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Genesee Region USBC

May 30, 2019 - 10:33am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports, Bowling, Genesee Region USBC.

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Four people were inducted into the Genesee Region United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame earlier this month at a ceremony held at Batavia Downs.

Three recipients are in the photo above, from left, Robert Hughson, of Medina, Achievement; Al Vlietstra, of Warsaw, Veterans Achievement; and James Foss, of Medina, Achievement. Eunice Englert, of Nunda, also was enshrined for Meritorious Service to the sport of bowling.

Photo by Mike Pettinella.

May 14, 2019 - 4:40pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Genesee Region USBC, Batavia Downs Gaming.

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"Have Mercy, on the people in the street; help them find a way to get back on their feet.

"Have Mercy, on those who would be free; free to work in hope, living peacefully. Oh, have mercy, have mercy on us all; have mercy on us all."

With those words from his song, "Mercy," Canadian rocker Carl Dixon set the tone as the keynote speaker on Saturday night at the Genesee Region USBC bowling association annual banquet at Batavia Downs Gaming.

While not a standout bowler (although he did say that he used to bowl while growing up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario) – Dixon "struck" a chord with the 90 people in attendance as he shared his road to musical success and the details of a 2008 car accident in Australia, a horrific event that dramatically changed his outlook on life.

Dixon said he was born to perform in front of people, playing piano at the age of 3 and drums and guitar a few years later. He got hooked on rock and roll after buying a 45 of The Guess Who’s "Laughing" and "Undun," and eventually became the lead singer of the legendary group in the 1990s (when Burton Cummings took time off from touring).

His singing, playing and songwriting ability led to fame in Canada as a member of April Wine and Coney Hatch, and he said he was about to join The Guess Who again prior to the late night head-on collision while he was in Australia attempting to patch up problems with his wife at that time and his daughters.

Distraught over his inability to connect with his loved ones, Carl said he forgot that Australians drive on the opposite side of a two-lane country highway and his small car strayed into the other lane and into the path of a four-wheel-drive vehicle.

The force of the crash left him with multiple fractures, a brain injury, lacerated liver and the loss of his right eye.

Although he said he doesn’t remember the accident, the way he described it left no doubt of the severity of the collision.

“He (the other driver) came up at an angle and because he was so much bigger than my car, he came up over the top of the roof of my car and kept going after crushing all down on top of me,” he said. “I just had time, we figure, to get my arm in front of my teeth, which is why I still have my teeth, but the undercarriage of the car going over me, hit this side of my head and tore it all up.”

He said his right arm was pulled out of its socket and was torn into pieces. The impact crushed the side of his head, cheekbones and eye socket. He also had a C-7 fracture of his spine; both legs were badly broken and had many other internal injuries. All told, he had sustained 50 injuries in the space of just two seconds.

“There are a number of factors while I’m still able to stand here tonight and talk at all,” he said, mentioning that he, 49 at the time, was in peak physical condition (he played hockey three times a week right up to the accident) and was a non-smoker and a light drinker.

“My cardiovascular system was able to at least keep things pumping and get me through the crisis on that level,” he said. “Apparently I was still able to form sentences when people first came along, and this is the miraculous part: I’d like to say I must have had a whole squadron of angels watching over me that night.”

Within minutes, on what was a lonely stretch of road at the time of the crash, Carl said that several cars came upon the scene to offer assistance.

As he reflects upon it, Carl said he “takes heart from the many people who have said that God had more for you to do in this world; your work on Earth wasn’t done yet. That’s why you got through that night and the (ensuing) days.”

He said that during his recovery years, things still did not go well with his marriage and he longed for someone to come into his life to share his journey. In 2013, he said he met that person – his wife, Helen, an Australian, who accompanied him at the dinner.

Today, Carl continues to perform, touring with a couple different bands. He said he is booked to return to Batavia Downs on July 5 as part of its concert series and will be performing a tribute to The Guess Who next February at the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda.

He left his audience with some of the principles that he now lives by.

“Love and connection gets us through everything that life throws at us … and it’s not something that we should turn our backs on ever,” he said. “We should stick together and believe in each other. And when things get tough, we have it in us – our thoughts are the most powerful force in the universe. We can turn our best thoughts toward the problem, and not beat ourselves up.”

"Believe in positive things, turn your energy toward the belief that I’ll get through this. I’ll tell you one thing, after what I’ve been through, anything now – well, I can always say, ‘I’ve seen worse.’ ”

Photo at top -- Carl Dixon speaking at Genesee Region USBC annual banquet Saturday night. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

February 11, 2019 - 2:31pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports, Bowling, Genesee Region USBC.

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CREAM OF THE CROP: Curtis Foss of Medina, left, receives the champion's plaque from Paul Spiotta, tournament director, following his victory Sunday in the Genesee Region USBC Masters at Scopano's Lanes in Oakfield. Foss now has five Masters titles, breaking the tie with Dave Montemarano Jr. of Batavia and Tim Rohl, formerly of Le Roy, for the most ever.

Setting a new standard for bowling excellence in the Genesee Region, Medina’s Curtis Foss captured an unprecedented fifth GRUSBC Masters Tournament crown Sunday in record-setting fashion at Scopano’s Lanes in Oakfield.

Foss, a high-revving power-player whose commitment to the sport in this area is second-to-none, averaged 254 during the eight-game match play finals yesterday and compiled 722 Peterson Points – both high-water marks in the event’s 58-year history.

When asked "what does winning a fifth Masters mean to you?" Foss simply replied “everything” before expressing that he wished to dedicate the victory to his father, Robert Jr., who passed away in October 2016, and his grandmother, Mildred Green, who died the day before this past Thanksgiving.

“They meant so much to me, and the fact that my mom (Sue), grandpa (Darrell Green) and sister (Cassidy) were here, means a lot to me, too.”

The 31-year-old right-hander entered the finals as the No. 1 seed based on his 1,030 score for four games of qualifying the day before (a 257.5 average) and picked up right where he left off by rolling back-to-back 269 games on Sunday.

First he defeated second-seeded and former champion Scott Culp of Honeoye Falls, 269-223, and then he knocked off third-seeded and defending champion Kevin Gray Jr. of Warsaw, 269-213, to leave little doubt as to who would emerge victorious.

He coasted from there, posting scores of 226, 245, 245, 246, 277 and 255 – losing only to Jake Rosenbeck of Medina, 268-245 in game four.

Foss earned $320 and a champion’s ring for his efforts, adding to his collection as a result of victories in 2008, 2009, 2014 and 2015.

In league play this season, Foss -- who bowls as a regular or sub every day of the week -- has registered five 800 series and four 300 games, and already has 27 800's and 40 300's for his career.

As would be expected, Foss came into the tournament with his confidence soaring.

“It’s been going well. My body is doing what it needs to do,” Foss said, noting that he has a “stay me” philosophy.

“That means that I want to do what I’m best at -- which is to stay smooth and don’t overthink the shot,” he said. “When I’m not forcing things and when I get to the place where I feel smooth (to the line) is when I’m at my best.”

Rosenbeck, a 32-year-old righty, enjoyed a successful Masters debut, placing second with 450 Peterson Points and averaging 231 for his 12 game. He earned $240.

Gray finished in third place with 291 points ($200), followed by Scott Allis of Medina (278 points, $160), Culp (205 points, $140), Mike Johnson of Batavia (185 points, $120), former champion Tom Rohl of Le Roy (146 points, $110) and Mike Pettinella of Batavia (64 points, $100).

In Peterson Point match play, bowlers receive 30 points for a victory and more or less points for their score in relation to 200.

High scores from Saturday’s qualifying round (the top eight out of 37 entrants advanced):

Foss, 1,030; Culp, 963; Gray Jr., 942; Allis, 919; Rosenbeck, 911; Johnson of Batavia, 910; Rohl, 892, Pettinella, 887. Devon Leach of Stafford was the alternate at 874.

May 13, 2018 - 7:20am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Bowling, sports, Genesee Region USBC.

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BOWLING HALL OF FAMERS: From left, Bill Draper of Livonia, Dennis Englert of Nunda and Jan King of Dansville are the newest members of the Genesee Region USBC Hall of Fame.

The Genesee Region USBC celebrated a successful 2017-18 bowling season on Saturday night by inducting three people into its Hall of Fame and recognizing association leaders, tournament champions and scholarship recipient.

More than 100 people gathered together at Batavia Downs Gaming for the local bowling association's awards banquet, an annual event that also saw GRUSBC President Tom Fluker hand the leadership baton to fellow Batavian Gary Kuchler.

Fluker had served on the GRUSBC board for nine years, the last six as president -- and was instrumental in expanding the association's youth, awards and scholarship programs.

Kuchler will begin his term as president on Aug. 1.

Three incumbent directors were re-elected to the board -- Patricia Fuller of Medina, Steve Krna of Alexander and Sharon Willet of Dalton.

Dennis Englert of Nunda and Jan King of Dansville were inducted into the Hall of Fame in the Meritorious Service category while Bill Draper of Livonia was enshrined in the Achievement Veteran category.

Englert was a longtime bowling manager at Letchworth Pines and an avid bowler, who suffered a life-altering brain injury when pushed to the floor by an irate patron at Letchworth Pines in January 2015. At last night's dinner, he was surrounded by friends and family, including his wife, Eunice, who worked with him for many years at Letchworth Pines.

King's induction also was witnessed by several family members and friends, while Draper was accompanied by his wife, Gail, and longtime bowling buddy, Doug Johnston. 

"I'm truly humbled," Draper said. "When I was a little guy, I never thought that I would make it here. I'm very honored."

Sam Miller of Le Roy, a standout bowler in the Turnbull Heating Junior League at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia and in the Genesee Region Youth Travel League, was selected to receive the Barbara Krieley Memorial Scholarship, a $1,000 award for his scholastic and bowling accomplishments. He will be attending Rochester Institute of Technology in the fall.

Association leaders in league play this season were honored as well, including Curtis Foss of Medina, who tied a GRUSBC record by averaging 242 in a league at Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion.

Other 2017-18 adult leaders were Brian Cline of Williamsville, who set an association record with an 858 series; Jackie Jurinich of Medina, 298 game, and Caycee Landers of Brockport, 223 average and 782 series.

In youth bowling, Brody Brown of Medina, had the high game (289) and series (759) and Alex Allis of Medina had the high average (209) for the boys, while Haylee Thornley of Batavia had the high series (646) and Julia Menzie of Bergen had the high game (266) and average (176) for the girls.

The GRUSBC gave away $1,600 through its annual "grand prize drawing" of names of bowlers who earned entries into the drawing through their high scores in league play throughout the season.

Winners of $500 prizes were Janet McDonald of Corfu, Diane Hurlburt of Warsaw and Brian Green of Batavia. Four others won $25 each.

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SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT: GRUSBC President Tom Fluker congratulates Sam Miller of Le Roy as the association's scholarship recipient for 2017-18.

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ASSOCIATION LEADERS: Curtis Foss of Medina posted the GRUSBC's high league average of 242 while Haylee Thornley of Batavia led all girl youth bowlers with a 646 series.

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TRAVEL LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Members of the Rose Garden Bowl team from Bergen, which won the Genesee Region Youth Travel League this season, are, from left, Madelynn Pimm, Brooke Jarkiewicz and Devon Zinter. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

May 11, 2018 - 8:56am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Bowling, sports, Genesee Region USBC.

Dennis Englert of Nunda, Jan King of Dansville and Bill Draper of Livonia will be inducted into the Genesee Region USBC Hall of Fame at the local association's Awards Banquet on Saturday night (May 12) at Batavia Downs Gaming.

Englert was a longtime bowling manager at Letchworth Pines and an avid bowler, as was King, who has served as a league officer, association director and tournament manager for many years. Both will be enshrined in the Meritorious Service category.

Draper will go into the Hall in the Achievement Veteran category for his accomplishments in league and tournament competition as a member of the former Perry Bowling Association.

More than 100 people, including tournament champions and association average and series leaders, are expected to attend the dinner, which gets under way at 6:30 p.m.

An Army veteran, Englert began his career in bowling in the early 1990's at Letchworth Lanes (now Letchworth Pines) and learned as much about the bowling business as he could -- both in customer service and in lane/pinsetter maintenance. He later worked at Valley View Lanes in Warsaw and served as a bus driver for Keshequa Central School for 19 years.

While driving bus full time, Englert also went back to work at Letchworth Pines and, along with his wife, Eunice, became a fixture at the Portageville location, and facilitated improvements that increased league bowling and started the popular Glow Bowling at the Pines.

He bowled in several leagues at the Pines, posting a 300 game in October 2006 at the age of 64. He also served as a league secretary-treasurer, participated in numerous tournaments and served on the Genesee Region USBC board of directors.

On Jan. 15., 2015, after about 20 years at Letchworth Pines, he suffered a devastating brain injury when pushed to the floor by a much younger man, and since then has undergone two surgeries and is pretty-much confined to a wheelchair. He has been a resident of the Avon Nursing Home since June 2015, and has made great strides in speech therapy.

King, a bowler for 60 years, has been a tireless worker for the Genesee Valley Women's Bowling Association and the Genesee Region USBC. She has initiated and directed numerous tournaments, most notably the Gladys Ford Senior Women's Tournament for the past 10 years.

She has served as secretary for various leagues (formerly in Dansville and now at Mount Morris Lanes) and on numerous association committees. King has attended several New York State and national conventions, has bowled in local, state and national tournaments, and has been a member of the national and state 600 Clubs.

Currently, she is a Genesee Region USBC director, who coordinates the association's Memorial Service and chairs the policy and procedures committee. 

Draper found success for many years as a member of the Perry Bowling Association, primarily in five different leagues at Livingston Lanes in Geneseo and as a competitor in the association's Classic Travel League.

He had a high average of 216 in the 1990s and continued to average 200 or better for another 10 years.

He also has three 300 games (1999, 2004 and 2010), a 299 game, and an 811 series (2004), and is a Singles, Doubles and Team champion of the Perry Association Tournament.

Draper, at 67 years young, continues to bowl in the Wednesday Night JCI League at Livingston Lanes.

August 22, 2017 - 10:08am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports, Bowling, Genesee Region USBC.

Informational meetings for secretaries of leagues in the Genesee Region United States Bowling Congress association are scheduled for 6:30 tonight at T.F. Brown's in Batavia and 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Mount Morris Lanes.

Supply kits will be distributed at the meetings, which also will feature complementary pizza, wings and refreshments courtesy of the GRUSBC. All Genesee Region USBC league secretaries or their representatives are required to attend one of the two meetings.

"These meetings are extremely important as they set the stage for a successful 2017-18 season," said GRUSBC President Tom Fluker. "Not only will we be handing out the league supplies, but we also will be sharing pertinent information about dues structure, the certification process, our extensive awards program and our association tournaments."

Fluker noted that two meetings are scheduled in different parts of the association in an effort to accommodate secretaries of leagues throughout the GLOW region. Supply kits for all leagues will be available at both sessions.

The Genesee Region USBC has jurisdiction over all USBC-certified leagues at 11 centers -- Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia, Scopano's Lanes in Oakfield, Legion Lanes in Le Roy, Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen, Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, Medina Lanes, Bennington Lanes, Perry Bowling Center, Letchworth Pines, Mount Morris Lanes and Livingston Lanes in Geneseo.

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