a 654 series.
The Pepsi Youth tournament is a totally scratch event (no handicap) with the top two in the U8 and U10 divisions winning scholarships at the regional level, and the top two in the U12, U15 and U20 divisions moving on to the state finals where they will compete for seven scholarships in each of the categories.
BATAVIA’S LAWRENCE WINS 60-AND-OVER EVENT IN ALBION
Batavian Ron Lawrence, bowling in his first 60-and-Over Tour event, took top honors on April 8 at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, defeating veteran Fran Bax of Niagara Falls, 226-223, in the championship match.
“I surprised myself, that’s for sure,” said Lawrence, speaking with a sense of amazement that he was able to come through in the clutch to knock off Bax, one of the area’s most prolific bowlers over the past five decades.
Lawrence, needing two strikes and eight pins in the 10th frame to win the match, packed the 1-3 pocket for three straight strikes to claim the $325 first prize.
He said that he believed an open frame in the eighth frame was going to cost him.
“I missed the 4-pin in the eighth frame and I thought it would beat me for sure,” he said.
Lawrence, a longtime groundskeeper and maintenance man at Stafford Country Club, has had recent success at Oak Orchard Bowl. Earlier this season, he was part of the winning team in a no-tap tournament there.
A 195 average bowler, Lawrence competes in the North Pole League at Mancuso Bowling Center and is a substitute in a league at Le Roy Legion Lanes.
Lawrence qualified sixth with 642 (the top 10 scores plus six age group leaders advanced), and then registered 219 and 246 to make it to the four-man step-ladder finals.
Forty-seven bowlers entered the tournament, which featured step-ladder finals for the first time in its three-year existence. And the final round didn’t lack for excitement, either, as all three matches were decided in the 10th frame.
In the opener, John Danielewicz of Sanborn nipped Charlie Gfeller of Rochester, 226-225. After that, Lawrence defeated Danielewicz, 204-196, to set up the title match against the top-seeded Bax.
Bax won $200 for his runner-up finish while Danielewicz pocketed $175 and Gfeller $150.
Bill Logan of Albion rolled his first USBC-certified 300 game in the last game of qualifying to post a 683 series, which was second behind North Tonawanda’s Dennis Illig, who fired 718.
Two other Genesee Region members joined Logan as “cashers” – Bob Hodgson of Medina and Kevin Gray Sr. of Honeoye Falls.
The next 60-and-Over Tour stop is at Medina Lanes on April 29. Check-in is at 11 a.m. and competition begins at noon. For more information, contact Tommy Kress at [email protected] or 585-739-3097.
RYAN NAYLOR, JASON QUILLIAM ROLL PERFECT GAMES
Ryan Naylor of Perry and Jason Quilliam of Batavia recorded 300 games in league action last week at Perry Bowling Center and Mancuso Bowling Center, respectively. It was Naylor’s first USBC-certified perfect game and Quilliam’s second.
Naylor reached perfection in the second game of the Thursday Night League, and finished with a 645 series. The 24-year-old righty averages about 200 in three leagues at Perry Bowling Center.
Recalling the 10th frame, Naylor said he wasn’t too nervous and felt more confident after getting the first strike on lanes 1-2.
“I knew after the first one that I was going to do it,” he said. “The first two were beautiful; the last one I got out by about two boards and it hit light but carried.”
A member of the Carpenter’s Union Local 276, Naylor said he was used a Storm Code Black bowling ball drilled by Brian Weber to eclipse his previous high game of 279.
Quilliam, a 38-year-old right-hander, posted his 300 in the first game of a 714 series in the Antique World Tuesday Coed League. His previous perfect game came in December 2011 and he bowled an 805 series in November 2016.
At the USBC Open Championships in Syracuse, Quilliam was part of the Rich Wagner Team that put up a 2,678 three-game series – not a bad score considering the brutally-tough lane conditions.
Team members Nate Wright and Rich Wagner had 632 and 706 series, respectively, in the Singles event.
SPARE SHOTS: MEDINA HOSTING TOURNEY, GRUSBC PAYOUT NEARS
-- Medina Lanes is hosting a five-person Baker-style handicap tournament this Sunday, with $1,000 guaranteed for first place and $500 guaranteed for second place.
Squad times are at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Competition consists of 10 Baker-style games (bowlers alternate frames), followed by match play finals.
The entry fee is $125 per team. Handicap is based on 90 percent of the difference in the team average and 1,050, with 1,050 being the maximum.
-- A “job well done” goes out to Joe Czworka, who is retiring after 33 years as a league secretary. Joe said he is stepping down after closing the books on the Antique World Tuesday Coed League at Mancuso Bowling Center.
-- The Genesee Region USBC announced that prize checks from its association tournament will be going out early next week.
More than $6,600 in prize money will be going out to 73 cashers in the Team, Doubles, Singles and All-Events competition.
GRUSBC President Tom Fluker also reminds all league secretaries to submit their final average sheets to the association office at 55 Edgewood Drive, Batavia, NY 14020 as soon as possible, and to make their reservations by May 1st for the Annual Meeting and Hall of Fame Dinner on May 12 at Batavia Downs.