RENO, Nevada — Noting from a hotel room overlooking the National Bowling Stadium while wondering what the USBC Championships will look like in Baton Rouge in 2025.
I think it’s a fair question to ask these days as I join a group of 30 bowlers from the local association in town to bowl in the annual championships which seem to be in Reno more years than the number of single pin spares I made Sunday in the team competition.
With the women’s championships coming to Baton Rouge in three years and the open championships still more than a decade out, if you are a bean counter you have to hope the “win-win” deal for Baton Rouge and the city and Visit BR and USBC worked to put together to get those tournaments at the River Center is spot on.
This year’s open event here at the NBS has just over 9,000, five-member teams. That is still a lot of people, but consider the events in Baton Rouge drew 13,222 teams in 2005 and 11,794 in 2012, one has to wonder where this drain of teams stops. This is the fourth tournament in five years in Reno and in 2010 the entry count was 14,189 and last year 10,253.
It’s only my second trip to Reno for the event so the newness is still exciting and the chance to get lucky on the lanes is still intriguing to me. I hope that those in leadership power in Baton Rouge in 2025 will still find the event exciting and if you gave me 10,000 teams for the 2025 event right now, I would say to you, we’ll take that and welcome them whole heartedly.
There is a lot of anticipation when a bowler is in the squad room and Sunday for my third time at nationals was no exception. I probably again left my bowling in the squad room as I get so excited for the event beginning that I never am as great (not even close to great) as I hoped. But I was proud to see some of our bowlers honored for their participation.
For our squad leader Ricky Achord, it was his 34th event, while Lyman Moon was on hand for his 33rd. Greg Snee was tossing the bowling ball for the 30th time, while my teammates Mike Schroeder (29th) and Dickie Johnson (27th) also were saluted. Allen Allemond and Kirk Capello have been to 25 events and Michael Williston is just a youngster in for the 20th time.
Scores BR never saw
The scores in the regular division are amazing as April gets ready to turn to May with a lot of great bowlers still to come through this place. It got a little tiring in 2012 to write or discuss that it was the lowest scoring tournament since the 2005 event, oh yea, also in Baton Rouge.
I’m lucky, I guess, my average is low enough to be in the classified division, but I have to just imagine what it would be like to shoot 1,465 that is now leading doubles or the 2,273 All-Events of Anthony LaCaze.
I also admit one great thing about this event is renewing friendships established in 2005 and/or 2012 and seeing those faces and voices in their usual spots. Matt Cannizzaro in media relations is something special and with Aaron Smith are always a great help when I have a question and Matt also listens to my annual revelations that my spare game is in bad shape.
When you read this Tuesday with your coffee, we will have finished doubles and singles a few hours before. Here’s hoping that like the last two years, I will find that oil pattern a little more to my liking. But it’s a trip I look forward to making again next year, but not to Reno, but to El Paso for the 2015 event.
Honor roll notes
A couple of 800 series are on the docket this Tuesday as Robbie Blackwell threw a perfect game in an 832 set, while Paul Brown posted 288 in an 810 set. The women’s top set was the 690 by Bernadine Thompson. Cullen Vincelette had a 717 to lead youth leagues, while Mike Bass had 682 in the senior leagues.
Perfect 300 games were registered for Brian Yoches, Troy Cedotal and Travis Connell with Andry Shepherd getting a 299 and Terry Deslatte a 290. Ronnie LeBlanc was 105 pins over average in a 264. Kyle Hogan topped 500 for a first time with 568, while Chrystal Menesses bowled her first 400 series (401). Jackie Conard rolled a triplicate 149 and Elaine Ramagost picked up the 4-7-10 split.
Back with a few more Reno thoughts when we get back for our next column on May 13. Until then, good luck and good bowling.