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Genesee Region USBC

May 9, 2021 - 11:57am
posted by Press Release in Bowling, sports, Genesee Region USBC.

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2021 Genesee Region USBC Hall of Fame inductees, from left, Matt Balduf, Mark Brown and Brian Weber.

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Guest speaker Tommy Kress with Rich and Jennifer Wagner.

Press Release from Genesee Region USBC:

The Genesee Region USBC on Saturday night celebrated the completion of a successful 2020-21 league and tournament season by inducting Brian Weber of Perry, Matt Balduf of South Byron and Mark Brown of Attica into the Hall of Fame and honoring Batavian Rich Wagner for his remarkable 899 series.

About 80 association members and guests attended the GRUSBC annual awards banquet at Batavia Downs Gaming. Tommy Kress of Hilton, New York State USBC and Rochester NY USBC Hall of Famer, was the guest speaker.

Weber and Balduf were enshrined in the Achievement Regular category and Brown was inducted into the Meritorious Service category.

Weber thanked former Perry Bowling Center owner Bill Beachner and current owners Brett and Joann Van Duser for supporting him on the lanes, which enabled him to win numerous association tournaments and events throughout Western New York. He has recorded more than 20 perfect games and two 800 series, posting honor scores in six different GRUSBC bowling centers.

Balduf thanked his wife, Darleen, for giving him the freedom to bowl in tournaments on the weekends, and his teammates, especially Mike Johnson of Batavia, whom he paired with in 2018 to win the association doubles crown. Balduf has 10 300 games, including a perfect game in a PBA Experience League on a demanding “Sport” lane condition. He also has three 800 series, with a high of 836.

Brown thanked his parents, Jerry and Donna Davis, and his wife, Penny, for encouraging and assisting him in running tournaments at local bowling centers, most of them for charitable causes. He credited Frank Formicola of Rochester, a noted tournament promoter, for instilling in him the need to distribute entry forms to area halls in an effort to attract bowlers to his events.

WAGNER HONORED FOR 899 SERIES

Following the Hall of Fame ceremony, association officials surprised Wagner with a special “shadow box” award recognizing his 300-300-299—899 series on Feb. 11 in the Toyota of Batavia Thursday 5-Man League at Mancuso Bowling Center.

Wagner’s wife, Jennifer, shared her thoughts on the accomplishment – noting that the left-hander now has 44 perfect games, with the first one coming at the age of 15.

“We are all so proud of you and are excited to see what else you’re able to achieve,” she said. “Continue to stay humble but also stay hungry.”

Wagner, upon receiving the award from Association President Gary Kuchler, said he couldn’t feel his legs for the final six frames of that eventful night but managed to hit the 1-2 pocket each time – even on the final ball which resulted in the 6-pin standing.

“I played all sports growing up and baseball in college, but I never thought that it would be in bowling where I would be the most nervous,” he said.

Nevertheless, his 899 is the best in the nation thus far this season, which officially ends on July 31.

TWO EARN SCHOLARSHIPS

Other honorees were youth bowlers Haylee Thornley of Batavia and Jayden Neal of Albion, 12th graders who received $750 and $500 scholarships, respectively, from the GRUSBC.

Thornley will be attending Daemen College to study Physical Therapy and Neal will be attending Rochester Institute of Technology to study Robotics & Manufacturing Technology.

Kress shared stories from his illustrious amateur and professional career, which includes a dozen local tournament victories, as many Rochester NY USBC association titles and more than 30 top 24 finishes on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour.

Major accomplishments include a second place finish in the 1985 USBC Masters, highlighted by match play victories over legends Earl Anthony and Pete Weber on television, and leading the qualifying of the 1980 Quaker State Open in Grand Prairie, Texas.

KRESS: FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS

His message was that everyone should follow their dreams and don’t listen to those who say you’re not good enough.

“They said that I wasn’t good enough because I have a short backswing, but I didn’t listen to them,” he said. “I practiced and developed my game, what works for me, and I went into each match with confidence,” he said.

Kress, who is enshrined in the Frontier Field Walk of Fame, continues to excel on the lanes, despite two knee replacements. Two months ago, he rolled a 300 game in the Rochester Senior Masters – giving him perfect games in six consecutive decades.

Mike Pettinella, GRUSBC association manager, served as master of ceremonies. He thanked all of the bowling center employees for their hard work under stressful conditions created by COVID-19.

"It is important to recognize the proprietors, managers and their staffs for keeping their centers open -- having to disinfect and follow the guidelines -- so that we were able to enjoy the sport that we love," he said. 

The GRUSBC also presented plaques to its association tournament winners and season leaders.

Association Tournament

Open Team, Oak Orchard Bowl, Albion, Ben Lennox, Matt Baker, Richard Heise, Robbie Hanks; Women’s Team, Brown II, Le Roy, Judy Blaun, Donna Davis, Robin Blaun, Penny Brown.

Open Doubles, Todd Mortellaro and Scott Shields, Batavia; Women’s Doubles, Patricia Gilbertson and Jeanne Rosa, Perry.

Open Singles, Harris Busmire Jr., Bergen; Women’s Singles, Katy Bzduch, Perry.

Open All-Events, Nathan Cordes, Batavia; Women’s All-Events, Rachel Huntz, Perry.

Season Leaders

Adult

High Game, Men – 300, 32 perfect games; High Series, Men, Rich Wagner, 899; High Average, Men, Curtis Foss, Medina, 249; High Game, Women, Amy Allis, Medina, 287; High Series, Women, Diane Hurlburt, Warsaw, 738; High Average, Women, Hurlburt, 201.

Foss’ 249 average is an association record.

Youth

High Game, Boys, Gavin Baney, Albion, 278; High Series, Boys, Ryleigh Culver, Medina, 751; High Average, Boys, Culver, 195; High Game, Girls, Thornley, 257; High Series, Girls, Juliana Allis, Medina, 676; High Average, Girls, Allis, 184.

GRAND PRIZE WINNERS

Grand prize drawing winners for $500 each were Jamie Watson of Leicester, Darleen Balduf of South Byron and Samantha Bacon of Pike. Twenty-five dollars winners were John Kamakaris of Geneseo, Tiffany Jewell of Holley and Mark Brown.

In an election for president, Johnson defeated Kuchler and will begin a three-year term on Aug. 1. Directors Pat Fuller of Medina, Tom Sardou of Bergen and Sharon Willett of Mount Morris were re-elected for another three years.

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Scholarship winners Haylee Thornley and Jayden Neal with President Gary Kuchler.

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Tournament champions, front, Patricia Gilbertson and Jeanne Rosa; back, Penny Brown, Donna Davis and Robbie Hanks.

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President Gary Kuchler with Curtis Foss, who averaged a record 249 this season.

May 1, 2021 - 10:37am
posted by Press Release in Bowling, sports, Genesee Region USBC.

Press release from Genesee Region USBC:

Genesee Region USBC’s Association Banquet and Hall of Fame Dinner is scheduled for 6 p.m. next Saturday (May 8) at Batavia Downs Gaming and will by highlighted by the induction of three longtime accomplished members – Matt Balduf of South Byron and Brian Weber of Perry in the Achievement Regular category and Mark Brown of Attica in the Meritorious Service category.

Attendance is limited to 100 persons due to COVID-19 restrictions and openings are available. Cost of the buffet dinner is $30. Those wishing to attend are asked to send an email to [email protected] no later than noon Monday.

Balduf has made his mark in local tournament and league competition over the past 15 years, capturing the association tournament team title in 2019 as a member of Team Johnson and teaming with Mike Johnson to win the doubles crown in 2018 with a 1,506 score. In this year’s tournament, he placed fifth in the doubles with a 741 series – 736 scratch -- at Le Roy Legion Lanes.

The 53-year-old right-hander has 10 USBC-certified 300 games – six at Mancuso Bowling Center, three at Clarence Bowling Academy and one at Legion Lanes. The 300 game at Legion Lanes came during an 815 series, which is the best ever at the Le Roy hall.

He also had a 300 game in the PBA League at Mancuso’s in 2009, bowling on a more difficult “Sport” condition.

Balduf registered three other 800 series, with an 836 in December 2018 at Mancuso’s as his best. He has averaged better than 200 in league play every year since 2001, topped by a 223 mark in 2014-15 and 2019-20.

Other tournament titles include the Ron Riggi Memorial in Le Roy, Frank Velletta Memorial Triples in Oakfield, and Johnson-Ianni Doubles in Corfu. He rolled an 814 series in tournament play at Roseland Bowl in Canandaigua and, this year, placed second in the GRUSBC Scratch Memorial Tournament at Perry Bowling Center.

Weber, a 48-year-old righty, has compiled numerous tournament victories during a prolific amateur career. He has won 10 association tourney titles (team, doubles, singles) and the GRUSBC Scratch Eliminator (and placed second three times) and placed second in the Batavia Masters.

Additional tournament titles include the Valley View Open (Warsaw), Mancuso’s Scratch Open, Mancuso’s King & Queen, Lilac City in Rochester, Wild Irish Rose in Canandaigua, Domm’s Christmas Eve in Rochester and Riggi Memorial.

Weber also is a four-time Amateur Bowling Tour champion, and placed in the top 24 in the True Amateur Tournament in Las Vegas and in the top 10 in doubles at the Hoinke Classic in Cincinnati, Ohio.

He also has more than 20 perfect games and two 800 series – one of them on a “Sport” shot during the MR Eliminator Tournament in Rochester. All told, he has rolled honor scores in six different GRUSBC bowling centers.

Bowling predominately in leagues at Perry Bowling Center, which features a more challenging “house” shot, Weber averaged 217 in 2005-06.

Brown has established himself as the director of several tournaments each season, many of them conducted to raise money for a charitable cause and/or in memory of a deceased Genesee County bowler.

The co-owner of the former Attica Lanes with his parents, Jerry and Donna Davis, Brown’s service to bowling has touched the lives of many people. Most recently, he ran the tournament portion of a fundraiser that generated more than $8,000 to help Batavian Tanya Harmon with her medical bills as she battles cancer.

Brown, 50, created the Curt Haight Memorial Tournament at Mancuso’s several years ago and continues to run a half-dozen events each year at Mancuso’s or Legion Lanes. He also created the Ron Riggi Memorial in Le Roy, which just completed its 18th year – and has raised close to $10,000 in scholarships for youth bowlers.

A past GRUSBC director, Brown coordinates the King & Queen Mixed Doubles Tournament at Mancuso’s each year, usually filling it with bowlers from throughout Western New York. He also created and runs the Brian Morasco Memorial Tournament to benefit Genesee Cancer Assistance and the Genesee County Arthritis Foundation.

He also has codirected the NYS American Legion Tournament at Legion Lanes and, with hall manager Scott O’Neill, has submitted a bid to host it again.

While Brown, with help from his wife, Penny, has dedicated himself to running fair and enjoyable events, he also is an avid bowler, competing in several leagues over the years. Among his achievements on the lanes are 300 games at Brockport Bowl and Mancuso Bowling Center.

Next Saturday’s banquet also will honor seasonal league leaders and tournament champions and GRUSBC scholarship recipients, and will be capped by the association’s “grand prize” drawing where $1,600 will be given away.

Tommy Kress of Rochester, a New York State USBC Hall of Famer and former Professional Bowlers Association Tour member, will be the guest speaker.

March 21, 2021 - 8:57pm
posted by Press Release in sports, Bowling, Genesee Region USBC.

Press release from Genesee Region USBC:

Numerous high scores, including a 300 game and 800 series, highlighted the opening weekend of the 14th annual Genesee Region USBC Association Tournament.

The Team event is taking place at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen and Doubles & Singles are being held at Legion Lanes in Le Roy.

Veteran Batavia bowler Mike Pettinella started things with a bang on Friday night when he rolled 300 in the third game to help the Trigger Tribute foursome post a 2,876 score with handicap (2,777 scratch) in the Open Team event.

Pettinella, using a MOTIV Venom Shock ball, finished with a 729 series – one of 11 series of 700 or better in the Team event over the weekend. Teammates Kevin Gray Jr. and Kevin Gray Sr. led the way with 765 and 748, respectively. Al Vlietstra rounded out the scoring with 535.

These four bowlers, along with the late Joe Trigilio, comprised the 2010 New York State tournament championship team. Pettinella said he is dedicating the perfect game in memory of “Trigger,” who passed away on Sept. 1, 2019.

While the squad’s scratch score is the best thus far, on Sunday (today) two teams went past the team's handicap total in the standings.

Led by Robbie Hanks, who posted a 791 series, the Oak Orchard Bowl of Albion team moved into first place with a lofty 3,020 score (2,734 scratch). Hanks’ games were 265-247-279. His teammates bowled well above their averages with Ben Lennox posting 697, Matt Baker 664 and Richard Heise 582.

On Sunday’s second squad, Batavian Ron Lawrence recorded an 810 series on games of 279-278-253 to lead the Lawrence Four squad to a 2,880 total (2,673 scratch), which is good for second place. Bill Neubert added 648, Marshall Merle 631 and Steve Krna 584.

Also, in the Team event, Warsaw’s Jason Hurlburt registered 255-279-259—793 for the Hurlburt’s team, which is in sixth place at 2,799.

In Women’s Team, Perry All-Stars II is in first place with 2,333. Members are Frances Matthews, Margaret Shepard, Caroline Appleby and Dawn Bertrand.

In Doubles & Singles, Matt Balduf of South Byron rolled a 741 in Open Singles (736 scratch) and is in first place – six pins better than Bill VanAlst of Le Roy, who posted 735 (619 scratch).

Batavians Ballard Maye and Derek Leach lead in Open Doubles with 1,332 with handicap – 11 pins higher than Rich Mortellaro of Corfu and Scott Shields of Batavia.

Gray Jr. is first in Open All-Events at 2,057 (all scratch), followed by Gray Sr. at 1,993 (1,858 scratch).

The tournament concludes next weekend.

Currently, openings exist as follows:

Team event
Friday at 7 p.m., one opening;
Saturday at noon, six openings;
Saturday at 3 p.m., two openings;
Sunday at 11 a.m., eight openings;
Sunday at 2 p.m., four openings.

Doubles & Singles events
Friday at 7 p.m., three openings;
Saturday at 1 p.m., two openings;
Sunday at 2 p.m., three openings.

To reserve a spot, contact Mike Pettinella, GRUSBC association manager, at (585) 861-0404 or at [email protected].

For the current standings, go to www.bowlgr.com.

December 24, 2020 - 2:12pm
posted by Press Release in Bowling, sports, Genesee Region USBC.

sr_masters_2020_1.jpgPress release from Genesee Region USBC:

Mickey Hyde of Le Roy was a model of consistency on Sunday as he captured the Genesee Region USBC Senior Masters Bowling Tournament for the second straight year, this time at his hometown Legion Lanes.

Hyde pocketed the $250 first-place check along with a plaque and paid entry to next month’s GRUSBC Scratch Memorial Tournament with a 200-184 victory over Batavian Mike Pettinella in the title match.

The 54-year-old right-hander, manager of Tompkins Bank of Castile in Le Roy, won the 2019 event at Mount Morris Lanes.

Pettinella, a two-time GRUSBC Senior Masters champion (2007 and 2011), earned $150 for placing second.

Hyde led the three-game qualifying round with a 626 score, one of only five series of 600 or better on challenging lane conditions.

He went on to post 466 in the 12-bowler, two-game second round and then rolled a 181 game in the six-bowler, one-game semifinals to earn the No. 1 seed in the three-bowler stepladder finals based on his six-game total.

Six of the 12 bowlers advanced in the second round and three of the six remaining bowlers advanced in the semifinals.

In the title match, Hyde doubled in the eighth and ninth frame to secure the victory after a pocket split in the eighth frame hurt Pettinella’s chances.

“I thought the shot was very tough but it was really fair, and there was less oil than normal,” said Hyde, who is the secretary of the Thursday night American Legion Men’s League in Le Roy. “It was fair because you were penalized if you missed your mark.”

He said he used a Hammer Black Widow ball during the qualifying round and a Black Hammer urethane ball for the second round and finals.

“I liked my chances because I knew it wasn’t going to be a carry contest and you had to be able to pick your corner pins,” he said. “It was a nice surprise to win and thanks to Paul Spiotta for running a great tournament.”

Pettinella qualified in the 10th position with a 563 series but then posted 418 in the second round (to capture the sixth and final spot) and 224 in the semifinals – the only bowler of the six to hit the 200 mark.

In the opening match of the finals, the second-seeded Pettinella, a GRUSBC Hall of Famer, defeated No. 3 seed Brett Van Duser of Perry, 202-192, with Van Duser being victimized by a split in the 10th frame.

Van Duser won $100 for his third-place finish.

Other cashers were as follows:

John Lowe of Le Roy, Rick Pernicone of Dansville (who had the high second-round score of 499), and Al Vlietstra of Geneseo, $70 each.

Spiotta of Batavia, Matt Balduf of South Byron, Jim Pursel of Batavia, Mike Johnson of Batavia, John LaGeorge of Retsof, Paul Bacon of Lockport, $50 each.

Mike Kime of Honeoye Falls, $35 (lost to Van Duser in a one-game rolloff after tying for the 12th and final qualifying spot).

The tournament drew 34 entries.

Submitted photo -- Mike Pettinella, left, and Mickey Hyde.

ALBION DUO WINS NO-TAP EVENT

Bill Logan and Jim Passarell of Albion combined for a 1,725 score with handicap to win the first GRUSBC No-Tap Doubles Tournament on Saturday at Medina Lanes.

Logan rolled 890 and Passarell had 820 for 1,710 scratch in the event, which awards a strike for a first ball of nine or 10 pins. The victory was worth $320.

Seven other teams (out of the 33 entries) cashed as follows:

Kyle and Mike Johnson, Batavia – 1,596 -- $220;

Chase Cone, Bergen, and Josh Elliott, Attica – 1,592 -- $160;

Tom Rohl, Le Roy, and Mark Brown, Attica – 1,586 -- $130;

Samantha and Mickey Hyde, Le Roy – 1,576 -- $120;

John Wolff and Bill Neubert, Batavia – 1,571 -- $110;

Gary Kuchler, Batavia, and Frank Jarkiewicz, Byron – 1,569 -- $100;

Paul Bacon, Lockport, and Derek Leach, Batavia – 1,567 -- $90.

TWO ASSOCIATION TOURNAMENTS IN JANUARY

Three GRUSBC tournaments are on next month’s schedule:

-- Jan. 2-3, Scratch Memorial at Perry Bowling Center;

-- Jan. 9-10. Adult-Junior at Mount Morris Lanes;

-- Jan. 23-24, Youth Team at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

For more information, go to www.bowlgr.com.

August 15, 2020 - 10:16am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, notify, Genesee Region USBC, Bowling.

Bowling center proprietors have crossed one giant hurdle, finally convincing Gov. Andrew Cuomo that they can reopen their establishments safely, but now they face another significant challenge in figuring out how to run their leagues.

On Friday, the governor announced that centers will be allowed to reopen starting this Monday – good news for managers who rely on the weeks before Labor Day to determine the strength of their leagues and recruit new bowlers.

However, with the mandate to limit capacity to 50 percent and to keep every other lane closed due to social distancing, deciding where and when leagues will be able to bowl when they begin in early September likely will take on the look of musical chairs.

Normally, league opponents are set up to bowl on two adjoining lanes – lanes 1-2, for example – and to alternate lanes for each frame over the course of their three-game match.

In the first game, the team starting on lane 1 would bowl frames 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 on lane 1 and frames 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 on lane 2. The alternating pattern would continue through the next two games.

Rule Changes Allow Bowling on One Lane

Fortunately, several weeks ago the United States Bowling Congress, the governing body of the sport, temporarily waived USBC Playing Rules 106a, 106b, 320a and 320b, which state two lanes must be used for competition and bowlers must alternate lanes – bowling five frames on each lane of the pair.

The USBC also waived the requirement that both lanes must be used for a bowler to be eligible for awards and average recognition.

Those rule changes open the door for leagues to continue, but league bowling teams are going to have to be flexible and be willing to bowl on just one lane until the time comes when Albany loosens the limitations on lane usage and capacity.

“It’s tough,” said Mike Sputore, manager of the 24-lane Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia, which plans to open on Aug. 24. “We’ve come up with a couple thought processes, but there’s no perfect plan … bowlers are going to have to work with us.”

Sputore said the only fair way to get the ball rolling is to “offer all of our leagues an opportunity to have a meeting and gauge the total number of league bowlers willing to still bowl (considering the restrictions).”

“One of our thoughts is to run double shifts for all the leagues, for instance, our Tuesday league that bowls on lanes 1 through 10 would be able to have five teams bowl on that first shift – maybe go odd (team numbers) the first week and even (team numbers) on the second shift,” he said. “That’s the only fair way to allow all of the teams to participate.”

Will League Bowlers Start Earlier?

He also said the weekly starting times could be moved up, so instead of the league starting at 7 p.m., it would be willing to start around 5:30. That way the second shift would be able to begin around 7:30 or 8 p.m. – the exact times determined by the number of bowlers on each team.

Sputore also said an option could be to have all the bowlers in one league bowl on the first shift on the first and third weeks of the month, and another league scheduled for that particular night having the first shift on the second and fourth weeks of the month.

That way, all members of a 12-team league, for example, would be able to bowl at the same time, but spread out over the 24 lanes, skipping every other lane.

Mancuso’s has the most lanes of all the centers serviced by the Genesee Region USBC, with other “larger” centers being Medina Lanes (20), Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion (18) and Livingston Lanes in Geneseo (16).

Finding something that works at the smaller centers will be all the more difficult.

Eight Isn't Enough

“I’m really hoping that the guidelines change again by the time we start our leagues,” said Bob Santini, proprietor of Mount Morris Lanes, which has eight lanes and a full weekly schedule of leagues, including two with five members per team. “If we have to go every other lane, it’s going to be tough.”

Santini, like Sputore, mentioned the first and second shift notion, but bemoaned the fact that the second squad of a five-person league wouldn’t finish until around 11 p.m.

He said the other option would be to allow half of a particular league to bowl on week one of the month, and the other half of the league to bowl on week two of the month. However, that would reduce the number of sessions for each group to 16 (for a 32-week league), effectively cutting his income in half.

“There’s two options and neither one of them are very good,” he said.

Santini also wondered if the requirement out of Albany that everyone has to wear a face covering applied when the bowler is actually on the lane, making his or her delivery. He mentioned that masks aren’t required when people are sitting down at a table eating.

“We’ve had two league meetings thus far and for the most part, everybody’s good with everything, except the masks,” he said.

The other Genesee Region USBC bowling centers with certified leagues are Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen (8 lanes), Paris Lanes in Oakfield (12 lanes), Perry Bowling Center (8 lanes), Letchworth Pines in Portageville (12 lanes), and Legion Lanes in Le Roy (8 lanes).

Waiting for More Guidelines

Doug Bohannon, of Glens Falls, president of the New York State Bowling Proprietors Association, said he is waiting for further details on the guidelines, including if face coverings have to be worn at all times.

“I know in Texas you have to wear a mask even when you’re bowling, and Florida it might be that way, but all the states surrounding us, you don’t have to wear the masks when you bowl,” he said. “The state has let us open, but they really haven’t given us the full set of rules yet.”

As far as all the requirements, Bohannon said proprietors will just have to make it work.

“It’s much better than staying closed,” he said. “If everybody just keeps doing what they’re doing (in terms of health and safety protocols), I think we will see a loosening in the restrictions.”

Other guidelines for bowling centers include: social distancing required at all times; bowlers need to stay at their assigned lanes; thorough cleaning and disinfection of shared or rented equipment between each use will be required; and all food service must follow all state-issued guidance.

July 16, 2020 - 3:25pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in notify, Bowling, Genesee Region USBC, sports.

The Genesee Region United States Bowling Congress Board of Directors has voted to cancel the Annual Banquet that was scheduled for July 25 at Batavia Downs Gaming.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing mandates that go with it, the board felt that it would be best to hold off on any large gatherings at this time.

The plan is to hold the banquet, including the Hall of Fame ceremony, on May 8, 2021, at Batavia Downs Gaming.

The association’s leaders in league high average, high game and high series – for both adults and youth – will be recognized with the presenting of plaques at the 2021 ceremony.

The 2019-20 leaders are as follows:

High Game – Men, 300, held by many; Women, 279, Diane Hurlburt, Warsaw; Youth, 300, Boys, Tony Sprague, Batavia, and Kyle Johnson, Batavia; Girls, 279, Jillian Menzie, Bergen.

High Series – Men, 834, Alex Allis, Medina; Women, 815, Diane Hurlburt, Warsaw; Youth, Boys, 752, Tony Sprague, Batavia; Girls, 653, Jillian Menzie, Bergen.

High Average – Men, 246.2, Curtis Foss, Medina; Women, 211, Amanda Coniglio, Mount Morris; Youth, Boys, 199, Dennis Van Duser, Perry; Girls, 196, Jillian Menzie, Bergen.

SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

The association voted to honor four graduating senior bowlers with scholarships for the 2019-20 season. All four will receive scholarships in the amount of $600.

This year’s recipients are Jillian Menzie of Bergen (Rose Garden Bowl), Tony Sprague of Batavia (Mancuso Bowling Center), Emma Miller of Le Roy (Mancuso’s), and Dennis Van Duser of Perry (Perry Bowling Center).

GRAND PRIZE DRAWING

The board did agree, however, to conduct the association’s annual “grand prize drawing” at its next board meeting, tentatively slated for 6 p.m. Aug. 5.

Three $500 prizes and four $25 prizes will be awarded in a random drawing of “entries” accumulated by bowlers through the association’s awards program.

LEAGUE SUPPLY PICK UP

In other action, the board agreed to set Tuesday, Aug. 11 and Thursday, Aug. 13 as the league supply distribution dates for the 2020-21 season.

Secretaries of USBC leagues that bowl at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia, Le Roy Legion Lanes, Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen, Paris Lanes in Oakfield, Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion and Medina Lanes will be able to pick up their supplies after 6 p.m. on Aug. 11 at Mancuso Bowling Center.

Secretaries of USBC leagues that bowl at Mount Morris Lanes, Perry Bowling Center, Letchworth Pines in Portageville, Livingston Lanes in Geneseo and Raider Lanes in Caledonia will be able to pick up their supplies after 6 p.m. on Aug. 13 at Mount Morris Lanes.

The supply packet will include membership cards, high score applications, league sanction application and updated league information.

President Gary Kuchler, Association Manager Mike Pettinella and Director John Wood plan on being present on both dates to answer questions, and are hopeful that bowling centers will be reopened by then.

BOARD VACANCIES

Kuchler announced that board of director positions will be extended for another year since the Annual Banquet is on hold.

At its most recent meeting, the board elected Jerry Davis of Pavilion as vice president.

Four association members – Rich Culver of Medina, AJ Allenbrandt of Le Roy, and Batavians Brian Green and Mike Johnson -- have indicated their desire to fill vacancies on the board and have been recommended by the board for appointment at the August meeting.

Two other openings on the board are vacant.

GRUSBC members interested in serving on the board are asked to contact Kuchler at (585) 356-5915 or by sending an email to: [email protected]

May 31, 2020 - 1:29pm

The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt devastating blows to businesses of all types and sizes, but not many have been hit harder than the bowling industry.

The 2019-20 bowling season was cut short when the virus hit in mid-March, forcing leagues to cancel their seasons with four to eight weeks remaining.

As the crisis continued, tournaments at the national, state and local levels were cancelled – keeping bowlers on the sidelines and preventing organizations and center proprietors from generating millions of dollars in budgeted revenue.

With June a day away, bowling centers remain closed in most states. In New York, bowling has been lumped together with other forms of entertainment into Phase Four of the state’s reopening plan and it likely will be at least another month before centers are allowed to open their doors.

Proprietors, reeling from end-of-season losses, also have seen their spring and summer league programs washed away. They are uncertain about the start of the 2020-21 season in late August and early September, and wonder what league bowling will look like going forward.

“Bowling is not going to be the same for a while,” said Jack Moran, proprietor of Roseland Family Fun Center in Canandaigua, a facility that offers 34 traditional bowling lanes as well as eight VIP lanes, café, sports bar, and an arcade with laser tag and bumper cars.

Social distancing parameters – requirements that people stay at least six feet away from each other – have prompted the United States Bowling Congress to temporarily waive playing rules stating that two lanes must be used for competition and that bowlers must alternate lanes.

The USBC also waived the requirement that both lanes must be used for a bowler to be eligible for awards and average recognition.

What that means is, for league play, a team could bowl the entire game on lane one, for example, and its opposing team, could bowl its entire game on lane three.

Additionally, bowlers will be allowed to use isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) to clean their bowling balls during competition – a change from the current rule that states that no cleaners can be used during competition.

Although it is yet to be seen whether those new rules will be put into play, proprietors hoping to run summer leagues after reopening may have no alternatives.

“What are we going to do for six to eight weeks of summer leagues? We’re better off trying to run a special promotion to get people in the doors again, so that they feel safe,” said Moran, a past president of the NYS Bowling Proprietors Association. “We’re not even sure if people coming back in September are going to feel safe.”

Randy Hanks, proprietor of the 18-lane Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, said he is planning to separate customers by around 15 feet for open bowling.

“If a family’s is using a pair (of lanes) and they’re on lanes one and two, the next one used will be lane five – 15 to 20 feet away,” he said. “Plus, I’m going to have them prepay, leave the (house) balls and shoes on the ball return, and we’ll sanitize them after everybody is done.”

The NYS BPA already has drafted a long list of health- and safety-related protocols that proprietors will use to ensure a safe environment. Details can be found in the article below.

Hanks said the restaurant portion of his business has been open for take-out only, but revenue pales in comparison to normal operation.

“We lost four summer league, including our adult-junior league that would have ended the day we maybe can open up – June 26th,” Hanks said. “I don’t even want to look to see how much I lost since March 15 compared to the same time the last two years.”

Moran said his staff has been working hard to implement the protocols – markings on the floor, plexiglass shields, acquiring digital thermometers to check everyone’s temperature coming into one specified entrance, and so on.

“From what we’re being told, we will be allowed to open at 50 percent of our occupancy,” he said. “In my case, it equates to about 120 people in my center.”

He said he has talked to colleagues in other states to get a pulse on the situation.

“Talking to my friends in Ohio and Florida – they have been able to open up but it’s limited hours and every other lane for social distancing,” he said. “Right now, we’re trying to look at what the league structure will be like in September – and it’s not looking good if this thing goes six months.”

Mike Sputore, manager of Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia, said he is looking to reopen the 24-lane center in mid- to late-August with all the protocols in place.

Echoing the concerns of the whole industry, he said time will tell on how to proceed.

“There are just too many uncertainties at this time,” he said. “How do we run the leagues? Do we use just one lane? How much time will it take to bowl? Will more than one league be able to bowl at a time? I just hope people don’t give up league bowling.”

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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