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May 9, 2019 - 8:42am

Local bowlers make a mark at national, state tournaments; GRUSBC banquet is Saturday

posted by Mike Pettinella in Bowling, sports.

Genesee Region USBC bowlers have carried themselves very well recently while competing in national and state tournaments.

But before diving into the scores and standings, let’s give one more "shout-out" to Batavia native (and Corfu resident) Joe Mortellaro on his successful quest to hit the 50-year mark for participation at the USBC Open Championships.

Regular readers of The Batavian would have seen the stories (including my previous Pin Points column) and photos of “Mort” being recognized by USBC officials at this year’s tournament in Las Vegas.

Batavian Paul Spiotta, a national tournament teammate of Mortellaro’s for nearly 25 years, said he and the rest of Joe’s bowling mates and family members in attendance at the South Point Bowling Plaza were overcome with emotion during the presentation on April 26.

“Joe Mort’s ceremony was outstanding,” Spiotta said. “First off, when they announced all of the ‘celebrities’ in the squad room prior to heading to the lanes, they saved Joe for last and he received a standing ovation from the full squad of bowlers. It was so cool as he raised both arms in the air to acknowledge their applause.”

Spiotta said he was “truly touched” when Mortellaro asked Joe Trigilio (another longtime teammate who is battling brain cancer and was unable to bowl) and him to accompany Mort onto the lanes for the presentation.

“All of the other bowlers had already proceeded to their assigned lanes and then they announced Joe Mort and we all walked together to music and applause,” Spiotta said. “The tournament director gave a bio of all of Joe’s bowling achievements -- both local and at the national tournament -- and then Joe was asked to say a few words. It was very emotional for me.”

 Mortellaro was unsure whether he would be able to make it to the tournament this year due to health problems, including the fact that he needs dialysis three times per week.

But he made it and bowled eight of the nine games – three in the Team event on one day and three in Doubles and two in Singles on the next day before having to stop. While 155 was his high game, the scores weren’t important.

Joe Mortellaro is now part of bowling history that not many others can claim. Congratulations, Joe!

Spiotta said his two five-man teams from the Genesee Region didn’t set the world on fire – shooting 2,514 and 2,333, but he and Gregg Wolff made a big splash in the Standard Division Doubles competition.

The duo combined for 1,225 in Doubles, with Spiotta posting 670 and Wolff 555, and left the building in fourth place. When I last looked at the current standings on bowl.com, I saw that they were in fifth place.

The USBC uses bowlers’ averages for their last 27 games in the Open Championships to determine their division, so that put Spiotta (183 average) and Wolff (166 average) in the Standard Division. 

The group’s high series came from the left hand of Brian Green, who posted 625 in Singles with a 252 final game. 

Earlier in the tournament, Scott Culp of Honeoye Falls rolled a 299 game en route to a 715 score in Singles and his in 54th place. His 1,959 All-Events score – a sparkling 217 average – has him in 69th place.

Culp is on the short list of best bowlers in our area, having won numerous tournaments and compiling multiple 300 games and 800 series.

AREA BOWLERS AMONG LEADERS AT NYS OPEN

The 95th NYS Open Championships are taking place at Valley Bowling Center in Waverly – next weekend wraps things up – and Genesee Region bowlers are among the leaders.

In the 1001 & Over Team event, the Johnson No. 1 squad posted a 3,179 score and is in 18th place out of the 104 teams that have competed thus far. The tournament pays one out of every five entries, so the team has a chance to cash.

Mike Johnson of Batavia led the way with a 691 series on the 41-foot challenge pattern while Josh Elliott of Attica added 629. Other team members were Bryan Johnson, A.J. Allenbrandt and Josh Caryl.

In 400 & Under Doubles, Allenbrandt and Elliott recorded 1,193, which currently stands in 18th place out of 127 entries, and in 401 & Over Doubles, Elliott and Nathan Cordes are in 47th place out of 200 entries with a 1,290 score.

In 200 & Under Singles, three GRUSBC bowlers are in the top six, with Allenbrandt tied for third at 683, Bryan Johnson in fourth at 681 and Bruce Kraus of Corfu in sixth at 678.

In 201 & Over Singles, Steve O’Dell of Oakfield shot 724 and is in 17th place out of nearly 400 entrants, while Jason Quilliam of Batavia sits in 25th place at 708 and Mike Johnson is 30th with 705.

Bryan Johnson is 22nd in 200 & Under All-Events with 1,803 and his father, Mike, is in 31st place in 201 & Over All-Events with 2,034. Culp’s 2,009 score has him in 38th place.

Handicap in the 200 & Under division is based on 200 and in the 201 & Over division is based on 220.

NEARLY 100 TO ATTEND GRUSBC BANQUET SATURDAY

About 100 people, including four inductees into the Hall of Fame, tournament winners and league representatives, are expected to attend the Genesee Region USBC Annual Banquet at 6 p.m. this Saturday at Batavia Downs Gaming on Park Road.

The event features guest speaker Carl Dixon, famed Canadian rocker who played with The Guess Who, April Wine and Coney Hatch.  Dixon’s inspirational story centers on his recovery from a horrific car accident in 2008.

They are James Foss of Medina in the Achievement Regular category, Robert Hodgson of Medina and Al Vlietstra of Geneseo in the Achievement Veteran category, and Eunice Englert of Nunda in the Meritorious Service category will be inducted into the GRUSBC Hall of Fame.

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