There are a lot of bowling notes to look at, so let’s see what we can dig out of the reporter’s notebook.

The 71st Louisiana State USBC Championships are underway in Lake Charles with a week to go. Sumner Taylor of Baton Rouge had a 300 game at Petro Bowl, and there are several good scratch all-events scores after three weekends with Robert Autin of New Orleans up at 2,172 (241 average for nine games), followed by Derwin Pitre at 2,170. Cliff Barnes of Shreveport is third at 2,115 with Nick Contreras of New Orleans (2,110) and Baton Rouge’s John Amedee (2,101) in the top five.

Pitre is the scratch and handicap singles leader with an 800 series (299, 211, 290).

Neil Gaspard of Lafayette is the handicap all-events leader at 2,191, ahead of Lynell Matthews of Baton Rouge at 2,183. Without the benefit of handicap, Autin and Pitre’s scores go 3-4.

Michael Williston and Kirk Capello of Baton Rouge are the doubles handicap leaders at 1,447, with the Lafayette pair of David Bray and Gerald Sterling second at 1,427 and Lafayette’s Jim Van Arsdale and Cody Bourque third at 1,422. The New Orleans duo of Ricky Siegfried and Greg Walters has the scratch lead at 1,358.

The Lake Area Friends lead the team handicap division at 2,954, way ahead of the Cajuns at 2,843. The Write The Check team from Baton Rouge is the scratch team leader at 2,790 ahead of the Bowler’s Pro Shop at 2,763.

The current standings are available at and are updated every Thursday.

Speaking of tournaments, the local Tournament of Champions was bowled this past weekend, and we do know from video we have seen, John Rahm shot a 300 game. We’ll get those results in our next column.

BR Singles moving

This is certainly one of the few times the BR Singles, a summer event, will not be held in its normal July time frame.

According to an email from Circle Bowl last week, “after much discussion and careful consideration, the decision was made to cancel the July BR Tournament due to several conflicts concerning the date.”

Really, it is just a postponement. The tournament will be August 8-9 at Circle Bowl, so that is good news. That’s kind of a quiet time with people starting to get interested in bowling again as fall leagues approaching, so we will see what type of field the event gets.

The Zodiacs

Recently in Reno, Nevada, Frances Plaia of Mandeville was escorted down the aisle at the National Bowling Stadium to celebrate her 50th consecutive year of participation in the USBC Women’s Championships.

The 96-year-old was there with her now-famous Zodiacs team. She started bowling at the championships in New Orleans in 1966, but it was in 1969 that she teamed with Linda Prattini to create the “World’s Best-Dressed Bowling Team.”

The initial premise of long dresses with tear-away hems led to varying themes and 2015’s Silver and Gold outfits.

“When we started with these outfits and came in to bowl, people would look at us and wonder how we’re going to bowl in them,” Plaia told “I think we shocked them when we pulled the bottom of our long skirts off. Their eyes popped out of their heads because they didn’t know what the heck we were going to do to start bowling.”

Many of the Zodiac costumes and Plaia survived Katrina, and next year in Las Vegas will be Prattini’s 50th appearance in the tournament. I really hope we get a chance to experience the full Zodiac experience when the women’s event comes to Baton Rouge — believe it or not, in less than two years now.

Honor roll notes

Justin Bui posted 300-800 at Circle Bowl to lead the scoring with an 805 series. Chris LaCroix had 669 (236) for the ladies, while Jacob Garretson posted 268-731 to lead the youth leagues and Mike Bass had 248-732 for the senior men. Eva Newman was the best senior woman with 214-580.

Gordon Shepherd had a 300 game as part of a 697, while Toni Denova had 203 to top 200 for the first time with a 143 average. Darrin Thomas just missed perfection with 299.

We’re still finalizing plans for our New Orleans honor roll, which we hope to start soon in that edition of The Advocate. Back with you on July 7 and until then, good luck and good bowling.