It goes without saying that modern-day scoring levels are far higher than those of yesteryear, and a review of the individual and team scoring records throughout the history of the Sarasota-Manatee County Bowling Association bear that out in convincing fashion.
So let's take a look at the evolution of those area scoring records over the years, and the old-time scores will obviously seem tame in comparison of the high-level scoring that followed later.
In the single-game department, young Ted Gallo was the first SMCBA bowler to roll a 299 game when he turned the trick in December 1958 at Sarasota Lanes, before becoming the first area player to roll a perfect game, at the same center the following March. And obviously, although many perfect games have been rolled in the association since then, they could only equal Gallo's score.
The evolution of individual high series
The first far-over-700 series in the area was posted by John Peebles at Rip Van Winkle Lanes in 1960, when he blasted a 740 set on games of 257, 235 and 248.
His record would stand until Lee Frye pounded out a 743 series on games of 253, 277 and 213 in the Major League at Myakka Lanes in Venice during the 1964-65 season, and young lefthander Jerry Steere upped the standard to 768 during the following season in the Rip's Major League at Rip Van Winkle.
Tom Deacy made a serious run at the 800 mark before falling short with a 790 in 1977, during competition in the Cortez Lanes Singles Classic, and Al Cerully became the first to break the 800 barrier on games of 277, 247 and 299 in the Manasota Classic League at Galaxy Lanes in Bradenton in 1979.
Ten years later -- on May 16, 1989 -- in the Action Furniture Men's League at Rip Van Winkle, Dennis Stearns set the then all-time Florida series mark with an amazing 877 when opening with 277 and following with a pair of perfect games on Lanes 19 and 20. And that remains the local association standard to this day.
Early team records were 1,141 and 3,156
When a Pabst Blue Ribbon team -- consisting of Bob Gallo, John Spoloric, Ben Kasten, Ken Abner and John May -- pounded out an 1,141 game in the Rip's Major League in 1964, it was a record that would stand for 14 years. And a 3,156 team series by Northside Bicycle Shop (Jerry Steere, Dave Erny, Bob Wilson, Matt Erny and Herb Cooley), rolled in the same league during the 1965-66 season, would hold firm as the local record for 12 seasons.
Following are each of the team record-setting SMCBA scores over subsequent seasons up to the present:
- 1,145 GAME: Serbin Printing (Lee Miller, Dan Niehaus, John Ladoie, Jack Serbin, Frank Hamel), Merchants League, Sarasota Lanes, 1978.
- 3,198 SERIES: Anderson Auto Parts (Jim Carter, Glenn Underwood, Al Cerully, Gene Cohenour, Russ Carter), Manasota Classic, Galaxy Bradenton, 1979.
- 3,361 SERIES: Sarasota Kennel Club (Bill Herald, Mike Knapek, Pete Yerem, Joe Schwartzkopf, Ed Reid), Schlitz Classic, Galaxy Sarasota, 1980.
- 1,206 GAME: Gene's Pro & Trophy (Mike Koerner, Gene Ennis, Dick Brown, Joe Urban, Joe Desimone), Palmetto Federal Scratch, Rip Van Winkle, 1980.
- 1,213 GAME and 3,384 SERIES: Dave's Pro & Trophy (Jeff Busiere, Ronnie Hayes, Bob Ware, Jerry Hudson, Rusty Carter), Conley Buick Scratch, Rip Van Winkle, 1989.
- 1,244 GAME and 3,387 SERIES: Rip Van Winkle (Claude Dytyniak, Dan Mullenax, Tony Busciglio, Dennis Stearns, Joe Schwartzkopf), Action Furniture League, Rip Van Winkle, 1990.
- 1,257 GAME and 3,508 SERIES: McCurdy's Comedy Club (Kent Wagner, Brad Taylor, Tony Busciglio, Steve Kuzniczci, Rick Pittman), 43rd SMCBA tournament, Super Bowl Lanes, 1991.
- 1,298 GAME: Persinger Insurance (Brad Taylor, Leroy Wagler, Ken Slack, Ronnie Hayes, Dick Hannabass), Combs Auto Sales, Rip Van Winkle, 1993.
- 3,585 SERIES: Wagner Bowling Supply (Kent Wagner, Rick Pittman, Ken Slack, Mike Gronow, Jeff Busiere), Keith's Auto Service, Galaxy Lanes East, 1992.
- 3,601 SERIES: Mather Furniture (Kent Wagner, Rick Pittman, Ken Slack, Jeff Busiere, Tony Zanzarella), Monday Night Men's Classic, Galaxy Lanes East, 1994.
- 1,310 GAME: Elite Towing (Todd Kirchman, Mike Gronow, Ken Atchley, Lynn Albert, Ronnie Hayes), Aqua Service Invitational, Sarasota Lanes, 1997.
- 3,601 SERIES: Jackson & Associates (John Thompson, Kevin Logan, Ron Elliott, Jerry Tucciarone Jr., Dave Karr), Charlie's Family Restaurant, Sarasota Lanes, 2008.
- 1,367 GAME and 3,636 SERIES: Jackson & Associates (John Thompson, Jerry Tucciarone Jr., Ron Elliott, Mike Elliott, Dave Karr), Jackson & Associates, Sarasota Lanes, 2009.
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