Skip to main content


Medina standout presses on; GRUSBC Scratch Memorial event set for this weekend

By Mike Pettinella

The year 2016 was a year of numerous “highs” as well as the lowest of “lows” for Curtis Foss of Medina, unquestionably one of the best league and tournament bowlers in Western New York.


During the 12 months that dissolved into history at midnight last Saturday, the strapping 29-year-old right-hander rolled seven 300 games and two 800 series, cashed in numerous tournaments and averaged a Genesee Region USBC association-best 242 and 241 in two leagues at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion.

He placed third at the Greater Buffalo USBC’s Obenauer Masters last May, losing only to two of the Queen City’s best bowlers -- touring professionals Ryan Ciminelli and John Szczerbinski.

It was a shining moment for Foss, who has won four Genesee Region USBC Masters titles since 2008, but it also turned out to be the last time that his father, Bob Foss Jr., had a chance to watch Curtis bowl.

The next day, Bob, the 2012 GRUSBC Masters champion, suffered a stroke.  Less than five months later, he died at the age of 55.

Since then, Curtis has immersed himself into bowling more than ever – competing in leagues from Monday through Friday and in tournaments on the weekends -- as he struggles to deal with the loss of his dad and his best friend.

“I think about him every day. I’m just trying to get through each day,” Foss said. “He always was with me when we drove to tournaments.  It’s been hard to get my mindset (in the right place). Dad was always there.”

Curtis has been splitting time between Genesee County and Florida over the past three months, subbing in leagues in Albion, Medina, Oakfield, Batavia, Lockport and Buffalo when not staying with friends in the Sunshine State.

Foss said he will be bowling in the Scott Whittier Memorial three-person no-tap tournament in Albion this Saturday and the GRUSBC Scratch Memorial singles tournament at Medina Lanes on Sunday, before heading to Florida on Jan. 17 for another month-long stay.

His plans there include competing in a PBA South Regional tournament in Tavares on Feb. 4.

“I’m bowling as much as I can,” said Foss, acknowledging that his father would have wanted it that way and that it keeps him from dwelling on his dad’s passing. “I plan to be back here to bowl in the (GRUSBC) Masters on February 11th.”

He already has added to his list of 800 sets in 2017, having recorded 814 on Tuesday night (Jan. 3) at Allie Brandt Lanes in Lockport.

Foss now 25 perfect games and 15 800 series, and coupled with his tournament success, he may be in line to land an amateur staff position with Storm Bowling, since he uses only Storm and Roto-Grip (a division of Storm) bowling balls.


Kevin Gray Jr. of Warsaw will be attempting to defend his title this weekend at the 63rd GRUSBC Scratch Memorial Tournament at Medina Lanes. Gray is signed up for the first of four qualifying squads at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Other qualifying squads (four games) are scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday, with one in five bowlers advancing to the four-game semifinals.

First place, based on 80 entries, is $1,000.  For registration information, go to to download an entry form.

(To see a list of other local tournaments this month, scroll down to the Dec. 22 Pin Points column on this page).


Just as fellow Batavian Rich Wagner did before him, veteran bowler Fred Gravanda won two of his three matches on the “Beat The Champ” TV show, a regular weekend feature of WBBZ-TV (MeTV) out of Buffalo.

In the show from Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia that aired on Dec. 24, Gravanda defeated John Danielwicz of Sanborn, 247-224, and Paul Tatone of St. Catharines, Ontario, 246-197, before falling to George Szczublewski of West Seneca, 258-215. The 66-year-old right-hander earned $250 for his effort.

On the final show from Mancuso’s that aired on Dec. 31, the duo of Frank Jarkiewicz of Byron and Laurie Morgante of Bergen captured a mixed doubles event by defeating the brother and sister team of Chris and Jennifer Bardol of Rochester in the title match.  Other competitors were the husband and wife duos of Rich and Jen Wagner, and Mark and Penny Brown.


Shawn Hurlburt of Freedom rolled 803 – his first USBC-certified 800 series -- on Dec. 22 in the Thursday Nite Intertown League at Letchworth Pines in Portageville. His games on lanes 3-4 were 245-279-279.

Hurlburt, a 40-year-old right-hander who works for Bliss Machine in Arcade, said he used a Track Hx05 ball, spotting around the second arrow, to consistently hit the pocket. After the opening 245, he left only a 10-pin in the sixth frame of game two and another 10-pin in the ninth frame of game three.

Hurlburt said he was calm – until the final two shots.

“I was definitely nervous on the 11th ball because I knew I needed that one,” he said. “But I threw it good. On the last ball, it went Brooklyn (crossing to the left of the 1-3 pocket), but they all went down.”

Hurlburt is averaging 213 in the league, which consist of five-person teams.  He said he is choosing a ring as his award from the United States Bowling Congress.

He has three children, including Karson, a ninth-grader who bowls for the Pioneer Central School team.

On Dec. 22, Robbie Hanks registered a 300 game on lanes 7-8 at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion. Previously, the son of proprietor Randy Hanks notched an 800 series in a summer league on May 19.

And on Dec. 28, Scott Allis of Medina recorded a 300 game en route to a 740 series in the Wednesday Community League at Medina Lanes.  Allis has been red-hot this season, shooting an 811 on Sept. 14 and a 290 game on Oct. 27.


A 15-5 victory over Batavia Strike Force propelled the Scopano’s I team into first place at the halfway point of the Genesee Region Youth Travel League.

Mason Cadieux’s 521 series sparked the Oakfield foursome to the win in Dec. 18 action at Mancuso Bowling Center.  Cadieux’s series with handicap was 761, which is high for the season.

The league resumes competition at 1 p.m. this Sunday at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

Scopano’s I holds a 5.5 point lead over Strike Force, with Perry Bowling Center another 10 points back in the 12-team league.

Individually, Matt Hurlburt of Perry led the way with a 210 game and 575 series for the boys, while Emma Miller of Batavia X-Factor rolled a 190 game and 466 series to lead the girls.

(Mike Pettinella’s Pin Points column appears every other Thursday on The Batavian. To advertise on this page or to suggest story ideas, contact Mike at

All-time great Walter Ray Williams Jr. posts 100th overall PBA title; Gravanda on 'Beat The Champ' this weekend

By Mike Pettinella

WALTER RAY WILLIAMS JR., the all-time leader in victories on the Professional Bowlers Association national tour, reached another milestone last week at the PBA/PBA50/PBA60 Decker Appraisal Services Baker Trios tournament in Harrisonburg, Va.


“Deadeye,” as he is known by virtue of his bowling and horseshoe pitching skill, combined with Dennis Lane and Dick Allen to win the trios event for his 100th overall PBA title.

Some of you may remember that Walter Ray put on a bowling and horseshoe pitching exhibition at Mancuso Bowling Center (then Mancuso Lanes) about 30 years ago at the invitation of Mike DiMartino. It was quite a show as Williams, a nine-time World Champion horseshoe pitcher, and DiMartino, at least a nine-time NYS horseshoe pitching champion, tossed ringer after ringer on portable pits set up in the parking lot outside the bowling center's east entrance.

Williams' latest bowling title is his 10th as a PBA50 Regional competitor. He also has 47 wins on the regular PBA Tour, 32 PBA Regional crowns and 11 PBA50 Tour titles.

Fellow Hall of Famer Pete Weber has 99 combined Tour titles.

In other PBA news:

-- Mike Wolfe of New Albany, Ind., won his first PBA Tour title in eight years, defeating Darren Tang of San Francisco, 279-143, in the finals of the Cheetah Championship that was televised on Sunday on ESPN.

The win added $20,000 to Wolfe’s bank account, while Tang, a 21-year-old rookie, pocketed $10,000.

-- The finals of three more “animal pattern” tournaments from last month’s World Series of Bowling will be televised this weekend on ESPN – the Chameleon Championship at 1 p.m. Saturday, and a Christmas Day doubleheader on Sunday featuring the Scorpion Championship at 2:30 p.m. and the Shark Championship at 3:30 p.m.

-- Last month, I cast my vote for three people on the ballot for the PBA Hall of Fame and I am glad to announce that all three – Bryan Goebel, Steve Hoskins and Mike Scroggins – have been elected for superior performance.

All three were forces on the PBA Tour in the 1980s, ‘90s and 2000s. Goebel and Hoskins are 10-time champions with major tournament titles, and Scroggins has eight titles including the USBC Masters and U.S. Open.

Induction ceremonies will take place on Feb. 13 at Grand Casino Hotel & Resort in Shawnee, Okla.


Fans of the “Beat The Champ” bowling show on WBBZ-TV (MeTV) were able to watch Batavian Rich Wagner win two matches before losing his third match on Dec. 10 – earning $250 for his efforts – and now will have the opportunity to see another Batavia resident this Saturday at 4 p.m. (with a repeat showing at 11 p.m. Sunday).

Fred Gravanda will take on current champion John Danielwicz of Sanborn in the first match. The winner will go up against Paul Tatone of St. Catharines, Ontario, and the winner of that match will take on Szczublewski of West Seneca.

The fourth and final show from Mancuso Bowling Center (taping took place on Nov. 30) will be televised on Dec. 31. It will be a mixed doubles event featuring four teams of Genesee Region bowlers – Rich and Jen Wagner, Chris and Jenn Bardol, Frank Jarkiewicz and Laurie Morgante, and Mark and Penny Brown.


Three days after undergoing surgery on his left thumb, Kevin Gray Sr. of Honeoye Falls was back on the lanes and found a measure of success at the 60-and-Over Tournament Bowlers Club event at Bowl-A-Roll Lanes in Rochester.

The 63-year-old right-hander, wearing a cast on his left hand, placed fourth out of 46 bowlers, just missing the three-bowler finals by a few pins.  Still, he won $125.

Gravanda and Joe Trigilio of Attica also cashed in the tournament by advancing to the top 12.


The team of Tyler Roth, Lily Martin, Jonah Martin and Brock Bigsby captured top honors at the third annual Genesee Region USBC Youth Baker Team tournament at Scopano’s Lanes on Dec. 10.

The Batavia team won $400 in the form of $100 scholarships each for their efforts. Another Batavia squad of Corinne Saluste, Tara Clattenburg, Zach Wester and Skylar Laesser finished in second place, splitting $120 in scholarship money.

Another GRUSBC youth tournament – Adult-Junior Doubles -- is scheduled for Jan. 14-15 at Medina Lanes. For an entry form, go to


Medina Lanes will host two Genesee Region USBC tournaments in January, a month that also will feature a three-person no-tap event at Oak Orchard Lanes in Albion and the annual scratch singles tourney at Mount Morris Lanes.

-- Jan. 7, Scott Whittier Memorial 3-Person Handicap No-Tap, Oak Orchard Bowl. This is the fifth year of the tournament that benefits the Scott Whittier Scholarship Foundation. First prize is $600 and the entry fee is $60 per team. Squad times are 1, 3 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. To enter, call 585-589-6900.

-- Jan. 7-8, GRUSBC Scratch Memorial, Medina Lanes.  A $1,000 first prize (based on 80 entries) awaits the winner of the scratch singles event, which lists squad times at 1 and 4 p.m. on Jan. 7 and 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Jan. 8.  Qualifying will be bowled on a 47-foot oil pattern and the finals will be contested on a 38-foot oil pattern. Entry fee is $55.  To enter, call 585-861-0404 or send an email to

-- Jan. 13-15, Mount Morris Pepsi Open, Mount Morris Lanes.  First place is a guaranteed $1,500 and one out of five will cash. Qualifying (four games) dates and times are 7 and 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 13, 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 14, and 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Jan. 15. Entry fee is $70 and the re-entry fee is $50. To enter, call 585-658-2540.

-- Jan. 14-15, GRUSBC Adult-Junior Doubles, Medina Lanes.  Squad times are noon, 3 and 6 p.m. on Jan. 14 and noon and 3 p.m. on Jan. 15 for the handicap tournament, which lists two divisions – 12 & under and 13 & over.  Entry fee is $30 per team. Youth winnings will be in the form of scholarships; adult winnings will in the form of checks mailed from the GRUSBC office. To enter, call 585-284-2637 or send an email to


As 2016 draws to a close, I’d like to express my sincere appreciation to Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian, and Lisa Ace, his graphic artist, as well as all the businesses who advertise on this page for supporting the Pin Points column that reaches out to bowlers and bowling fans in the GLOW region.

Bowling continues to be a popular organized sport in our area (as well as the nation and world) and I count it a privilege to be able to share bowlers’ accomplishments and information about the sport on The Batavian, the area’s No. 1 source of online news.

We’ll be back with the first column of 2017 on Jan. 5.  Until then, have a Blessed and Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

(Mike Pettinella’s Pin Points column appears every other Thursday on The Batavian. To advertise on this page or to suggest story ideas, contact Mike at

Hodgson posts 816 in Medina; Noble 300 in Perry

By Mike Pettinella

Bob Hodgson of Medina notched his second 800 series of the season while Scott Noble of Perry recorded his first United States Bowling Congress-certified 300 game in recent Genesee Region USBC league competition.

Hodgson, 69, a retired sixth-grade teacher for Medina Central School, rolled 279-279-258—816 in the Wednesday Community League at Medina Lanes on Dec. 7.

On Nov. 9, he posted 810, and this past January, he had two 300 games in the Thursday Firefighters League at Medina Lanes.

When it was mentioned to him that he’s on quite a roll, Hodgson said, “It’s been hot and cold. Some nights I’ve had it and some not so good.”

The right-hander said his new ball, the Storm Optimus, has worked very well on the center’s new synthetic lanes.

“I have to play a little wider because the lanes seem to hold the oil better,” Hodgson said. “They don’t dry out as quickly and the oil is longer. It’s easier to pick the 10-pins.”

That’s all Hodgson left in the first two games on lanes 17-18 – rolling nine straight strikes in each before leaving a 10-pin.  He struck on the final ball of each game for back-to-back 279s, and then added nine more strikes in the third game for 258.

He bowls on a team with his wife, Merry; daughter, Tricia, and son, Tim.

“It’s great bowling with the family, especially for Tim, who has Down syndrome,” Hodgson said. “He loves to bowl and he has a 145 average.”

Hodgson holds a 213 average in the Wednesday league. He now has seven 800 series and 10 perfect games.

At Perry Bowling Center, Noble shook off the effects of a mishap at work earlier in the day to roll 300-247-193—734 on lanes 7-8 on Dec. 8 in the Thursday Night League.

“I tire blew up on me and it kind of took the wind out of me,” said Noble, a 32-year-old righty who works for Sedam Tires in Perry. “I was pretty sore later on.”

Despite the accident and the fact that he didn’t get lined up in practice, Noble started with the first 18 strikes before breaking off in the middle of the second game.

“During practice, I couldn’t find anything … the ball wasn’t moving,” he said. “So I decided to throw a totally different shot than I normally throw.”

Noble said he moved back a foot on the approach and moved about eight boards to the right.

“I ended up shooting down the 10-board (second arrow),” said Noble, who used a year-old Hammer Dark Legend. “I usually don’t play that straight.”

He said he will be ordering a ring from USBC, which awards certified bowlers for their first 300 game or 800 series. 

In action at Mancuso Bowling Center, left-hander Rich Wagner (coming off a successful appearance on the "Beat The Champ" TV show) gave himself an early Christmas and birthday present – he will be 34 on Christmas Day – with a 300 game en route to a 781 series in the North Pole Restaurant/Family Affair Boat Repair Thursday night league on Dec. 8.

Jim Dommer of Batavia just missed perfection as he shot 299 in the first game of that night.

Honorable mention goes to Michele Larson of Batavia, who rolled 246-236-215—697 on Dec. 14 in the Wednesday Night Ladies League at Mancuso’s, and to Bobby Donovan, who recorded a 735 series (his first 700) in the Thursday Owls League at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen on Dec. 8.

Tackett finishes strong to win PBA World Championship

By Mike Pettinella

RENO, Nev., DEC. 12, 2016 – E.J. Tackett of Huntington, Ind., one of the Professional Bowlers Association’s rising young stars, defeated veteran Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich., 246-180, to win the PBA World Championship Sunday at the National Bowling Stadium.

Tackett, PBA’s 2013 Rookie of the Year, won his first major championship and his fourth title of the 2016 season with a closing string of six strikes after Smallwood lost his strike line on the left lane and suffered two open frames late in the match. Tackett, the top qualifier for the World Championship for the second year in a row, earned $60,000 along with his fifth career title.

“It was the greatest feeling in the world to have my dad here to watch,” Tackett said after a tearful embrace with his father, Ed Tackett.

“It was great to bowl a good game to win,” Tackett said. “Tom gave me some breaks, which you’d never expect from him, but to throw the last six strikes, to be able to perform like that on a stage like this is what you dream about. It’s been a huge breakout year for me. I just hope I can keep riding the wave. I don’t expect to win every time, but I just want to bowl well.”

With his win, the 5-foot-7, 130-pound right hander, put himself into the thick of the PBA Player of the Year race.

“Player of the Year is one of those things you strive for,” the 24-year-old Tackett said. “Now it’s a matter of what my peers think. With the kind of year I’ve had, I’d put myself in the top five in the world. Where, I’m not sure, but I grew up watching Tiger Woods, and I want to be the Tiger Woods of bowling.”

Smallwood earned his berth in the title match with three consecutive wins, including a 266-235 victory over England’s Dom Barrett in the semifinal match. Smallwood, who became a hero among America’s working class in early 2010, started the match against Barrett with eight strikes before leaving the 3-6-10 in the ninth frame.

Smallwood’s legacy began during the recession of 2009 when he lost his job with GMC and decided to pursue his dream of bowling professionally. He earned an exemption to bowl on the PBA Tour during the 2009-10 season, but more importantly, won the 2010 PBA World Championship for his first title and a $50,000 prize.

Smallwood, with key strikes when he needed them, eliminated 19-year-old Anthony Simonsen, who failed to carry strikes at critical opportunities, in the first match, 204-193. Simonsen, a two-handed player from Austin, Texas, was trying to become the youngest player to win two major titles in the same season after winning the United States Bowling Congress Masters in February.

In the second match, Smallwood rebounded from an open second frame with a string of five strikes, building a lead Australia’s Jason Belmonte couldn’t overcome. Belmonte, the three-time reigning PBA Player of the Year, saw his hopes for his first title in 2016 die when he left the 3-4-6-7 split in the ninth frame and failed to convert, losing to Smallwood, 224-185.

The PBA World Championship was the final event of the 2016 PBA Tour season. PBA competition resumes January 10-14 when a field of 16 PBA stars will join 16 Japanese players in the DHC PBA Japan Invitational in Osaka.


National Bowling Stadium, Reno, Nev., Sunday

Final Standings:

1, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., $60,000.

2, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., $30,000.

3, Dom Barrett, England, $25,000.

4, Jason Belmonte, Australia, $20,000.

5, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, $15,000.

Stepladder Results:

Match One – Smallwood def. Simonsen, 204-193.

Match Two – Smallwood def. Belmonte, 224-185.

Semifinal Match – Smallwood def. Barrett, 266-235.

Championship – Tackett def. Smallwood, 246-180.

E.J. Tackett sets sights on PBA Player of the Year; Batavian on 'Beat The Champ' this weekend

By Mike Pettinella

It looks as though E.J. Tackett has become the next “big thing” on the Professional Bowlers Tour.

Already a two-time winner this season, Tackett, a 24-year-old right-hander from Huntington, Ind., is in the running for four more PBA Tour titles at this week’s GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VIII in Reno, Nev.


Through Wednesday’s action, Tackett finds himself in the Round of 8 of three of the four “animal” pattern events – Chameleon, Scorpion and Shark – and, to top it off, is the No. 1 seed for the stepladder finals of the PBA World Championship, which will be televised live at 1 p.m. this Sunday on ESPN.

With a couple more tournament victories (especially the World Championship), Tackett, the 2013 PBA Rookie of the Year, would become the favorite to win Player of the Year honors.

All four animal pattern tournament Round of 8 matches are taking place today. The top four in each event will advance to the ESPN finals, which will be contested on Saturday and televised on a tape-delayed basis (see schedule below).

In the World Championship stepladder finals on Sunday, Tackett will have to bowl just one match – against either second-seeded Dom Barrett, England; No. 3 Jason Belmonte, Australia; No. 4, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., or No. 5, Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas.

PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber, bowling well despite a hip injury, finished in sixth place in the World Championship, missing out on another TV appearance but still earning $11,000.  No New Yorkers made it to the top 24.

Here is the ESPN schedule through Jan. 1:

-- Dec. 11, 1 p.m., PBA World Championship.
-- Dec. 18, 1 p.m., PBA Cheetah Championship.
-- Dec. 24, 1 p.m., PBA Chameleon Championship.
-- Dec. 25, 2:30 p.m., PBA Scorpion Championship.
-- Dec. 25, 3:30 p.m., PBA Shark Championship.
-- Jan. 1, 4 p.m., PBA World Championship (repeat).


Batavian Rich Wagner will be among four competitors on the “Beat The Champ” TV show airing at 4 p.m. this Saturday (and repeated at 11 p.m. Sunday) on WBBZ-TV (MeTV). The show is the first of four that were taped at Mancuso Bowling Center on Nov. 30.

The 33-year-old left-hander, who qualified for the show by rolling an 815 series at Mancuso’s on Nov. 20, will face Joe Ciffa of Niagara Falls, the current “champ”, in the first match.

The winner of that match will move on to meet Tony Dolan of West Seneca and the winner of that match will face Pat Brick of Buffalo for the right to become the new champion and advance to the next show.

The winner of each match earns $100 while the loser pockets $50.

Rick Mancuso, proprietor of Mancuso Bowling Center, is a guest on the show, which features commentators Paul Peck and Sue Nawojski.

Fred Gravanda of Batavia will appear on the third show from Mancuso’s, scheduled to air on Dec. 24.


Attica resident Joe Trigilio added to his long list of tournament titles on Nov. 27 when he placed first in the 60-and-Over Tournament Bowlers Club event at AMF Terrace Gardens in Rochester.

The 63-year-old Batavia native rolled a 233 game in the three-man finals to defeat Bob Hodgson of Medina (204) and Charlie Gfeller of Rochester (183) for the $220 first prize.

Trigilio was the top qualifier out of the 42 entrants with 699 for three games. He posted a 223 game in the round of 12 to advance to the round of six, where his 214 effort was good enough to make it to the finals.

Gravanda, Joe’s longtime teammate and doubles partner, was the second-high qualifier with 697 and went on to place sixth. The top 12 received prize money.

The next 60-and-Over tournament is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. this Sunday (Dec. 11) at Bowl-A-Roll Lanes on Jefferson Road in Rochester.


The Scopano’s I team holds a slim lead over Batavia Strike Force after four weeks of the Genesee Region Youth Travel League.

The team of Mason Cadieux, Austin Kotarski, Collin Scheiber and Trevor O’Dell has a 53.5-22.5 record, just ahead of Strike Force’s 53-23.  Batavia X-Factor is third at 53-23 in the 12-team league.

In recent action, Tony Sprague posted 257—668 to lead X-Factor to a 15-4 win over Le Roy Legion Lanes, while Skylar Laesser shot 628 and Corinne Saluste added 220—597 to help Strike Force top Oak Orchard I, 13-6.

Scopano’s I, meanwhile, defeated Perry Bowling Center, 16-3, as Scheiber and O’Dell rolled 557 and 552, respectively.

Competition resumes this Sunday afternoon (12:30 p.m.) at Legion Lanes in Le Roy and continues on Dec. 18 at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.


Legion Lanes in Le Roy’s annual scratch doubles tournament is scheduled for this Saturday, with qualifying squad times at 11:45 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.

Entry fee is $70 per team and first place, based on 36 entries, is $800.

All teams will roll two games, moving two pairs of lanes to the right after the first game. The top eight teams – including the top two teams from the first qualifying squad -- will advance to the head-to-head round (based on 32 teams). If less than 32 teams, the top six will advance.

Head-to-head rounds will consist of one game of Baker-style bowling, where the teammates alternate frames.

For more information or to enter, contact Penny Brown at 716-474-7960.  The tournament is being sponsored by Striking Effects Pro Shop, owned by Brian Green, who became a first-time dad with the birth of his son, Caleb, last week.


The third annual Youth “Baker” Team tournament sponsored by the Genesee Region USBC will take place Saturday at Scopano’s Lanes in Oakfield, with squad times at noon and 2:30 p.m.

Scholarships totaling $1,300 will be awarded to the top four teams.  The entry fee is $60 per team ($15 per bowler).

Handicap is based on 90 percent of the difference in the team’s average and 800, with bowlers using their highest current USBC certified average for at least nine games.

To enter, contact Tom Fluker, GRUSBC president, at or 585-284-2637.

Slocum, Wright, Friedl, Sease, Baes spin perfect games in GRUSBC league play

By Mike Pettinella

The honor score list in the Genesee Region USBC this season continues to grow at a rapid pace as five more bowlers posted 300 games over the past couple weeks, with one of them making it a “daily double” by recording an 800 series as well.

Matt Slocum of Perry shot his eighth USBC-certified perfect game in the middle of a 267-300-248—815 effort on Nov. 21 in the Monday Napa 400 League at Perry Bowling Center.

The big 31-year-old right-hander, nicknamed Strapper, said he took a five-year-old Roto-Grip Nomad Dagger out of the closet recently and, despite it having “3,500 games on it,” as he said, crushed the 1-3 pocket on lanes 3-4.

He said he wasn’t trying to add up his score but knew he was approaching 800. When he struck on the first ball in the 10th frame the honor score was secure.  His high series is 836.

An officer at Groveland Correction Facility in Sonyea, Slocum bowls on a team with his cousin, Ryan Smith; Brian and Brady Weber, and Don Parrott.

Slocum has enjoyed much tournament success over the years, but said he’s now devoting more time to teaching his stepdaughter, Allie Faryna, the finer points of the sport, and is excited to see his 4-year-old son, Gavin, stepping onto the lanes.

Nathan Wright of Batavia credited his parents for encouraging him to play sports in high school after rolling his second 300 game while substituting in the Realty USA/No Finer Diner Doubles League at Mancuso Bowling Center on Monday (Dec. 5).

The 27-year-old Wright, a 6-foot, 300-pound muscular NYS corrections officer, started with the 300 game on lanes 9-10, and finished with 247 and 202 for a 749 series. Last year, he had his other 300 in the same league.

A league bowler for only the past five years (he’s a regular in the Antique World Tuesday night league at Mancuso’s), Wright said he sees the game as an extension of a commitment to athletics that began while a student at Pembroke Central School.

“I was in wrestling, football, baseball and track (at Pembroke),” he said. “I’m thankful that my parents pushed me to stay in sports. They said I would stay out of trouble … and keep me off the streets. As it turned out, if I would have had any misdemeanors on my record, I wouldn't have been able to work for the State.”

Wright throws a high-revving ball, without placing his thumb into the hole, with a smooth delivery. Fellow bowler John Gerace rewarded him – and the other 16 members of the league -- by purchasing cheesy bread after the perfect game.

Thomas Friedl of Fillmore, better known as T.J., said the first-time experience of bowling a 300 “is just surreal” when talking about his perfect game on Nov. 27 in the Sunday Night Mixed A League at Letchworth Pines in Portageville.

“I’ve never done anything like this before,” said the 37-year-old righty, a third shift supervisor at Morton Salt in Silver Springs. “Everything just came together.”

Friedl admitted he was a “little nervous” entering the 10th frame of the third game on lanes 5-6, following games of 206 and 266.  He finished with the last seven strikes in the second game, giving him 16 in a row going into the final frame.

“I buried the first ball. The second ball was a bit wide, but came back (to strike). I thought I was going to leave the 10-pin,” he said.

His last delivery was solid in the 1-3 pocket and minutes later he was filling out the application to receive his ring from the United States Bowling Congress.

Friedl, who averages around 200, also has a 299 game to his credit. The 772 is his high series. He’s the patriarch of a bowling family that includes his wife, Erica, and daughters, Sage, 12, and Summer, 9.

Rob Sease of Brockport added to his lengthy list of honor scores with a 300 game while substituting in G&W Vending League at Rose Garden Bowl on Nov. 29.  The 38-year-old right finished with a 740 series.

Sease, who now has about a dozen perfect games to go with a handful of 800 sets, also had a 290 game in the same league on Oct. 18.

Jeff Baes of Gasport rolled his second 300 game of the season on Nov. 23 in the Wednesday Community League at Medina Lanes.  His first one came on Sept. 14.

His games were 203-256-300 for a 759 series, raising his average to 214.

Unofficially, there have been 16 perfect games and 11 800 series so far this season in the GRUSBC.

South ends North's streak in Karl Marth Cup bowling match at Medina Lanes

By Mike Pettinella


The South team, receiving contributions up and down its 12-man roster, defeated the North, 66 1/2 to 56 1/2, on Saturday afternoon to win the 23rd annual Karl Marth Cup Match at Medina Lanes. 

The South's victory ended a five-year winning streak for the North squad, which now leads the series 13-10.  The match is named for the late Karl Marth, a Hall of Famer who bowled at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion when it was part of the former Batavia Bowling Association.

Teams are divided by location, with most of the North bowlers residing in the Medina/Albion areas and most of the South bowlers residing in the Batavia/Pavilion areas.

Competition -- all scratch -- took place in Doubles, Singles, Baker Doubles and Baker 4-Person Team events, with points awarded for game and match victories in the four categories.

Trailing by three points entering the final event, Baker Team, the South swept two of the three matches en route to a 20-7 margin.  The winning teams were Brett Van Duser, Matt Slocum, Ed Doody and Dean Cadieux Jr, who posted 664 for three games, and Joe Trigilio, Fred Gravanda, Mike Pettinella and Paul Spiotta, who totaled 662 for three games.

The North opened the match by taking 13 of 24 points in Doubles, with victories by Rob Sease and Jason Mahnke (892 for two games), Jim Foss and Scott Shields (904) and Aaron Verheyn and Scott Gibson (880) leading the way. VanDuser/Slocum (975), Trigilio/Gravanda (941) and Rick Saunders/Jim Pursel (924) won their matches for the South.

The South rallied in Baker Doubles to even the match, with VanDuser/Slocum, Doody/Cadieux Jr. and Geoff Harloff/Gregg Wolff posting victories for the South, before the North bounced back to win the Singles event by three points.

Singles winners for the North were Mike Allis (486 for two games), Foss (471), Rich Culver (458), Gibson (441), Tom Allis (419) and Sease (411). Singles winners for the South were Spiotta (471), Gravanda (467), Trigilio (459), Saunders (429), Pettinella (424) and Cadieux Jr. (412).

Gravanda averaged 247 for his four matches to earn the Scott Wright Memorial Outstanding Bowler Award.  He posted 521 for his two Doubles games to go with his 467 in Singles.

Gibson rolled a 290 game, stringing 11 strikes after an opening spare, and Sease and Culver combined for a Baker-style 300 game (where bowlers alternate each frame).

Doody was the captain of the South squad, which gets to hold on to the Karl Marth Cup for a year, and Tom Allis captained the North team.

Photo at top -- South team members, from left, Brett Van Duser, Matt Slocum, Joe Trigilio, Dean Cadieux Jr., Geoff Harloff, Paul Spiotta, Ed Doody, Fred Gravanda, Rick Saunders, Jim Pursel, Gregg Wolff and Mike Pettinella.

'Beat The Champ' rolls into Mancuso Bowling Center

By Mike Pettinella


The production team of the "Beat The Champ" TV show -- a WBBZ-TV (MeTV) offering that airs on Saturdays at 4 p.m. with an encore showing on Sundays at 11 p.m. -- talks things over around 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday before embarking on the taping of four TV shows, which are scheduled to be telecast on Dec. 10, 17, 24 and 31 from Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia. From left are Andy Smyczynski, director; Kyle Wilson, producer; Janelle Sabin, scorekeeper; John DiSciullo, WBBZ-TV promotion and production coordinator, and commentators Sue Nawojski and Paul Peck.


Rich Wagner of Batavia, left, and Tony Dolan of West Seneca were among the four participants on the first show of the day. The Batavian is not publishing results of any of the matches since they will be televised at a later date. The show featuring Wagner is scheduled for Dec. 10.


Batavian Fred Gravanda, third from left, competed in the third show -- to be aired on Dec. 24 -- along with George Szczublewski of West Seneca, Paul Tatone of St. Catharines, Ontario, and John Danielewicz of Sanborn.


Special guests during the shows included Rick Mancuso, right, owner of Mancuso Bowling Center, who spoke about the rich tradition of Batavia bowling.  Other guests were Mike Pettinella, NYS USBC association manager and bowling columnist for The Batavian, and Mike Sputore, manager of Mancuso Bowling Center.


Lights, camera, action. Batavian Fred Gravanda delivers the ball during competition on the third show -- which is scheduled to be aired on Dec. 24 (note that Sabin is wearing a Christmas cap while keeping score at left).


A quartet of former Classic League standouts at Mancuso Bowling Center (then Mancuso Lanes) were among the spectators on hand to enjoy the match play. They are, from left, Joe Mirando, Paul Spiotta, Frank Corradini and Joe Mortellaro.  "Beat The Champ" production personnel said the crowd in Batavia was the largest of the season for the show, which travels to bowling centers in the Buffalo area each month. Its second season starts in January at Jamestown Bowling Company.


Peck and Nawojski, as well as Sabin, spent time with members of the audience, including 3-year-old Silas Stock, grandson of Mark and Penny Brown of Attica, who competed on the fourth show -- a mixed doubles event that will be televised on Dec. 31.  Penny Brown said that Silas is "obsessed with the Beat The Champ show, and watches it every week."



The four teams that competed in a "Baker-style" mixed couples match on the fourth TV show are, from left, Laurie Morgante of Bergen and Frank Jarkiewicz of Byron, Jenn and Chris Bardol of Rochester, Penny and Mark Brown of Attica, and Rich and Jen Wagner of Batavia.  In Baker-style bowling, teammates alternate frames.  Photos by Mike Pettinella.

Bardol rules at Triple O event; Wagner, Gravanda to bowl on 'Beat The Champ' TV show

By Mike Pettinella


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Sponsor recognizes youth bowler for his perfect game

By Mike Pettinella


PRIZE FOR PERFECTION: Bill Hayes, left, owner of Turnbull Heating & Air and sponsor of the Turnbull Heating Junior Bowling program at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia, presents a $100 gift card from Dick's Sporting Goods this morning to Jordan Fluker, the 19-year-old Batavian who rolled a 300 game last Saturday in league competition.

"This is a worthy accomplishment -- something to be proud of and something that can carry you forward to future success," Hayes said, as parents and youth bowlers looked on during a brief presentation.

A story about the achievement can be found by clicking on the Pin Points link at the top of the home page. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

Batavia teen rolls 300 game in Turnbull Heating youth league at Mancuso Bowling Center

By Mike Pettinella


Jordan Fluker has continued to participate in organized youth bowling into his late teens, and the Batavian's dedication to the sport was rewarded at the highest level last Saturday (Nov. 12) when he rolled a 300 game at Mancuso Bowling Center.

Jordan, 19, joined a handful of Batavia youth bowlers who reached perfection by starting with 12 strikes in a row on lanes 17-18 in the Turnbull Heating Junior League, that is coordinated by his father, Tom Fluker, president of the Genesee Region USBC (in photo above).

A second-year student at Genesee Community College, Jordan said he started in the youth program at the age of 9, and has received coaching from his dad, who is a USBC Silver Level instructor.

"I saw my dad walking around behind me, and checking the scores but he didn't say anything to me during the game," Jordan said. "I think that he didn't want to mess up my game."

The slim right-hander said he became more and more nervous as the string of strikes increased, but kept his composure enough to keep the ball in the 1-3 pocket on all but one delivery -- the 11th ball.

"That one came up a little high and I got a good break to carry," he said. "That was the closest one to not being a strike."

The 12th ball was flush in the 1-3 pocket and all 10 pins flew into the pit. Hugs (the first one was from his dad) and handshakes from his teammates, other youth bowlers, parents and coaches followed.

Jordan said he was still shaky in the second game, suffering a few splits for a 181, but bounced back in the third game for 248 and a 729 series, a personal best.

A 200 average bowler, he has competed in two NYS Team Tournament finals and the NYS Youth Pepsi finals. He said that this is his final year of youth bowling, but wants to continue with the sport -- either when he transfers to a college with a bowling program or as part of an adult league.

Jordan, a former Mr. Batavian at Batavia High School, is on track for an associate degree at GCC in the spring, and said he is leaning toward majoring in Accounting or Web Design.

By the way, Tom Fluker rolled his first of his 10 USBC-certified perfect games at the age of 29.

Lavoie makes history with 300 in U.S. Open finals; three locals hit 800 series

By Mike Pettinella

IF YOU TUNED IN to the CBS Sports Network to watch the live telecast of the finals of the U.S. Open at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, you saw what happens when a bowler has the best of both worlds -- ball recovery to the pocket on shots outside the optimum target line and hold in the middle of the lane on shots inside of the mark.

Canadian Francois Lavoie was the bowler, and the 23-year-old right-hander took full advantage by rolling a 300 game -- the first perfect game ever in the stepladder finals of the U.S, Open -- en route to capturing the coveted crown and $30,000 top prize.

In winning his first Professional Bowlers Association title, Lavoie, a former collegiate champion at Wichita State, defeated Shawn Maldonado of Houston, 300-211, in the semifinal match before knocking off top-seeded Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., 228-194, in the championship match.

The Quebec City resident is the second foreign-born player to win the U.S. Open, joining Mika Koivuniemi of Finland (2001).

It was evident from the outset that Lavoie (the commentators said he weighed 120 pounds) was going to be tough to beat.  Playing around the second arrow with just enough revs to ensure a high carry percentage, Lavoie struck on 17 consecutive shots -- all 12 against Maldonado for a $10,000 bonus -- and the front five against Kent, who had dominated the tournament during qualifying and match play. 

Lavoie's lost his line in the seventh, eighth and ninth frames of the title match, but converted a 3-4-6-10 split in the eighth to hold off Kent.

News reports this morning about the way the lanes played backed up what viewers saw last night -- that Lavoie's Storm bowling ball (I think it was an Alpha Crux) enabled him to play farther to the right than his opponents on the 42-foot oil pattern.

“Looking at the lane graph, it was definitely tricky, but there was some shape to the right,” Lavoie said. “When a pattern as hard as this gives you some kind of shape, you need to take advantage of it, so that’s where I tried to play until something developed. There was some friction built into the pattern, so I was able to miss right a little bit and get it to hook early, and we had urethane going down the lane to the left, which gave me some hold. It really was the best of both worlds.”

Maldonado made it to the semifinals by winning the first two matches of the show -- 238-217 over Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas, and 190-188 over North Tonawanda's John Szczerbinski.  Kent earned $15,000; Maldonado $12,000; Simonsen $10,000, and Szczerbinski $8,000.


A PAIR OF LOCAL "household names" and a bowler who prefers to fly under the radar registered 800 series in Genesee Region USBC league action over the past week.

On Nov. 2 at Mount Morris Lanes, Shawn Better, a 24-year-old right-hander from Mount Morris, posted an 833 series on games of 266-267-300 in the Wednesday Night Classic League.

The next night, Curtis Foss, a 29-year-old righty from Medina, recorded 264-244-300--808 in the Firefighters League at his hometown Medina Lanes.

Last season, Foss recorded six United States Bowling Congress-certified 300 games and a pair of 800 series, while Better had three perfect games and an 800 series.

On Nov. 7, Bill Logan of Albion rolled an 814 series, his first 800, in the Sneezy's Monday Night League at his hometown Oak Orchard Bowl. His games on lanes 9-10 for the Christ Farms team were 245-279-290.

The 66-year-old right-hander said he his game has improved since picking up a second league after retiring recently from the Village of Albion highway department.

"I started bowling on Thursday nights in Albion, and it has helped," said Logan, who matched his previous high of 290 with 11 strikes after an opening frame spare. He also had 11 strikes in the second game.

He said he used a Roto-Grip Disturbed bowling ball for his big series.

"I just pulled it out of the closet a week ago and bowled a 727 with it last Thursday," he said. "It works great on wood lanes, and I hope it works in Perry (at the GRUSBC Senior Masters on Saturday)."

Logan said he doesn't pay attention to the scores that much, but bowls for the fun and camaradarie that the sport provides. He said he chose the crystal award given by the USBC for his first-ever 800 series.


MIKE SPUTORE, manager of Mancuso Bowling Center, says he and his staff are hoping for a large number of Western New York bowlers over the next two weekends who will attempt to qualify for spots on the Beat the Champ TV show.

"We're figuring we'll get a bunch of the local bowlers this weekend, and see a greater turnout (from Buffalo and Rochester) next weekend," Sputore said.

The first two of 10 qualifying squads are scheduled for 5 and 7 p.m. Friday (tomorrow) night -- with the remaining eight set for Nov. 18-20.  The entry fee is $30.

The top 24 bowlers (three games, scratch) will advance to the semifinals next Sunday, where the top nine bowlers who make the show will be determined.

Those 10 bowlers will come back to Mancuso's on Nov. 30 for the taping of three shows, which will be televised on WBBZ-TV (MeTV) over three Saturdays in December.

A fourth Beat the Champ show -- expected to be shown on Dec. 31 -- will feature the four mixed doubles teams that competed in a special tournament last weekend.  Those teams will take part in a stepladder, Baker-style event (also scheduled to be taped on Nov. 30). Baker style is where one person bowls a frame and the other person bowls the next frame, and so on.

The four teams who will be appearing on the show are Chris and Jen Bardol of Brockport (top seed), Frank Jarkiewicz and Laurie Morgante of Bergen (No. 2 seed), Rich and Jen Wagner of Batavia (No. 3 seed) and Mark and Penny Brown of Attica (No. 4 seed).

-- Mancuso's is hosting a three-person, no-tap tournament this Saturday in memory of Brian Morasco, a lifelong Batavian (and former Mancuso's employee) who passed away in August.

First place, based on 48 entries, is $750, and the entry fee is $75 per team. Ten dollars of each entry will go to Genesee Cancer Assistance, which also will benefit from several basket raffle proceeds.  To enter, call 716-474-7960 or 585-343-1319.

-- Also on Saturday, Perry Bowling Center will host the 11th annual Genesee Region USBC Senior Masters tournament, a scratch singles event for men and women at least 50 years old.  First place, based on 48 entries, is $300, and the entry fee is $30.

Qualifying squad times are scheduled for 1 and 2:30 p.m. The top 12 bowlers will advance to the finals at 4 p.m. To enter, call 585-202-6458.

-- Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen is hosting the 9th annual Triple O Mechanical Singles Handicap tournament this Sunday and plenty of openings remain on all three squads -- 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

First place, based on 48 entries, is $500, and the entry fee is $30. The event features incentives for seniors 55-and-over, 65-and-over and women. To enter, call 585-343-3736.


Three Dansville residents captured age group titles at the Gladys Ford Memorial Women's Senior event at Mount Morris Lanes last weekend.

Marion Leven won Class A (70-74) with 652 with handicap, Gail Riley placed first in Class B (65-69) with 655 and Karen Henry topped the list in Class C (60-64) with 646.

Other winners were Caroline Appleby of Warsaw in Class AA (75-and-over) with 662, Kay Ecker of Albion in Class D (55-59) with 644 and Joann Van Duser of Perry in Class E (50-54) with 637.

Forty-nine women competed in the Genesee Region USBC tournament.

In ther first GRUSBC Adult-Junior Team tournament on Oct. 29 at Legion Lanes in Le Roy, teams from Batavia and Perry placed first and second, respectively.

The Batavia squad of youth bowlers Corinne Saluste and Tara Clattenburg, and adults Eric Saluste and Michelle Clattenburg finished in first place to win a combined $448 in scholarship money and cash, while the Perry team of youth bowlers Allie Faryna and Dennis Van Duser, and adults Brett Van Duser and Matt Slocum was the runner-up, winning a combined $300. 


BATAVIA STRIKE FORCE, paced by a 638 series from James Townsend, defeated Oak Orchard II by a 17-2 score to move into first place after two weeks of the Genesee Region Youth Travel League.

The Batavia team holds a one-point edge over Perry Bowling Center, which got a 616 from Dennis Van Duser in a 15-4 win over Rose Garden II in action at Perry Bowling Center.

Other high scores for the week were Sam Miller's 618 and Emma Miller's 502 for Batavia X-Factor and Paige Snook's 482 series for Oak Orchard I.

The league bowls again this Sunday afternoon at Oak Orchard Bowl.

Congratulations to Skylar Laesser, a GR Youth Travel League member, on his 707 series last Saturday in the Turnbull Heating Junior program at Mancuso's. Skylar's big series was highlighted by a "front 10 strike" middle game of 288.

(Mike Pettinella’s Pin Points column appears every other Thursday on The Batavian, the region’s No. 1 source for online news. To advertise on this page, contact Mike at Note: The next column will be published on Friday, Nov. 25 -- the day after Thanksgiving).

Genesee Region USBC achievement awards are there for the taking

By Mike Pettinella

GENESEE REGION USBC President Tom Fluker says he can't understand why more league bowlers aren't taking advantage of the local association's generous score-based awards program.

"We should have received more award applications than we have at this point of the season," Fluker said. "For years, we've heard from bowlers that they don't get anything for their sanction fee ($18 per year). Now we're offering some nice prizes and we still can't get all of our secretaries to tap into them."

The GRUSBC's awards program starts with plaques, medallions or entries into the association's year-end grand prize drawing for those who bowl 299 and 300 games or 800 series (700 series for women), but goes well beyond that, Fluker said.

"We're offering prizes for triplicates (three games of the same score), picking the 7-10 split and Big Four (4-6-7-10 split), 35 to 59 pins over average for a game, 60 pins over average for a game, 100 pins over average for a series, 11 in a row, men's 700 series, women's games above 225, and all-spare games," Fluker said.

"And all of the awards, except pens, key chains and towels, are personalized with the bowler's name, bowling center, lane numbers, score and date of achievement."

Those rolling a triplicate, for example, will receive an engraved beer stein or wine glass, and five entries into the grand prize drawing. Other "trinket" awards, as Fluker calls them, include koozies, coasters, coffee mugs and lanyards.

Fluker said John Wood of Warsaw, a GRUSBC board member, has been assigned the task of compiling the award applications and making sure that the awards are distributed.

But the process starts with the league secretary filling out the online application -- found in the Downloads section of -- or the paper form that also has been posted on the association's website. Secretaries are asked to complete the applications within three weeks of the achievement -- not wait until the end of the season.

Wood's email address is, or he can be reached at 585-786-0214 for those who need assistance.

Furthermore, all members of the GRUSBC -- those who have paid their USBC membership fee -- will be entered into the association's grand prize drawing, which will take place at the season-ending banquet on May 13 at Batavia Downs Gaming. Additional entries are earned through the awards program (for example, a 300 game by a woman comes with 12 entries into the grand prize drawing).

The winner of the grand prize drawing (just one winner) will have a choice of one of 10 prizes, each worth $1,500. The prizes are a Tops/Wegmans gift card, Best Buy gift card, Amazon gift card, Batavia Downs Gaming weekend, dinner and a movie for a year at Tinseltown, $1,500 lottery basket, Home Depot or Lowe's gift card, bowling package (equipment and tournament entries), home cookout or golf package (set of new clubs, golf course gift card).

Youth bowlers have their own scholarship points program, with achievements given a dollar value, based not only on scores but also on years of participation. Those who stay with junior bowling for an extended period of time and achieve a certain level of success could find themselves with several hundred dollars in scholarship money when they enter college.

The GRUSBC's youth scholarships point system also can be found in the Downloads section at


OAK ORCHARD BOWL in Albion yielded three honor scores in league action over the past two weeks.

On Oct. 3, Kenny Mosele started with a 299 game en route to a sparkling 793 series in the Sneezy's Monday Night Men's League. His other games were 228 and 266.

On Oct. 10 in the same league, lefty Dan Conrad registered his first 300 game in a 189-300-211--700 effort.

And on Oct. 13, Reid Cole notched his fifth 300 game, and first at Oak Orchard, in the Thursday Men's Triples League. The perfect game was sandwiched between 211 and 269 for a 780 series.

All three bowlers are Albion residents.

At Medina Lanes, Frank Vekich of Middleport shot 299--766 in the Thursday Firefighters League on Oct. 13.

At Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen, Rob Sease of Brockport filled in last week (Oct. 18) and rolled a 290 game in the G&W Vending Triples League.


SHANNA CHEPELSKY, of East Rochester, one of the area's rising young stars, captured the Fall Classic scratch singles tournament title at Medina Lanes on Oct. 16.

The 24-year-old right-hander defeated Medina's Rich Culver, 201-175, in the championship match. In the semifinals, Chepelsky turned back Carl Kinyon, of Lockport, while Culver downed Sam Capizzi, of Rochester.

Two tournaments are scheduled for this Saturday (Oct. 29) -- the Start of the Season three-person no-tap event at Mancuso Bowling Center and the GRUSBC Adult-Junior Team event at Legion Lanes in Le Roy.

The no-tap tournament is offering a $750 first prize, based on 48 entries, with an entry fee of $75 per team. Squad times are noon, 2 and 4 p.m. To enter, call 585-343-1319.

The adult-junior team tournament consists of teams of two adults and two youth bowlers, and one in four will cash (scholarships to the kids). Squad times are 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The entry fee is $80 per team. Call 585-284-2637 to enter.

Mount Morris Lanes will be hosting the Gladys Ford Memorial Senior Women's handicap singles tournament on Nov. 5-6. Participants (age 50 and over) will roll three games, with the top bowlers receiving prize money in six different age classifications. The entry fee is $26. To enter, call 585-335-3309.


THE TRIPLE O MECHANICAL Singles Handicap Tournament is set for Sunday, Nov. 13 at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

In its ninth year, the tourney has proven to be a popular choice for bowlers of all skill levels throughout Western New York, thanks in part to the incentives it offers for women, seniors (55-and-over) and super seniors (65-and-over).

Qualifying squads (three games) are scheduled for 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., with the eliminator finals (where half of the bowlers from each pair of lanes advance) to follow.

The top three scores from the 10 a.m. squad and the top two scores from the 12:30 p.m. squad are guaranteed into the finals.

Also, the top woman, senior and super senior not making the cut will advance to the finals, as long as there are at least five entries in each of those categories and as long as a woman, senior or super senior does not make the cut by virtue of his or her score. The guaranteed spots do not affect the senior, super senior or woman incentives.

First place, based on 48 entries, is $500, and the entry fee is only $30.

To enter, call 585-861-0404 or 585-494-9900.

Triple O Mechanical champions:

2008 -- Laurie Morgante, Bergen
2009 -- Dan Robinson, Chili
2010 -- Debbie Falbo, Bergen
2011 -- Melanie Balduf, Bergen
2012 -- Kevin Gray Jr., Warsaw
2013 -- Brian Decker, Rochester
2014 -- Al D'Ambrosia, Rochester
2015 -- Rob Husted, Spencerport


SCOPANO'S LANES IN OAKFIELD, in conjunction with The Caryville Inn, is sponsoring a pulled pork BBQ on Saturday, Nov. 5, to raise funds for the Oakfield youth bowling program.

Tickets are being sold for $10 each, and proceeds will go to help purchase trophies and other prizes for bowlers in the Saturday morning league.

To purchase a ticket, call 585-948-9993 or 585-948-9780. Pickup times will be between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at The Caryville Inn, 25 Main St., Oakfield.

The kids are selling tickets, as well, and will receive a free game of bowling at Scopano's for every ticket they sell.

(Mike Pettinella’s Pin Points column appears every other Thursday on The Batavian, the region’s No. 1 source for online news. To advertise on this page, contact Mike at

Jenn Bardol makes it official with record 760 effort; Bowling community mourns passing of Bob Foss Jr.

By Mike Pettinella

JENN BARDOL OF BROCKPORT was thrilled when she found out that the 760 series she recorded last week (Oct. 4) in the G&W Vending Triples League at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen was a Genesee Region USBC association record for women. But she also was a bit confused, noting that she rolled a 762 series in the same league last season.

It seems that miscommunication and other problems during the 2015-16 bowler certification process led to Bardol's achievement falling between the cracks somewhere.

Undeterred and not making a big fuss over it, the 32-year-old right-hander put together another stellar night with games of 225-267-268 on lanes 7-8.  The 760 is one pin better than the 759 set rolled by Amanda Coniglio at Mount Morris Lanes on Feb. 23, 2015.

Bardol is the sister and teammate of Chris Bardol, who on Sept. 20 notched an 846 series, missing the GRUSBC overall record by one pin. Her other teammate on "The Handicaps" team is Greg Lund, who already has a 300 in the league this season.

"I was giving my brother and Greg a hard time because they were getting all the attention," said Bardol, a 401(k) recordkeeper for Epic Advisors Inc. in Rochester.

Bardol had a chance for a perfect game in the finale, starting with eight strikes before leaving a 5-pin. A former bowler at Erie Community College, she said she bowls in just one league and, unlike her brother, doesn't take the sport too seriously.

"I stay involved with the family (her father, Ray, also bowls in the league) and to just have fun," she said, adding that she used a 10-year old Ebonite Total NV bowling ball that she "really loves."

She also works part time as a server at Chris' restaurant in Batavia -- The North Pole on Swan Street.

"I'm his No. 1 waitress, but I don't know if he'd say that or not," she said with a laugh.


ROBERT "BOB" FOSS JR. had a lot of love and joy in his heart, especially when it came to his family and to his lifelong passion -- the sport of bowling.

Bob, one of the best bowlers the village of Medina has ever seen, passed away at the much-too-young age of 55 on Oct. 1, leaving behind a saddened bowling community and a heartbroken family. The tributes given by his son, Curtis, and daughter, Cassidy, at his funeral at the First Baptist Church in Medina last Friday beautifully displayed their devotion to their father.

"My dad was my best friend; he meant the world to me. I'm so glad he brought me into the sport he loved so passionately," said Curtis, who has made his mark as a bowler with numerous league honors and tournament victories. "He was my favorite person in the world and nothing will be the same without him."

Cassidy, after finding the strength to sing "Amazing Grace," said her dad was her hero.

Bob's brother, Dicki, eulogized that Bob fought back after suffering a stroke in recent months, had an "abundant heart" and that when he was bowling he was "in his element."

Bob's impressive bowling record includes first-place finishes in the Genesee Region USBC Masters Tournament in 2012 and the GRUSBC Memorial Scratch Eliminator Tournament in 2013, and a record-setting 1,520 scratch score that he and Curtis achieved in the GRUSBC Association Tournament Doubles event in 2013.

A former New York State youth bowling champion and "Beat the Champ" TV show participant, Bob also finished second in a Professional Bowlers Association regional tournament.

In recent years, he bowled in leagues in Albion and Oakfield.  I had the pleasure of being his teammate for a season at Scopano's Lanes, and competing with and against him in tournaments.

He knew everything that was going on in the bowling world -- nationally and locally -- and would regularly share his opinions in face-to-face conversation and on social media.  

Bob also leaves behind his mother, Catherine, and brothers and sisters, Jim (Jody) Foss, Kenny (Cheryl) Foss, Dicki (Pam) Foss, and Jenn (Brian Smith) Foss; nieces and nephews.

I would also like to acknowledge the passing of two people who were part of the Batavia bowling scene for many years:

Margret Myers -- Margret died on Sept. 30, two days short of her 101st birthday. She bowled in leagues right up to a few years ago, was an avid golfer (she had two holes-in-one -- the last one at age 89) and kept in great shape by walking up to five miles a day. As friendly as they come, Margret was part of a bowling family that included her late husband, Neal; son, Bruce, and daughter, Sharon (Leising).

Peter Arras -- A crafty left-hander, Pete died on Oct. 2 at the age of 77.  The former principal at Jackson School, Pete bowled in several leagues in Batavia (he averaged 216 in 2003-2004 in the Polish Falcons League) and helped coordinate the annual Teachers bowling tournament in New York State. He also was very involved in civic organizations, including the Lions Club and Literacy Volunteers.


FOR THE SECOND straight year, the Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour includes a stop at AMF Gates Lanes in Rochester.

Supported by large, enthusiastic crowds last year, the PWBA Rochester Open will take place from July 13-15, 2017, toward the end of the Tour's 14-event schedule.  The PWBA Tour kicks off April 27-29 iln Rohnert Park, Calif., and concludes with the 16-player, invitation-only PWBA Tour Championship from Aug. 31-Sept. 3 at a sit to be determined.

As was the case last season, the Tour's four major events are the United States Bowling Congress Queens, PWBA Players Championship, U.S. Women's Open and the PWBA Tour Championship. Thirteen of the 14 events will be televised on CBS Sports Network, including live telecasts of all four majors. 

The 2017 PWBA Tour schedule:

April 27-29: Rohnert Park, Calif., Double Decker Lanes

May 4-6: Sacramento, Calif., Steve Cook's Fireside Lanes

May 11-13: Fountain Valley, Calif., Fountain Bowl

May 17-23: Baton Rouge, La., Baton Rouge River Center (*USBC Queens)

June 1-3: Wichita, Kan., Northrock Lanes

June 8-10: Lincoln, Neb., Sun Valley Lanes

June 15-17: Canton, Mich., Super Bowl

June 22-25: Green Bay, Wis., The Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley (*PWBA Players Championship)

June 29-July 1: Orlando, Fla., Boardwalk Bowl

July 6-8: St. Petersburg, Fla., Seminole Lanes

July 13-15: Rochester, N.Y., AMF Gates Lanes

July 27-30: Houston, Bowl On Bellaire (Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles)

July 31-Aug. 6: Plano, Texas, Plano Super Bowl (*U.S. Women's Open)

Aug. 31-Sept. 3: TBD (*PWBA Tour Championship)


SEVERAL TOURNAMENTS are on the calendar for this month:

Oct. 16 -- 8th annual Fall Classic, Medina Lanes.

The scratch singles tournament is open to men and women, and offers a first-prize of $600. Squad times are 12:30 and 3 p.m. and finals will follow a Desperado (one-game, last-chance) round. The entry fee is $50.  Call 318-4474 to enter.

Oct. 16 -- Genesee Region Youth Travel League, Mancuso Bowling Center, Batavia.

The league is comprised of boys and girls who are members of Genesee Region USBC association youth bowling programs.  According to GRUSBC President Tom Fluker, the league has 13 teams this season, including four from Batavia.  Oakfield, Albion and Bergen each have two teams while Le Roy, Perry and Mount Morris have one team apiece.  The league bowls on Sunday afternoons (1 p.m. starting time).

Oct. 19 -- PBA King of Swing telecast, CBS Sports Network, 9 p.m.

Oct. 29-30 -- GRUSBC Adult-Junior Team, Legion Lanes, Le Roy.

Teams will consist of two adults and two youth bowlers, and the format calls for three games with the highest combined score with handicap placing first.  One out of every four teams entered will cash. Squad times are 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Oct. 29 and noon and 3 p.m. on Oct. 30.  Entry fee is $80 per team. Youth bowlers will win scholarships, while adult bowlers will be awarded with cash.  To enter, call Fluker at 585-284-2637. Entry forms are available at

Oct. 29 -- Start of the Season No-Tap, Mancuso Bowling Center.

First place for this three-person, handicap no-tap event is $750, based on 48 entries. Entry fee is $75 per team. Squad times are noon, 2 and 4 p.m. Call 585-343-1319 to sign up.


JOE MORTELLARO, the "grand-daddy" of bowling in the Batavia area, turned 80 recently and continues to bowl regularly as a member of the County Line Stone League on Wednesday nights at Scopano's Lanes in Oakfield. And he can still knock 'em over as he posted a 239 game last night while I was there for a visit.

BRIAN WEBER, arguably Perry's best tournament bowler, has been on the sidelines thus far this season after having a cancerous kidney removed in August.  He said he is progressing nicely, however, and has been taking a few practice rolls in preparation for a return to bowling next month.  Weber notched a big tournament victory over the summer when he placed first in the Lilac City Bonus Singles, winning $5,800.

(Mike Pettinella’s Pin Points column appears every other Thursday on The Batavian, the region’s No. 1 source for online news. To advertise on this page, contact Mike

Bardol (846), Lund (300) stay hot in Bergen; DiSalvo rolls 815 in Mount Morris

By Mike Pettinella

IT'S A CASE OF DEJA VU all over again for last season's "Dynamic Duo" at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

Chris Bardol and Greg Lund, teammates on the G&W Vending Triples League, combined for three 800 series and a couple of 300 games while both averaged over 225 in 2015-16, and they're at it again early in the 2016-17 campaign.

Bardol, a 28-year-old right-hander and owner of North Pole Restaurant in Batavia, came within a pin of tying the Genesee Region USBC three-game series record on Sept. 20 when he fired an 846 series on lanes 5-6, and Lund, a 67-year-old righty, registered his second perfect game in six months when he posted 300 on lanes 1-2 earlier this week.

The fact that he came so close to the association record of 847 (held by Lima residents Scott Culp and Craig Royce) came as a surprise, Bardol said.

"I had no idea (what the record was) or even what I bowled until I was all done and someone told me (the score)," said Bardol, who used a Hammer Black Widow Red Legend to notch 32 out of a possible 36 strikes. "I just had a feeling that they were going to fall once I got going."

Bardol started with 10 strikes in the first game before leaving the 2-4-5; sandwiched nine strikes between solid 10-pins in the second game, and finished with 10 strikes after leaving a solid 9-pin in the second frame of the third game.

He followed that up with a 751 series this week, edging Lund by eight pins for top honors that night. But it was Lund who added to his honor score total with the 300 in the second game.

Lund said he got a fortunate break in the sixth frame en route to his fifth perfect game.

"There was a pin standing and another pin rolled across the deck and knocked it down," said Lund, who was using a Storm Crux. "I  thought this might be the break I need."

He started the night with a 217 game and finished with 226 for a 743 total.

At Mount Morris Lanes, which put in synthetic lanes this year, 49-year-old left-hander Dave DiSalvo is finding the new lanes to his liking as he rolled an 815 series with games of 279, 258 and 278 in the Saturday Night Mixed League on Sept. 17.

"I used a new ball, the Radical Primo Pearl, which clears the heads nicely as the lanes hook a lot," said DiSalvo, who works for Procair medical home equipment supply. "So far, the lanes have been excellent as I shot 680, 800 and 690 in the first three weeks."

DiSalvo's games were 279-258-278 on lanes 5-6. He now has two 800 series to go along with his four perfect games.


MARCO POLO won't be one of the competitors but, citing the hilarious TV commercial, "It's not surprising" that GEICO has signed on for another year as the main sponsor of the Professional Bowlers Assocation World Series of Bowling VIII in Reno, Nev., Nov. 27-Dec. 11. This year marks the 14th straight year that GEICO has backed the PBA, with the last four as headline sponsor of the WSOB.

The World Series of Bowling packs five tournaments in a two-week span, capped off by the live telecast of the PBA World Championship at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11 on ESPN. The finals of the other events -- PBA Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon and Shark Championships -- will be shown on a tape-delayed basis at dates to be announced.

All of the action leading up to the finals of the WSOB tournaments is available to pro bowling fans via PBA's online bowling channel, Xtra Frame.

GEICO Marketing VP Ted Ward gave "props" to the PBA, noting its higher TV viewer ratings.

“We really like being a part of the PBA World Series of Bowling,” Ward told PBA publicists. “It’s such a popular sporting event and it brings out such great fans. We’re happy we can support them.”

WSOB VIII will award more than $750,000 in prize money, making it the richest event in professional bowling. Bowlers representing around 20 different countries are expected this year.


IN THE SECOND of five telecasts from the PBA Fall Swing in Allen Park, Mich., earlier this month, EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind., struck twice in the 10th frame to defeat Sweden’s Jesper Svensson, 212-199, to win the PBA Bear Open. The finals aired Wednesday night on CBS Sports Network.

Tackett, the 2013 PBA Rookie of the Year, now has three career PBA titles, with two of them coming this year.

No. 4 qualifier John Szczerbinski of North Tonawanda won his first match, 207-183 over Jon Van Hees of Charlestown, R.I., 207-183, and followed that with a 232-184 victory over Josh Blanchard of Mesa, Ariz., 232-184. He lost to Tackett in the semifinals, however, 193-183.

Tackett earned $10,000, Svennson $5,000 and Szczerbinski $4,000.

CBS Sports Network will televise three more finals from the Fall Swing -- the Badger Open on Oct. 5, the Detroit Open on Oct. 12 and the King of the Swing special event on Oct. 19. All shows air at 9 p.m. ET.


RANDY HANKS, proprietor of Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, reports that he has gained about 25 new USBC-certified league bowlers this season. This continues an upward trend for Hanks, who took over the 18-lane center about 11 years ago with about 150 league bowlers. Today, close to 400 men, women and children are enjoying the sport at the family-run establishment in the Orleans County village. When it was mentioned to him that he must be doing something right, all he said was "we're trying."

Genesee Region USBC President Tom Fluker is scrambling a bit to put this year's GR Youth Travel League together. The every-other-Sunday afternoon league will get under way at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at Mancuso Bowling Center, but as of press time, the number of teams and full schedule were undetermined.

Scopano's Lanes in Oakfield lost a couple adult leagues this season -- bowlers from the Sloat Tire Tuesday and the Sunday Morning Scratch leagues have gone elsewhere -- but it continues to field a strong Saturday morning youth program thanks to some fine work by Carrie Monachino and Jared Allen.  Monachino, parent of a youth bowler, conducted sign-ups over two weeks and is working with Allen, bowling center employee, to draw up teams for this Saturday's opening session.  Monachino reported that 60 kids have registered to participate -- 20 on the 9 a.m. squad and 40 on the 10:30 a.m. squad. And that's a few more than they had last year.

An "Early Season" handicap no-tap tournament at Medina Lanes apparently was a bit too early for most bowlers as only 10 teams participated. Nevertheless, the trio of Chris Bacon of Medina, and the husband-wife duo of Rob and Jeanette Sease of Brockport bowled well enough to pocket the guaranteed $750 top prize. Mancuso Bowling Center will host a "Start of the Season" three-person handicap no-tap event on Oct. 29 with first place, based on 48 teams, set at $750.

The tournament committee of the GRUSBC will be meeting this Sunday to finalize entry forms for the local association's tournaments this season. Fluker said bowlers can expect to see the entry forms on the GRUSBC website -- -- within the next two weeks. The association's first tournament is an Adult-Junior event on Oct. 29 at Legion Lanes in Le Roy. Fluker also announced that the association will be raising funds for its youth program through four MOTIV bowling ball giveaways starting next week at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia, Mount Morris Lanes, Medina Lanes and Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion.


THE PIN POINTS column continues its service to the bowling community thanks to the support of the businesses that advertise on this page every week.

With today's column, we welcome a new sponsor: The Hidden Door, located at 202 East Main St., Batavia. The Hidden Door is a quaint home decor and gift store specializing in unique products and, in the interest of full disclosure, is owned by my daughter, Leanna DiRisio. 

We're always looking for more sponsors, and The Batavian is offering a special rate for the Pin Points page.

 (Mike Pettinella’s Pin Points column appears every other Thursday on The Batavian, the region’s No. 1 source for online news. To advertise on this page, contact Mike at

Bowling and kids: The perfect combination for fun, personal satisfaction

By Mike Pettinella

AS I WAS DOING some grocery shopping the other day, I ran into a fellow bowler and he commented about the decline in of the number of bowlers in his league at Scopano’s Lanes.

“We have dropped from 12 teams to 10,” he said. “It doesn’t look as though your (Pin Points) article is bringing young people into the sport.”

While his point is well taken, it will take more than a twice-a-month column that touts that achievements of local bowlers and informs the public of coming tournaments and events to get the kids off their couches, away from their technology and into bowling centers on a weekly basis. It will take a concerted effort by all of those involved in bowling throughout the four counties of the Genesee Region USBC – Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming.

It has to start with parents, especially current league bowlers, introducing their children to the game at a young age, and it must continue with dedicated coaches, center proprietors and managers working together to keep the kids’ interest through elementary and high school, and, possibly, into college (where an abundance of scholarship money is available).

I listen to so many excuses as to why kids aren’t bowling – “they’re into other sports; parents are too busy; it’s too expensive,” etc., etc., -- but I’m not buying them.

Sure, a lot of kids play other sports, but a lot of kids aren’t doing anything outside of school. Those who aren’t cut out for the physicality or athleticism of football or soccer may be the ones who will exhibit the hand-eye coordination and fundamental skills to flourish in bowling.

Bowling is not expensive when compared to other sports. Registration fees and commitments to play soccer or hockey, for example, can range into the hundreds of dollars. To become a certified USBC youth bowler, the registration fee may be around $20, and the weekly cost probably is between $3 and $10.

With that being said, I am happy to report that good things are happening around the Genesee Region when it comes to youth bowling.

In Oakfield, Carrie Monachino, who has a bowling daughter, has stepped up to the plate to help keep the kids’ program going at Scopano’s, where sign-ups are scheduled for tonight (6 to 8 p.m.), Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon. Similar registrations are taking place or already have happened at the GRUSBC’s other centers (see the list on this page).

Bennington Lanes owner Billie Jo Frost is making plans to get a youth bowling program off the ground, while Kevin Sass at Letchworth Pines in Portageville is developing a “Book & Bowl” program to introduce to Letchworth, Keshequa and Fillmore central schools, with the hope of starting a weekly junior league after the first of the year.

“Something like this helps to promote reading as well as participation in a healthy sport,” Sass said. “We think it’s a great combination.”

Circling back to the opening sentence of this column, now is a great time to spread the word that bowling is an activity that builds a young person’s self-esteem and sense of accomplishment, while promoting teamwork and sportsmanship.

"Pin Points" is just a part of the effort needed to attract boys and girls to a sport that, hopefully, they will like, stay with and eventually find their places in the adult leagues that are crying out for more bowlers. 


BEAT THE CHAMP has made a successful comeback to the Buffalo bowling scene, and now the weekly TV show that is part of the WBBZ-TV (MeTV) lineup is making its way to Batavia.

Mancuso Bowling Center has scheduled eight qualifying squads on Nov. 11, 18-20 to determine the 10 bowlers who will appear on three shows, and prior to that will run a mixed doubles handicap event (Nov. 5-6) with the top four teams qualifying for a fourth show.

MBC Manager Mike Sputore said that taping for the TV shows will take place on Nov. 30, starting at 8 a.m. The shows will be televised on Sundays at 4 p.m. (and repeated at 11 p.m.) during the month of December.

“We’re excited about it. This is a big thing for Batavia,” Sputore said.

Qualifying events at other bowling centers that paid the $6,000 needed to become a Beat The Champ host have attracted up to 170 competitors. Sputore said he expects a big turnout in Batavia, which is a short drive for both Buffalo and Rochester area bowlers. The qualifiers consist of three games, with no handicap. The entry fee is $30.

Beat The Champ is produced by the WNY Bowling Proprietors Association. For more information or to sign up, contact Sputore at 585-343-1319.


IT'S EARLY in the bowling season and Medina Lanes is hosting the appropriately named sixth annual Early Season Handicap No-Tap Tournament this Saturday and Sunday.

Teams of three (men, women or mixed) will compete on Saturday with squads at 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m., and on Sunday with squads at 1 and 3 p.m. First place, based on entries, is $750 and the entry fee is $75 per team.

On Oct. 16, scratch bowlers will get their turn on Medina’s synthetic lanes when the Fall Classic singles tournament unfolds. Qualifying times are 12:30 and 3 p.m. with a “Desperado” (last chance) squad and the match play finals to follow.

First place is expected to be $600 and the entry fee is $50.


THE SECOND ANNUAL PAWS Triples No-Tap Tournament to benefit Albion’s People for Animal Welfare Society shelter is scheduled for Oct. 1 at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion.

Squad times are 1, 3, 6 and 8 p.m., and the entry fee is $60 per team. Handicap will be based on 80 percent of the difference in the bowler's average and 220. Women with no average will use 140; men with no average will use 180. One out of every six teams will cash.

A portion of the entry fee, along with money raised through a Chinese auction and prize drawings, will go to the animal shelter.

To register, call 585-590-0804 or 585-589-6900.


USA BOWLING Silver Level Coach Tom Fluker of Batavia will be leading a free youth coaching seminar to those interested in being able to teach the fundamentals of bowling to youth bowlers.

The seminar is set for noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1 at Mancuso Bowling Center. You can register for the course by calling Fluker at 585-284-2637 or by sending an email to


TONAWANDA Bowling Center574 Young St., Tonawanda, is hosting the TBC Classic scratch singles tournament this Sunday (Sept. 18), with three-game qualifying squads at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The top 16, based on 100 entries, will advance to the head-to-head finals, with the eventual champion earning $1,000.

Entry fee is $57. For more information, call 716-694-4120.

Transit Lanes on Transit Road in Williamsville is the site of the Jack N Jill Mixed Doubles Tournament on Sept. 24-25, a high-stakes event featuring a $4,000 top prize (based on 40 entries). The entry fee is $400 per team.

To enter, send an email to

UPDATE, 8:30 A.M., 9/15/16 -- The first honor scores in the GRUSBC were reported to Pin Points in an email from Jackie Jurinich of Medina, secretary of the Wednesday Community League at Medina Lanes. In last night's action, Scott Allis of Medina rolled an 811 series -- adding to his long list of honor scores -- while Jeff Baes of Gasport registered a 300 game, upping his total of perfect games to at least six.

 (Mike Pettinella’s Pin Points column appears every other Thursday on The Batavian, the region’s No. 1 source for online news. To advertise on this page, contact Mike at or at 585-343-3736).

Mount Morris Lanes upgrades to synthetics

By Mike Pettinella

AN AGREEMENT that has elevated my Pin Points column to a new home on The Batavian online news website is a victory for the great sport of bowling and its fans.

Until a few weeks ago, I had every intention of writing the column for publication in Batavia’s daily newspaper. But when I called to make sure we were all set for another year, I was informed that the editor had decided to “go in a different direction” – thus ending a longstanding relationship.

Being someone who has been able to regroup on the fly, I quickly contacted Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian, and pitched the idea of running the column on his website.

Fortunately, Howard realized the value (both journalistically and financially) of such a column, and he set the wheels in motion to make it happen. With the help of Lisa Ace, his creative graphic artist, and promotional support from WBTA Radio, and online news sites in Orleans, Livingston and Wyoming counties, here we are – the first of 18 columns over the next 36 weeks.

A new column is scheduled to appear every other Thursday through the month of April, and we also intend to sprinkle in bowling news on the website between column publication dates.

This week I am sharing some exciting news at Mount Morris Lanes, “words of wisdom” from the president of the Genesee Region USBC and memories of five Batavia bowlers who passed away recently.

Before that, however, I would like to acknowledge the businesses that have stepped up to keep local bowling in the public eye.

I am pleased to announce that Turnbull Heating in Batavia, Southside Deli of Batavia, Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen, Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia, Genesee Region USBC, Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, Mount Morris Lanes, Sheelar Automotive Repair in Batavia, Perry Bowling Center, Al Vlietstra Masonry in Geneseo, Sloat Tire Shop in Batavia and Letchworth Pines in Portageville have signed on again as sponsors.

We also have a new sponsor – Begin’rs to Pros Pro Shop located in Stone Ridge Plaza in Rochester. You can view these full color ads - which also are linked to websites -- on this page. Some of them will run on The Bowling Page alongside every column, and some will run on an “every other column” basis.

Also on this page you will find a list of Genesee Region USBC bowling centers which have been “hyperlinked” to their websites or Facebook pages, if applicable.

Advertising on The Bowling Page is a cost-effective opportunity for business owners to promote their products and/or services. If you, as a business owner or manager, are interested in learning more about the special rates for this page, please contact me at


WHEN THE "GUARDIAN" no longer lives up to its name, it’s time to find a replacement. That’s the story at Mount Morris Lanes, where proprietor Bob Santini (in photo above) has made a significant investment by installing new Qubica/AMF synthetic lanes, approaches and pin decks at his eight-lane center on Erie Street in the Livingston County village.

“The Guardian that we had put over the (wood) lanes was peeling off, and it was either go to synthetic or be faced with major repairs to the Guardian,” Santini said.

Guardian is a film overlay that is designed to help make wood lanes last a little longer without resurfacing.

Santini and his brother, Dan, went with Guardian about six years ago "because during a resurfacing job we were hitting a lot of nails,” Bob said, adding that the overlay made the lanes look a lot better. With time and usage, though, the protective coating wore out.

The new lanes, installed in July, require no resurfacing, just daily conditioning (oiling and stripping).

Already, with limited open bowling in the summer, Santini said bowlers are “striking like crazy” and he is confident that scores will go up this season.


TOM FLUKER of Batavia is president of the Genesee Region USBC, the local association that services nearly 2,000 bowlers at 11 centers in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

Last month, he conducted meetings with league secretaries at Mount Morris Lanes and at Mancuso Bowling Center, updating them on several fronts, with a major emphasis on the quality awards program the association offers to its members.

I was also on hand at the meetings, wearing a new hat as the GRUSBC association manager.

Fluker pointed out that more than a few men, women and children who participated in USBC-certified leagues last season were not in the GRUSBC database, meaning that either that they paid their sanction fee and it wasn’t recorded or that the secretary failed to collect the sanction fee and submit it to the local association office.

Regardless of the reason, he said there will be a concerted effort this season to make sure that all bowlers in USBC-certified leagues -- whether they are regulars or substitutes -- pay their USBC dues.

It is only fair (and a requirement) that all bowlers pay the one-time membership fee since all bowlers get to enjoy the benefits of USBC certification.

For more information about the GRUSBC, go to its website -- -- or send an email to or


THE GRUSBC'S 2016-17 tournament schedule is as follows:

Oct. 29 – Adult/Junior Team at Le Roy Legion Lanes

Nov. 5-6 – Gladys Ford Memorial Senior Women at Mount Morris Lanes

Nov. 12 – Senior Masters at Perry Bowling Center

Nov. 12 – Youth Eliminator at Oak Orchard Bowl

Dec. 3 – Bowlers to Veterans Link (BVL) at Livingston Lanes

Dec. 10 – Youth Baker Team at Scopano’s Lanes, Oakfield

Jan. 6-8 – Memorial Scratch at Medina Lanes

Jan. 13-15 – Adult/Junior at Medina Lanes

Feb. 11-12 – Masters at Mancuso Bowling Center

Feb. 18-19 – Youth Doubles at Mount Morris Lanes

March 4-5 – Youth Team at Rose Garden Bowl

March 24-26, April 1-2 – Association Doubles at Perry Bowling Center, Association Team at Letchworth Pines


THE BATAVIA COMMUNITY lost several “friends of bowling” over the past few months, wonderful people that I would like to acknowledge in this column. To their families, please accept my deepest condolences.

Brian Morasco (8/17/16) – A craftsman in the truest sense of the word, Brian was one of the best Brunswick pinsetter mechanics around. During the 1990s and early 2000s, he answered my call on numerous occasions to fix a pinsetter at Mancuso's, where I worked as the manager. And he never failed to make me laugh.

Dave Root (7/16/16) – A pleasant individual, Dave represented the average league bowler -- someone who gave his best effort while enjoying the social aspects associated with a night out at the lanes.

Nina Hall (6/21/16) – A fixture on the women’s senior bowling leagues at Mancuso’s and at local, state and national tournaments, Nina also was a Cleveland Indians fan who let me know anytime her Tribe happened to beat the Yankees.

Bob Meisner (6/20/16) – A former bowling teammate and competitor, and fellow slo-pitch softball umpire, Bob was part of the Classic League scene at Mancuso’s for many years. You always could count on Bob to unleash a playful jab or two. I recall him pinning a tongue-in-cheek “world’s greatest bowler” button on me back in the early 1980s.

Nancy Vallese (5/18/16) – An officer with the Genesee Valley Women’s Bowling Association, Nancy was instrumental in advancing women’s bowling in this area and at the state level.

Pettinella strikes out for digital frontier, moving popular bowling column to The Batavian

By Howard B. Owens


For nearly a decade, local journalist and bowling expert Mike Pettinella has produced a bi-weekly bowling column for the local print newspaper, but on Sept. 1, Pettinella’s column moves into the 21st Century, going all digital.

Pettinella has agreed to move the column, Pin Points, to the region’s most popular source for online news, The Batavian.

With the reach of The Batavian, the Wyoming County Free Press and promotional help from WBTA AM/FM and the online-only news sites in Orleans and Livingston counties, Pettinella’s Pin Points will reach a bigger audience than ever.

“We’re honored that Mike has chosen The Batavian for his column’s new home,” said Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian. “Mike has a large and loyal following of bowling enthusiasts, so combine that with the popularity of The Batavian and it’s a move that is great for bowlers in the area and the sponsors who have long supported Pin Points.”

Pettinella is a Genesee Region USBC Hall of Fame bowler and writer who has written professionally about the sport of bowling continuously since 1977, when he began employment as Sports Editor of The Batavia Daily News.

Bowling has been a major part of Pettinella’s career since 1992, when he took the managerial position at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia. After an 11-year stint there, he was hired by the Empire State USBC Association as its manager in 2010, and continues to serve as association manager of the New York State USBC, a position he has held since 2011.

Earlier this month, Pettinella accepted the position as association manager of the Genesee Region USBC, which services league and tournament bowlers in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties. He also covers local government in Genesee County and other local news for The Batavian.

His bowling columns have appeared in the Daily News and the Genesee Valley PennySaver, and he has also had articles published in several bowling publications, including Spares & Strikes and the CNY Striker. For the past nine years, his Pin Points column on The Bowling Page was a regular feature of The Batavia Daily News.

Pettinella has been involved in bowling since the late 1960s, and rolled a certified 300 game as a high school junior in 1971.

A former collegiate standout bowler, he has a high series of 816, has four Batavia Bowling Association/GRUSBC Senior Masters titles, and anchored the Turnbull Heating team to the NYS Open Championships title in 2010. Last season, he rolled two 300 games at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

Mike and his wife, Wendy, have four grown daughters and five grandchildren.

Authentically Local