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Sarasota-Manatee youth and Prove It tourneys set at AMF Gulf Gate next weekend

AMF Gulf Gate Lanes will host the SMCBA youth championships and a Prove It Challenge on Jan. 25-26.
AMF Gulf Gate Lanes will host the SMCBA youth championships and a Prove It Challenge on Jan. 25-26.

Two significant bowling tournaments will be conducted at AMF Gulf Gate Lanes next weekend (Jan. 25-26).

The seventh annual Sarasota-Manatee County USBC Bowling Association's Youth Championship Tournament will take place on Saturday and Sunday, and the ninth in the series of Prove It Scratch Challenges is scheduled Sunday afternoon, with practice beginning at 1:15 p.m.

The youth tournament will feature four-player team event squads at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday, while singles and doubles will be contested at 12:30 and 4 p.m. Sunday.

Team and doubles entries may consist of all boys, all girls or any combination of both, while singles and doubles will be separated into boys and girls divisions. Each event will be broken into five categories, based on entering average.

All-events standings will be based on scratch scores, while all other events will be handicapped on a 90 percent of 200 basis. All entries must be postmarked by midnight tonight (Jan. 19).

Prove It Challenge moves to another venue

All previous Prove It events were held at Sarasota Lanes, but the first three 2014 tourneys will be hosted by AMF Gulf Gate, with the qualifying round being expanded from four to five games.

The entry fee will be $55, and starting lane assignments will be drawn at check-in, which will take place from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Optional brackets will be available at $5 per entry, and optional high-game jackpots will cost $10.

After the qualifying round, the first cut will be 1-in-4, with all advancing bowlers guaranteed to cash. Those making the cut will enter match play, with qualifying pinfall carried over. Thirty bonus pins will be added to the net score of each match-play winner, and the field will be cut in half after each match-play round until a champion is crowned.

Complete information, rules and other pertinent data can be found on the Prove It Challenge Web site, which can be viewed by clicking here.

Souzer ends victory drought in Largo sweeper

Chuck Souzer of Sarasota, who has dozens of statewide senior scratch titles to his credit, ended a long win drought with a recent triumph in a Senior Scratch Sweeper at Liberty Lanes in Largo.

"This one is sweet. because I've struggled at Liberty Lanes and have been having trouble making the cut," Souzer said. "Cuts are normally in the 650 range, but this cut was 559, so tha lanes obviously weren't easy."

Souzer shot 770 to lead qualifying, advanced through the next two cuts en route to the finals, where he rolled a 245 to defeat Toby Yeager of Clearwater (211) and Larry Hofacker of Brandon (192).

The final frame: Dick West

Longtime avid area bowler Dick West, a lifetime Sarasota resident, died earlier this month at the age of 76.

He competed in league play for more than five decades, and although diabetes-related physical limitations took its toll on his bowling average in recent seasons, his final league game came in the JDB International Mixed League at AMF Gulf Gate on Dec. 2.

Always a great competitor, for years West was a scratch league player who consistently averaged in the upper 170s and low 180s in a much-lower-scoring era.

[You may subscribe to Bill Herald's bowling articles -- free of charge -- by clicking on "subscribe" near the top of the column, after which you will receive e-mail notification each time a new item is published.]

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