There are always a lot of memories when I head to All-Star Lanes this weekend for what will be the fourth Capital City Shootout on Saturday and Sunday.
The reason is, this is how I spent my Labor Day weekends when I was a youth bowler and there are a lot of people in Baton Rouge who spent their time on Labor Day at Circle Bowl for the then named Mid-South Championships.
The event had been going well for years under the direction of John Snee and Sue Braud by the time I started making the Labor Day journey from Shreveport. Qualifying on Saturday and in an unusual twist, many years the finals would start on Saturday in years when the final were 16 bowlers or when the finals were two-game matches.
I was fortunate to make the final match play field a couple of times and while I never was a top-half finisher, the chance to advance and compete was exciting. But that wasn’t the end of Labor Day. Around 3 or 4 p.m. on Sunday, after all the awards were presented, a convoy of cars would head to Meridian, where another junior event would be held Monday morning.
Now I guess in this age when scholarship money is what drives youth bowlers in the sport, there must be some of them thinking, “why were you driving from Shreveport to Baton Rouge to Meridian and back home for trophies and plaques.” This was an unfortunate age when that was the prize for winning. No one had thought about scholarship money that could help fund education.
Well, it was the sport of the thing. John Snee created a tournament and an atmosphere at Circle Bowl for a weekend that made it the event to be at and he was at that time one of a group of veteran proprietors who understood that youth bowling was important and treated us as good as the best adult bowlers that bowled in his center. When I was running tournaments later on, I often thought, “what would John Snee, Don Tebbe, Roy Gillespie, Mr. Duff and others do to make the tournament special?”
That’s why I’m excited for another Capital City Shootout this weekend. Phil Godley and the bunch at All-Star get it with a unique format and in this era, good scholarship money. I’ll say this: If you have time to come watch, take an hour and do so. The stars of tomorrow are bowling in youth events and I’m glad to see Labor Day weekend an important weekend for youth bowling here in Baton Rouge again.
The NOLA Scratch Sweeper Tour is in Baton Rouge for an event Oct. 11. That will be a scratch doubles event. More going forward. … Great to see Tulane will host the Southland Bowling League championships in March at All-Star Kenner. Remember the 2017 NCAA women’s bowling championship is set for Baton Rouge on the specially built River Center Lanes for the USBC Women’s Championship that is set for that year as well. … Liz Johnson won for the second time Saturday night on the PWBA Tour and this is a big week for the ladies as the U.S. Open finals on Sunday wlll be at noon on CBS Sports Network.
Honor roll notes
John Rahm led the scoring in the Baton Rouge leagues with 802 (268, 256, 278), while Jessica McLin led the women with a 708 that included a 279 game. Drake Fromenthal had a 677, while Averi Laughlin had a fine 656 in the youth leagues, as Gerald Tullier (581) and Jeanette Conner (515) led the senior scoring.
B.J. Autin had a perfect 300 game, as did Juan Coston Jr. (his first) and Duke Koontz. Emma Delatte had her first 600, a 621 and Janice Watson picked up the Big 4 split (4-6-7-10).
We’ll have the Shootout results when we join you Sept. 15. Until then, good luck and good bowling.