Congrats to local senior bowler Rusty Bethley for bringing back the gold medal in the age 54-59 bracket of the National Senior Olympic Games recently in Houston.
Bethley was on top of his game, moving from second to first with a medal-round score of 722. Bethley put together games of 254-276-192 to beat qualifier David Zilkoski of Salisbury, N.C., who took the silver medal with a 649.
Bethley was presented his gold medal by Houston’s own Bill Lillard, one of the all-time great bowlers, who owns a PBA title and eight USBC (formerly ABC) titles.
I guess you, the bowling fans, will have to make the decision, but is the PBA trying to hype up a bit of controversy for the second time, or is there a real problem with the constant squeaking of a plastic water bottle when someone is up on the approach?
First, it was Brad Angelo admonishing Jason Belmonte in the Dick Weber playoffs when he was disturbed by Belmonte’s continued noise as he drank from a water bottle.
Now, according to Jason Thomas on PBA.com, the already-taped PBA summer series, which begins airing Saturday on ESPN, will feature some “very tight, tense TV moments.”
Well, on YouTube, the moment of controversy is shown when Sean Rash — in a fairly profane way — blasts Belmonte, who again is holding the infamous plastic water bottle.
Now, is it all hype or is there really a problem here? Angelo and Rash seem to think there’s a problem.
I do know that if you watch Belmonte bowl and pay more attention to when he is sitting down between shots and not his two-handed approach to the lanes, you will notice how much he holds, drinks and toys with the water bottle.
I really don’t think he knows he’s doing it, because he’ll sit there and take four or five drinks between shots. It’s what he does between shots and just is part of his routine, I guess.
Anyway, draw your own conclusions.
Not sure when this particular moment will air, but I can’t wait to hear what the announcers will say.
The first four half-hour shows air at 11 a.m. Saturday on ESPN, with four more shows at 3 p.m. Sunday.
The final eight shows air in four segments at 3 p.m. July 2 and at 1:30 p.m. July 3.
Speaking of hype
It started simply on a bus trip with the LSU basketball team, but it ended up with a challenge match at Circle Bowl last Thursday between LSU men’s basketball coach Trent Johnson and your humble bowling writer.
Now I really didn’t think this thing would draw the crowd it did, that my name would make a bowling center marquee for the first time in my life, and that three television cameras would record the event.
Of course, I never expected coach Johnson to have his own personally drilled bowling equipment — and there were those cases of extra pins mysteriously being tossed from the back while my shots suddenly found extra pins placed on the lane.
Scores are not important, other than I did have more pins at the end of the games. But I think those of you who are out at the Heritage Ranch fundraiser Saturday at Metro Bowl will see that coach Johnson has taken the game seriously and is going to be a tough foe for me to beat on a regular basis if we match up again.
Seriously, I can’t thank those who came out enough and all my league friends who happened to be there and got involved.
It’s great to have coach Johnson and his staff and my office friends at LSU come spend the evening in my favorite athletic world.
Mark Saale had a 775 series with a 289 game, while Mike DeLeon posted 756 with a 300 game. Lyndsey Stewart had a 697 series for the women with a 242 game.
There was lots of great youth bowling with Ryne Daigle and a 721 that included his third 300 game, while Gregory Snee had a 703.
Hall of Famer Ralph McNemar led the senior leagues with a 709 and a 256 game.
Gunnar LeBeau in the junior division rolled a 552 series, 201 pins over average, while Mike Huguet picked up the 7-10 split. Also, congrats to Mike Bourgeois, who had his first 700, a 708.
Don’t forget the next BR Singles Tournament is July 9-10 at Circle Bowl.
We’ll rejoin you in two weeks on July 5.
Until then, good luck and good bowling.