Maybe it is because of what we’ve seen in the past 10 years regarding how much high school bowling has grown in this state and how entertaining the finals have been the last couple of years that it is proving to be one of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s fastest growing sports in both big and small schools in the state.
This all makes me wonder what the thinking is in Texas, which earlier this month turned a deaf ear to adding the sport in the state’s UIL.
According to the Dallas Morning News high school blog, the UIL’s Standing Committee on Policy rejected an existing proposal to add bowling after a superintendents’ survey. They voted 110-750 (87 percent “no”) against the sport being added.
Of course, I know it wasn’t all that easy to get bowling started in Louisiana. People like the late Jay Guidry, now the so-called bowling “commissioner” Rick Bourgeois and Jerry Stovall of the Sports Foundation (among others) had to get principals to understand that this could be a sport that would allow an athletic opportunity for many who didn’t get that chance.
While some teams had a big advantage in the beginning, now we are seeing teams pull off some pretty amazing surprises. The quality of bowling has improved and, maybe most importantly, the level of coaching in the state is so much better.
It’s my favorite time of the year as a bowling writer. I guess it’s just something Texas schools will just have to miss out on for now.
Unfortunately, all that is allowed is video coverage on the PBA website, but this year the PBA50 series (the group’s senior tour) is more compelling than ever. With stars who dominated the big tour like Pete Weber, Norm Duke, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Parker Bohn III, Amleto Monacelli and Tom Baker making finals on multiple weeks, the tournaments are becoming must-watch.
Plus, if nothing else, on the PBA website, it is live as compared to all but a few of the regular tour event.
The thing you also find is that there are other senior bowlers who are very good — just not the name bowlers you watched or remember from their days on the main tour. There are a group of those on the senior golf tour that finally got their due when the time came.
Ron Mohr has eight PBA50 titles and 11 PBA50 regional titles, is a major title holder on the senior tour and just missed beating Pete Weber a year ago in the Senior Open.
The tour resumes in mid-July and runs through August and can be seen on PBA.com.
Speaking of the tour, the CBS Sports Network series of PBA events continues tonight from Oklahoma Open with the series of stops concluding next Tuesday (July 1) with their King of Swing show.
This will be the final weekend of play at the state tournament in Shreveport-Bossier City. We’ll have some results, hopefully in time for our next column … Also, it is coming up on the BR Singles event set for July 12 and 13 at Circle Bowl. The event is sponsored by The Bowlers Pro Shop & Hammer.
Honor roll notes
Mario Johnson led the bowling scores with an 806 series (258-300-248), while the 647 (237) by senior bowler Cheryl Albarez was best for the women. Jerry Conard and Coleman Eaton rolled 300 games, while Nhat Truong had a 299. Chad Conard had 653 (236) while Averi Laughlin 644 to top youth bowlers as Vernon Landry had 690 and Loyd Hutchinson 680 for the senior league set.
enior bowler Glynn Nickens had a 279 game that was 108 pins over average, while John Smith bowled his first 200 game of 219. Seniors C. J. Broussard, Jerry Wagener and Bobby McDonald all were 50 pins over average for their sets.
We will be back with you July 8. Until then, good luck and good bowling.