Looking back at the year 2013 with regard to bowling in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties, there were a number of highlights that deserve mention, including fine performances in league play and in national and state tournaments. Reviewing the past year on the local bowling scene:
Local association tournament results
* SMCBA CHAMPIONSHIPS: An 11th-place finish in Division B singles was all that kept Chris Elmore from a "grand slam" in the Sarasota-Manatee County USBC Bowling Association's Open Championship Tournament at AMF Bradenton. He won handicap all-events, teamed with Nancy Jarvis to win B doubles, and was a member of the top team in Division B. For a full report, click here.
* SMCBA WOMEN'S: Rochelle Banks was the only two-event winner in the SMCBA's annual women's championships at AMF Gulf Gate. She won the all-events title and was a member of the winning team. To see the Examiner.com article, click here.
* SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS: Fred Shaffer was the only two-time champ in the 22nd annual SMCBA Senior Championships at Sarasota Lanes. He won all-events and was a member of the winning team, while also pairing with Art Chiodo for the No. 2 spot in Division A doubles. To read about it, click here.
* 700-PLUS TOURNAMENT: Top-seed Saul Insignares defeated Glenn Jessup 210-186 to win the final-five stepladder rolloff in the scratch singles portion of the annual 700-Plus Tournament at AMF Bradenton. Read about it by clicking here.
* SOUTHWEST FLORIDA: Bowlers from Port Charlotte prevailed in four events in the Southwest Florida Bowling Association's open championships at Bowland Port Charlotte. For details, click here.
In other local tournaments ...
- BEST THREE-OF-FOUR: Robert Fletcher and Preston Willis won the respective divisions of the fourth annual Andy Rapone Memorial Best-3-of-4 Singles Tournament at Sarasota Lanes. For complete information, click here.
- VALENTINE MIXED DOUBLES: Ed VerVane and Ana Thristino captured the top prize of $250 in the Bill Wenzel Valentine Doubles at AMF Bradenton. VerVane rolled a 667 scratch (748 handicap) while Thristino posted 422 scratch (705 handicap). Check out the story by clicking here.
- BOBBY COMBS CENTURY DOUBLES: To read reports on one of the area's most popular tournaments, click on the month of the event. March ... May ... September ... December
Area bowlers shine in national and state tournaments
- FSBA STATE: Nick Wagner of Bradenton was the highest-finishing player among entrants from the Sarasota-Manatee association, claiming the No. 5 spot in handicap singles and a tie for eighth in scratch singles. For a complete tourney report, click here.
- FLORIDA STATE SENIOR: Bruce Combs and Ron Elliott, both of Sarasota, and Joe Poirier of Port Charlotte were the only area bowlers to capture Top 10 positions in the 44th annual Florida State Senior Handicap Championship Tournament in Ocala. To read about it, click here.
- FLORIDA WOMEN'S STATE: Ashley Barnes of Bradenton had the top finish among members of the Sarasota-Manatee County USBC Bowling Association, winding up in the runner-up spot in handicap singles. A pair of area bowlers finished in the top 10 in scratch singles. Beth Owen-Cipielewski of Sarasota wound up third with 647, while Dolores Meyers of Venice was tenth with 600. For a full report, click here.
- USBC NATIONAL: Carlos Lozada, John Favara and Jim Ord were the only three area bowlers who managed to surpass their league averages while taking part in the USBC Open Championships in Reno. For details, click here.
- PAUL GUSTKE: The longtime Sarasota bowler should know quite a bit about the USBC because he's been a member for more than six decades, and he has participated in 55 ABC/USBC national tournaments. The 81-year-old righthander has many good things to say about the USBC tournament, but he has many concerns about the direction that the national governing body has taken the game. For a full article about Gustke, click here.
- USBC WOMEN'S OPEN: Two teams and three individuals from the Sarasota-Manatee-Charlotte County area were among the cashers in the 94th annual USBC Women's Open Championships in Reno. A team sponsored by Galaxy Pools of Sarasota was the top-finishing area contingent with a 107th-place score of 2,250 in the Sapphire Division. For a full tourney report, click here.
- ST. PETE WOMEN'S CLASSIC: Although entrants representing the Sarasota-Manatee County area didn't capture any titles or runner-up finishes in the 60th annual St. Petersburg Women's Classic tournament, they claimed third place in each of the four events. Ashley Cote and Peggy Parker of Bradenton had a pair of third-place finishes (doubles and team), and Alison Shedrow and Barb Ripley finished third, respectively, in all-events and singles. For details, click here.
- FLORIDA SENIOR GAMES: Three area bowlers -- Tom Humphreys of Sarasota, and Harry Witt and Ona Wood, both of Rotonda West -- captured two gold medals apiece in the Florida International Senior Games and State Championships inFort Myers over the weekend (Dec. 7-8). To read about it, click here.
- BEVERLY J. WRIGHT: John and Peggy Cismesia of Parrish were among the champions crowned in the seventh annual Beverly J. Wright Memorial Tournament in Winter Haven in July.The Cismesias topped a 37-team field to prevail in the Senior Mixed Doubles category. For the story, click here.
- U.S. OPEN PRO-AM: Sixteen-year-old Ralph Gross IV of North Port won the Senior Boys (ages 15-19) division of the U.S. Open Pro-Am competition in Columbus, Ohio. With the event contested on a 3-6-9 format, Gross posted scratch scores of 193, 232 and 234 for a 659 total. Check it out by clicking here.
- PROVE IT CHALLENGE: A monthly scratch singles tournament at Sarasota Lanes drew some of the area's top players, and to view a report on any of the events, click on the month. April ... May ... June ... July ... August ... September ... October ... November
Some top accomplishments in area league play
- Mike Aleshire of North Port made headlines throughout the year, and his many feats included three 800-plus series in a three-month span in one league and three perfect games in an eight-day span. But as his career total of 300 games neared 70 in mid-November, he made news in another manner when -- in an apparent protest of sorts -- he rolled a 12th-frame gutter ball in a failed attempt to roll a 291 game. The star bowler, who has carried averages of 241, 246 and 239 over the previous three seasons, was quoted as saying, "Since there is (now) only one 300 per lifetime, now I'm going to try and bowl every score from 290 to 300." To read an article about it, click here.
- Daniel Gassera, a 17-year-old phenom from Port Charlotte, blasted his 17th certified perfect game en route to an 844 series on Aug. 30 at Bowland Port Charlotte. For a report, click here.
- Mike Janosik opened the current fall-winter season with a perfect game to complete an 823 series at Treasure Lanes. The 21-year-old Port Charlotte righthander is seeking to improve on his fantastic numbers of the previous last season, when he carried a high average of 231 and rolled eight games of 290 or better, including three perfect games and series of 829, 805 and 800. For an article about Janosik, click here.
- Jennifer Peacock, a 42-year-old North Port righthander, pounded out games of 299, 279 and 238 for an 816 series at Treasure Lanes. For a report, click here.
Information on youth tournaments and scholarships
- SMCBA YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIPS: John Lansdowne, Nicholas Peabody and Adara Dierdorf each won three events during in the Sarasota-Manatee County USBC Bowling Association's sixth annual youth championships at Sarasota Lanes. For details, click here.
- JUNIOR-ADULT NO TAP: Ryan Stubbs, Corey Reichenbach, Mandilee Morange and Kayanne Banks won their respective youth categories in a 9-pin no-tap youth-adult tournament at AMF Bradenton on Nov. 16. For the report, click here.
- JUNIOR-ADULT BEST-3-OF-4: James Stubbs won the adult division, while Matt Lansdowne, Brandon Thorpe and Nicholas Bohlman were the youth division champions in a youth-adult best-3-of-4 tournament at Sarasota Lanes on Dec. 15. To read about it, click here.
Miscellaneous stories about area bowlers and centers
- WOMEN'S 600 CLUB TOURNAMENT: Nicole Wright won the third annual Sarasota-Manatee Women's 600 Club tournament, contested on a 7-8-9 handicap no-tap format at AMF Gulf Gate Lanes. She posted a 947 handicap score to prevail by a 10-pin margin over runner-up Cee Butler, and to read about it, click here.
- GOLDEN LADIES CLASSIC: Janet Romig of Osprey fired a final-game 257 to vault from third to first in capturing the $1,030 top prize against a top-notch field in the Super Senior Division of the prestigious Golden Ladies Classic in Las Vegas. For a full report, click here.
- SARASOTA LANES' 55TH ANNIVERSARY: After first opening on Aug. 1, 1958, Sarasota Lanes celebrated 55 years of operation. To review the center's history, click here.
THE FINAL FRAME: Area bowlers who died in 2013 (age, death month in parentheses)
- Bob Billa (88, January), longtime Venice competitor who was a former association 3rd vice president.
- Paul Burrow (71, February), veteran Bradenton player who was an association board member for five years.
- Dave Bowers (74, March), longtime bowler and team sponsor who was one of three 190-plus-average players in first season (1976-77) of Sarasota Galaxy (now AMF Gulf Gate).
- Joe Urban (83, August), a consistently high-average player who was the first to roll a perfect game at Sarasota Galaxy (now AMF Gulf Gate).
- Wayne Luckenbill (85, September), consistently a 180-plus averager at Sarasota Lanes and South Gate Lanes in a much-lower-scoring era.
- Fred McAllister (71, October), a three-times-a-week player and former association board member.
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