The Super Bowl was Sunday, but there have been a couple of super bowling events in the past 10 days that we need to update, highlighted by an amazing final in the Jon Juneau Memorial Southern Masters, being conducted for the 15th time at Circle Bowl.
Again, an up-and-coming name to be watched — C. J. Thomas of Shreveport — rallied from some 30 pins down in the final game of the three-game match to win 612-611 for the championship over Justin Veitch of New Orleans.
Veitch, also a tremendously talented bowler, is the husband of Tulane women’s bowling coach Hayley Veitch.
Thomas beat David Moragas of Slidell 630-550, then beat local Sumner Taylor, the fourth seed, in a low-scoring match 533-520. He then defeated another local, Justin Bui, 693-667. Bui had taken out former champion Shawn Maldonado in the previous round, a week before Maldonado qualified to bowl on ESPN in a PBA national doubles event in the coming weeks.
To get to the final, Veitch beat Anthony Simonsen of Mesquite, Texas, 778-735; Tyler Jensen of Fort Worth, Texas, 716-530; and Nick Contreras of Diamondhead, Mississippi, 604-557.
Two-time champion Derwin Pitre, formerly of Baton Rouge, made another final, while local Brian Yoches also made the final 16.
Congrats again to Greg Snee and all those involved with the tournament for another successful event.
Youth Grand Prix
Meanwhile, down the road at All-Star Lanes, the annual Grand Prix Scholarship event was also going on as bowlers came from all over the state for the annual points and scholarship tournament that highlights this program each year. The state Grand Prix scholarship program, managed by the state proprietors, is one of the model programs a lot of states wish they had for their own.
There are lots of winners and divisions and the complete results can be found at layouthbowling.com.
Some of the local winners include Hannah Grather of All-Star in the U12 girls division, while Cody Schaffer of AMF All-Star Kenner won the U15 boys. The age group girls division went to Bailee Chapman of All-Star Lanes Baton Rouge. Circle’s Parker Aucoin took the U20 boys division, while Kayla Engeron of Tangi Lanes in Hammond took the U20 girls bracket.
In that U20 double-elimination run to the title, Aucoin defeated two bowlers — Chad Conard of All-Star Baton Rouge and Jacob Dupre of Creole Lanes in Houma — twice to win the title. Engeron also had to defeat a bowler twice to win the title, scoring two wins over Kiara Smith of Circle.
Again, congrats to all the bowlers and the tournament officials who put this event together.
High school update
We will get a good idea of who the top teams in this area — and maybe the state — are this Saturday at All-Star Lanes in the annual Coca-Cola Invitational as the prep bowling teams will step away from regular weekly play.
There will be 33 teams involved in the event, which will consist of best-of-five Baker games out of seven to determine the totals. The preliminary warmup round is at 11 a.m. with the finals beginning at 1:30 p.m.
I had hoped that an idea that was passed around by one of the local coaches and endorsed by me to have a coaches association poll from the Baton Rouge-New Orleans coaches would have begun today, but unfortunately there was not enough response from the coaches to make it worth moving forward with at this time. I’m disappointed, because I think this would have put prep bowling on par with many of the other prep sports in the state who have similar coaches polls, but we’ll move forward and maybe make our own opinions as to which teams are the best.
Honor roll notes
Randy Summers had the best set of the week of 791 with a 279 game at Circle Bowl, while Duke Koontz and Garth Ridge had 300 games at All-Star Lanes. Tristan Senegal had a 708 with a 265 to lead the ladies scoring, while Chad Conard was over 700 at 703 to pace the youth bowlers. Mike Bass had the best set for the senior bowlers at 682 with a 266 high game.
We are back with you in two weeks Feb. 17.
Until then, good luck and good bowling.