A new year and a lot to talk about as we are just a week away from the high school jamborees that will start us down the road to the 2015 prep bowling season.
First, let’s start with some of our area youth bowling in the Dallas Youth Open. Five bowlers qualified in the round of 16 in the U20 division — Austin Bertrand (fourth qualifier), Tyler Lewis (5), Curtis Westmoland (6), Cullen Vincellette (10) and Jacob Garretson (11).
Bertrand won one three-game match in the single elimination final round, while Garretson made it to the semifinals. Cullen Vincellette advanced to the finals with a 686 winning score in the semifinals before losing to champion Caitlyn Johnson of Beaumont, Texas.
It’s a good way to end 2014 for these bowlers and means we are entering the very important part of 2015 for youth bowlers with the Grand Prix state finals, high school season and the state youth open championships.
High school jamborees
We are eight days away from the prep bowling jamborees for the schools on Jan. 14, at the various centers beginning at 3:30 p.m.
Here are the teams that will participate and houses:
Circle Bowl — Boys: Central, Catholic, Broadmoor and Baton Rouge High; Girls: Central, Holden, St. Joseph’s Academy.
Premier Lanes — Boys: Scotlandville, East Ascension, Denham Springs and Dutchtown. Girls: St. Scholastics, East Ascension, Denham Springs.
Tangi Lanes (Hammond) — Boys: St. Thomas Aquinas, The Runnels School, Albany. Girls: St. Thomas Aquinas, University Lab, Albany.
All-Star Lanes Baton Rouge — Boys: Madison Prep, Woodlawn, Zachary, St. Amant, Christian Life Academy, Lee High, Tara, Redemptorist. Girls: St. Amant, Redemptorist, Lee.
Right now it is expected that 20 boys teams in four districts and 13 girls teams are expected to play in three districts on Jan. 21. A total of 15 matches are scheduled that day in the Baton Rouge regional (boys and girls matches combined).
We are off and rolling and we will be keeping an eye on prep bowling and there may be a few new wrinkles in our coverage in future weeks.
If you see Chris Barnes bowling online or on TV, there is a new logo on his shirt. Barnes and his wife, Lynda, have been signed by 900 Global as “brand ambassadors” and more importantly the company will register with the PBA so their products can again appear on the national tour telecasts. Longtime fans of Barnes may be surprised after his longstanding relationship with Columbia 300.
Also, this is big, big news that was announced last week. Bowlmor AMF, the largest operator of bowling centers in the world, has made a commitment to host and provide television sponsorship for Bowling’s U.S. Open and Women’s U.S Open in 2015. The tournaments will be conducted in AMF and Brunswick centers with more than $250,000 in funding for broadcast television production.
The 2015 Women’s U.S. Open will take place in late August/early September and will be included as part of the new Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) Tour schedule as an added event, providing 10 total events for women competitors during the tour’s schedule. The 2015 U.S. Open will take place in November following the PBA’s World Series. The timing will allow competitors, including those who travel from foreign countries, another opportunity to take part in a major event.
Finally, this Sunday at noon, its live bowling from South Pointe as the World Championship finals are contested on ESPN. The finalists are Todd Book, Mike Fagan, Wes Malott, Ronnie Russell (who shot the tour’s 24th 300 game two weeks ago) and Stuart Williams. Although the taped shows have been great, there is something special about a live major championship show and look forward to seeing who will win 2015’s first major bowling title.
Honor roll notes
Jason Webb had a great night with the best of both worlds, a perfect game of 300 and an 804 series. Sarah Broussard had a 730 with games of 267, 236 and 227. Mike Landry gets congrats for his first 300 game. Ken Buturla had 623 with a 244 game to get the top senior league honor. Jeanette Conner had a 592 to lead the senior women. The top youth score was posted by Parker Aucoin (598).
Back in two weeks Jan. 20. Until then, good luck and good bowling.