2016-2017 BOWLING NEWS (plus two Spring 2016 articles retained for your enjoyment)...

BA BOARD ELECTS NEW DIRECTORS, O'NEIL UP TO INVITATIONAL CHALLENGE
posted on June 12, 2017

First-year volunteers Cody Finley and Chris O'Neil were elected to the Decatur USBC BA Board of Directors, while Chris' wife Haley fended off all challengers in a three-game tournament, all part of the final BA Council of Delegates meeting, held on May 13 at Spare Time Lanes.

James Calvert and Corey Kistner were re-elected as Directors, joining Cody Finley and Chris O'Neil on the ballot for the final year of the erstwhile Men's Association, which will merge with the Decatur WBA on August 1, 2018, creating the Decatur Area USBC BA, as mandated by the United States Bowling Congress.

Art Fakes was re-elected as Vice-President, joining President Scott Bird and Association Manager Bennie Holman as Line Officers for the 2017-2018 season. Over 40 certified Decatur bowlers attended the meeting, which included complimentary food and beverages.

Topping the 16-player field in the Beat-A-Board-Member Invitational, Haley O'Neil fired games of 187, 279 and 237. Her score-with-handicap of 757 edged out Gabe Howell by 22 pins. Howell closed the 2016-17 DUSBCBA Fall Season in style, rolling a perfect 300 in his final game. Howell also had a 12-bagger on his final night (April 28) in the Strikers-Cavalier League.

Two men announced their retirement from, and were saluted for their contributions to, the DUSBCBA Board. Director Darrell Bean worked as City Tournament Manager for the past two seasons, while Jerry Butler was recognized for his decade of service as a BA Director.

MATT GARGANO FIRES 809, TEAMS WITH WIFE TO WIN VINCENT MIXED DOUBLES TOURNAMENT
posted on May 11, 2017

For the second straight year, a husband-and-wife team from outside of Decatur took home the top prize in the 2017 Frank Vincent Mixed Doubles Championship. Ashley and Matt Gargano of Bloomington defeated top-seeds Rhonda Culbertson and Chris Shipman 461-459 on April 2 at Pla-Mor Lanes, earning $1060 and the title hardware furnished by Custom Trophies.

Matt Gargano bolted off the starting line in his first three games with scores of 231, 299 and 279, earning him a USBC Score Award with 809 in games 1-2-3.

The Garganos barely made it to the four-team stepladder, finishing 21 pins ahead of Decatur bowlers Kendra Griffin and James Heckwine. Once in the playoff, Ashley and Matt won three straight matches, topping Sandra Hector and Doc Lewis ($425) in the first match, 478-418, and then outlasting Val Alford and Michael Wilcox ($525) 436-407.

Decatur teams occupied positions 6, 7 and 8; Amy Barry-Phil Barry, Kimber Wilderman-Tony Mahon, and Jenet Meeks-Jason Meeks. Mansfield's Richard Covington rolled the only 300 of the weekend in his third game of qualifying.

The Culbertson-Shipman team took home $660 for their second-place finish. Over $2000 was raised through donations, drawings and silent auctions for SIU-Simmons Cancer Research, in the memory of Frank Vincent, the father of Decatur, Springfield and Illinois Bowling Hall-of-Famer Gene Vincent.

FREY REPEATS CHAMPIONSHIP FORM, JOINS HILLEN FOR VINCENT MEMORIAL DOUBLES TITLE
posted on May 11, 2017

Tim Frey won his second consecutive Decatur Association tournament as he paired with Keith Hillen to capture the top prize of $1050 in the 2017 Frank Vincent Memorial Doubles Tournament on April 1 at Pla-Mor Lanes.

Frey, the 2014-15 Bowler of the Year and a member of the 9/11 Memorial champion team, joined forces with Hillen, who has over 40 perfect games in his career. They averaged 229.4 in the five qualifying games to earn the second seed for the stepladder finals. The field was led by newcomers Nick Wykoff and Nate Sparks, who held a 127 pin lead as top qualifiers for the day.

In the first match, Frey and Hillen faced the third-ranked brother team of Chad and Pat Hilligoss. Frey and Hillen prevailed 417-398 with handicap differntial. In the finals, the fireballing Frey and the board-covering Hillen had to overcome a 129-pin handicap differential. In a tight match, Tim and Keith prevailed over Nick and Nate, 417-398.

The Wykoff-Sparks duo collected $650 for second place, while the Hilligosses took home $525 for third. In fourth were Bloomington-based but local favorites Ashley Ward and Jessica Underhill, who just missed the stepladder by 22 sticks. Other top Decatur finishers were Larry Larseon Jr.-Jason Queen (5th), Michael Wilcox-Larry Porter (6th), Travis Dudley-Adam Moore (7th), Phil-Britt Sturgeon (8th) and Mike Swartz-Mike Drake (9th).

A total of 51 teams competed in the event, which was part of a weekend-long fundraiser for SIU-Simmons Cancer Research.

TEAM FREY TAKES 9/11 MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT, BUT YOUTH BOWLERS STEAL THE SHOW
posted on March 10, 2017

Kyle Holliday used a 708 qualifying series and a 256 game in the final match to propel Team Frey to a victory in the inaugural 9/11 Memorial Fundraiser Tournament on March 5 at Spare Time Lanes.

The competition was divided between competitive adults, non-competitive adults and youths. There was only one team in each of the Youth and non-competitive divisions. The youths bowled as a team to seed themselves for a stepladder final.

In the process, Nic Riley, Nathaniel Davis, Ian Tanzyus and Colton Centers shot 2640 scratch; a 220 average per bowler, with Riley's 741 the best of the four. Twenty-four-sixty plus handicap would have made them the top seed among the adults. Unfortunately, USBC rules do not allow youth teams to bowl for money against adult teams.

In the semifinal match, Nathaniel Davis defeated Ian Tanzyus 246-193, then Davis won the division with a 229-213 victory over Nic Riley. Davis averaged nearly 235 on the day.

The non-Competitive division was won by former bowler Mickey Sturgeon with 2nd place going to Tracy Alexander.

There were 11 teams in the competitive division. In addition to Holliday, the winning team was comprised of Tim Frey, Mike Swartz and Trisha Swartz. The three teammates also represented in the final game; Frey with a 235, Mike Swartz with 233, and his wife Trisha with a 191. Team Frey won $300.

The runners-up were from Spare Time Lanes; Gary Haines, Bob Logan, David Haines, and Cody Reimer, and that team took home $140.

Nearly $2000 was raised for the 9/11 Memorial Fund, whose goal is to raise a quarter-million dollars to build a memorial on the banks of Lake Decatur.

KISTNER SWEEPS ALL SCRATCH DIVISIONS IN 2017 CITY TOURNEY
posted on February 7, 2017

Corey Kistner gave the field one weekend to themselves at the 2017 Decatur City Bowling Tournament, but after that, he put on a display that left the scratch side in the dust.

Kistner, 41, captured the Scratch Singles (769) and All-Events (2253) in the recently-completed 78th Annual Decatur USBC Open Championship at Pla-Mor Lanes, and he elicited the help of four other players to grab the other two natural-score titles.

Teaming with Darrell Bean, who contributed a steady 726 series, Kistner fired a steadier 802 (267-267-268) to win Scratch Doubles. The score was also good enough to capture Handicap Doubles.

Bean and Kistner partnered with Gary Bean, Larry Larsen Jr. and Jason Queen to shoot 3411 to garner the Scratch Team Title, which made it back-to-back city team victories for Darrell, Corey and Jason.

The Handicap Team title was won by the No Tap team of Ken Bean, Kevin Smith, and the Hollises-Cory, Spencer, and father Jim. Handicap Singles (809) and All-Events (2395) were the exclusive properties of Kevin Ruffner.

Chris O'Neil earned the other award score of the three-weekend competition when he shot 300 and 793 in the Team event on January 22.

Several ladies participated, and three had notable game scores. Cassidy Walters, the 2015 Women's Challenge champion, shot 279 in Teams. Chelsie Finch, the newly-crowned Springfield ATT champion, had the front-9 in Team and rolled 277, then she added a front-10 286 in Singles. Finally, Cynthia Howell bounced back from a first-frame Big-4 to get the last 11 strikes and a 278 in Singles.

JENNIFER STONE CAPTURES 2016 WOMEN'S CHALLENGE
posted on December 9, 2016

Girard southpaw Jennifer Stone led the field from start to finish and took home the winner's reward in the second annual Decatur Women's Challenge, held on December 4 at Pla-Mor Lanes.

Stone, a Springfield Association member who entered the touranment with a 185 average, defeated Bloomington's Kellie Eckman in the stepladder finals, 236 to 186 (including handicap differntial). Stone received $500 for the victory, as 46 ladies braved difficult traveling conditions to participate in the event.

Decatur's Cassidy Walters made a representative defense of her 2015 title, earning the 5th and final spot on the ladder. Bement's Erika Dragoo, who led the field with one game to go, hit a difficult patch and dropped to sixth after game six.

Eckmann appeared to be on a similar path to victory as Walters rode the previous year. A second-year league bowler (like Cassidy in 2015), Kellie entered the tournament with a 147 average, and she consistently topped that mark by 30 pins or more.

The Bloomington right-hander defeated Walters (earning $160 for 5th), fellow resident and Pla-Mor master Tammy Walsh ($200, 4th), and Decatur's Hannah Moore ($250, 3rd) in the stepladder to reach the championship game. Eckmann received $350 as the runner-up.

DECATUR/SEMI-DECATUR BOWLERS SHINE IN AREA TOURNAMENTS
posted on December 2, 2016

Tom Adcock continued his torrid first-half pace of 2016-17 by teaming with Jason Queen to win the annual Day-After-Thanksgiving Doubles Classic on Nov. 25 in Washington, IL.

The tournament, which has been held for over a quarter-century in the Peoria area, and usually contested at Landmark Lanes, has been a feast for the decorated Adcock-Queen team, generally regarded as the best Doubles pairing in Decatur bowling history.

Neither bowler knows the exact quantity, but both Tom and Jason estimate that they have captured the title of that event on a half-dozen occasions, regardless of venue.

It was Adcock's second tournament victory in as many weekends. On Nov. 20, he teamed with part-time Decatur bowler Keith Hillen and Springfield's Bobbi Jo Van Huss to win the 700 Club Special Trio event at Strike & Spare West Lanes in Springfield.

The tournament's special format was to pair two players who had career 700 series with a third who had not reached that mark.

Both Hillen and Adcock rode the coattails of their victories to garner great league scores. Hillen rolled his 42nd and 43rd career 300 games on back-to-back nights (Nov. 27-28), while Adcock fired his third 800 of the season (805) in the Nov. 29 edition of the ADM League at Spare Time.

O'NEIL WINS DECATUR YOUTH MASTERS
posted on December 2, 2016

Decatur's Seth O'Neil withstood the charge of this city's best youth bowlers to win the inaugural Decatur Youth Masters on Nov. 6 at Pla-Mor Lanes.

The 16-year-old O'Neil defeated top-qualifier (and second-year prep bowler) Kegan Mahon in the title match. A refreshing aspect of the tournament was the use of handicap. O'Neil finished 2015-16 with a 111 average, while Mahon ended last season with an average of 76.

For his victory, O'Neil received $400 in scholarship money and an eagle trophy, similar in design to the prize given at the USBC Masters. The rest of the top-8, in order, were Selena Burns, Angela Bean, Nathan Bush, Brandon Likins, 7-year-old Glen King III, and Halee Fyke.

A total of 50 kids competed. Thanks to generous donations and work behind-the-scenes, all bowlers took home scholarship money, which at its lowest value, paid the bowler's entry fee for the event.

WALSH FINDS DUAL SUCCESS IN DECATUR TOURNAMENTS
posted on December 2, 2016

Tammy Walsh of suburban Champaign captured her second Decatur tournament victory in a two-week span by topping the 36-player field in the inaugural Roto-Grip Eliminator, held on Oct. 23 at Pla-Mor Lanes.

Walsh, who averaged 248 in her four qualifying games, was seeded fourth in the eliminator bracket, as the top-8 advanced to individual-game matches, where the lowest score would be done for the day. Walsh fired games of 247, 233 and 245 to outlast top-qualifier Steve Burger, Matt Gargano and Marcellus Clay to emerge from the first pair of lanes.

The second pair of eliminator lanes featured Decatur bowlers Gary Bean, Shawn Reed and Larry Larsen, who qualified 2nd, 3rd and 6th respectively, plus Brad Moore. But it was Moore who survived to face Walsh in the final match, and Walsh won with a 224 game.

The victory came on the heels of another Walsh championship on Oct. 9, as Tammy teamed with Brett Fogerson to grab the title in the Decatur Baker Doubles at Pla-Mor. The pair defeated Decatur's Michael Wilcox and Larry Porter in the championship match.

Brothers Gary and Darrell Bean tied for 5th, while the Jason Meeks-Burlie Caston and Phil Barry-Kevin Besser teams tied for 7th.

The alternate-frame Baker format attracted 35 doubles teams and paid $682 to the Walsh-Fogerson winners' account.

CLAYTON USES PERFECT GAME TO LEAD ST. LOUIS DUO TO PLA-MOR TITLE
posted on December 2, 2016

Cody Clayton played a big role with a perfect game and an 810 series as he paired with Michael Mayo to win the inaugural Over-Under-50 Doubles Challenge on Aug. 27 at Pla-Mor Lanes.

The Clayton-Mayo team, from suburban St. Louis, had their high scores in the beginning of qualifying and cruised to the title. A second 300 game was bowled in the event, and it was by Peoria's Bob Baker.

Among area teams, the best finish was a 6th place result from Gabe Howell-Steve Miller. The team of Shawn Reed-James Box was 8th, and the duo of Jason Meeks and Burlie Caston finished 9th.

NATIONAL GOVERNING BODY MANDATES LOCAL, STATE ASSOCIATION MERGERS; MEN AND LADIES TO COMBINE IN 2018
posted on June 3, 2016

Delegates to the United States Bowling Congress accepted a bylaw change during their late April convention, which will force currently-separated local and state ladies and men's bowling associations to merge, on or before August 1, 2018.

The landmark legislation, which has been on the voting docket since 2010 and previously rejected, finally reached the two-thirds voting threshold which is required to change a current USBC Bylaw.

The Decatur USBC BA and WBA will be affected by this bylaw change, as will nearly one-half of all other bowling associations across the United States. Both local groups are receiving literature and information from the USBC to help initiate the merger.

In related legislative news, the Decatur USBC BA elected its first-ever female member to its Board of Directors during the May 7 Annual Meeting. Haley Baser was one of five Directors elected to the local Board, and she will join fellow newcomer Ben McCoy when the Board convenes on August 1.

Scott Bird was re-elected as Association President for a new two-year term, which will essentially end at the time of merger. Also re-elected as a Director was Rob Baser, while Bennie Holman will add Director's duties to his current tasks as Association Manager.

Corey Kistner was the fifth Director who gained Board election, and he will complete the remaining year of the term held by longtime volunteer Ted Barnes.

FORMER MASTERS CHAMP AND SPOUSE CAPTURE MIXED DOUBLES TILT
posted on April 6, 2016

Tom Hess fired an 815 series in his first three qualifying games, leading him and his wife Sue to the stepladder finals and a subsequent victory in the 2016 Frank Vincent Memorial Mixed Doubles Championship on April 3 at Pla-Mor Lanes.

Hess, the 2011 USBC Masters champion from Urbandale, Iowa, entered both Pla-Mor weekend tournaments to fulfill a promise that he made last winter to tournament creator and host, Gene Vincent. The PBA professional did not disappoint, rolling games of 259-289-267 for the 815, then 256-246-239 to close out qualifying.

Sue Hess hovered around her 190 average in qualifying, good enough to give them the 3rd seed in the 4-team stepladder finals. Sue held her own with 215 and 189 in the first two matches, and she was the key scorer with a 225 in the title game.

In the championship match, the Hess family faced City Team champions Tonya and Scott Jaggers. Tom and Sue overcame the 116-pin handicap differential with a 462-452 win, and a $950 first-place prize.

During the winner's interview, Tom Hess announced that he would donate 10% of his winnings to the benefitting charity of the weekend, the SIU Cancer Research Center. Over $2000 was raised through donations and Silent Auctions.

In the semifinal match, the Hess pair defeated Laura and Andy Stone of Bloomington, 418-397. Decatur teams fared well in the Mixed Doubles event, as the team of Diane McGee and Doc Lewis reached the stepladder to finish 4th.

Saturday's top seed, Chelsie Finch and Ryan Scribner, finished one spot out of the ladder in 5th. The team of Janet Vincent-Darrell Bean ended the day in 8th, while Tricia and Jason Queen placed 10th. The tournament host teamed with Hannah Moore to take the last check, 11th position.

A record total of 46 teams participated.

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View the current summary of Decatur Bowling Awards

Download Entry Blank for the 2017 Decatur Double-Elimination Challenge

DBA Calendar
Calendar

Final Results of the 2016-2017 City Tournament

78th Annual Decatur USBC Open
Championship: Jan. 14-29, 2017
at Pla-Mor Lanes
"ON THE PODIUM":

Handicap Singles

  • Kevin Ruffner - 809
  • Eric Dudley - 802
  • Paul Carlton - 799

Scratch Singles

  • Corey Kistner - 769
  • Darrell Bean - 732
  • Chris O'Neil - 722

Handicap Doubles

  • Corey Kistner/Darrell Bean - 1533
  • Trevor Petro/Mike Anderson - 1524
  • Paul Carlton/Jacob Field - 1511

Scratch Doubles

  • Corey Kistner/Darrell Bean - 1528
  • Tom Adcock/Jason Queen - 1419
  • James Box/Tim Frey - 1414

Handicap All Events

  • Kevin Ruffner - 2395
  • Kevin Smith - 2311
  • Garrett Strohl - 2287

Scratch All-Events

  • Corey Kistner - 2253
  • James Heckwine - 2106
  • (tie) Tim Frey - 2106

Handicap Team

  • No Tap (Ken Bean, Kevin Smith, Spencer Hollis, Cory Hollis, Jim Hollis) - 3668
  • Da Birds & Da Bees - 3657
  • BTKM - 3550

Scratch Team

  • I Can't Believe It's Not Butter (Gary Bean, Larry Larsen Jr., Darrell Bean, Corey Kistner, Jason Queen) - 3411
  • Who's Carrying Who? - 3265
  • Team Turbo - 3247

Final Standings: 2016-17 Decatur USBC Open Championship (City Tournament)

2015-2016 All City Teams

Men's (Positions 1-10)   Seniors (Positions 1-5)
JASON QUEEN
Corey Kistner
Chris O'Neil
Tim Frey
Steve Burger
Gabe Howell
Darrell Bean
James Box
Jim Hollis
Ben McCoy
  BEN HOLMAN
Al Pote
Rob Baser
Greg Golladay
Burnard Lane

Bowlers of the Year are shown in CAPS.

Thank you to all Decatur Bowlers. The Men's 2016-17 Qualification Requirements are posted in each center. The requirements have been changed, and the Board thanks all bowlers for their input.