HALL-OF-FAMER SPURS BOWLING COMMUNITY FOR ROTH RECOVERY
By Al Pote

DECATUR - In the eyes of many, Johnny Petraglia and Mark Roth were the top tag-team in bowling for nearly two decades, and both players have excelled well into their fifties. But a recent tragedy has separated them on the lanes, and the effort of one friend to assist the other has brought the pair even closer.

"We grew up in Brooklyn about 10 minutes apart," Petraglia said in reference to Roth, who suffered a stroke in June and has started the long road to recovery. Though the two competed on opposite sides of the lanes, they often teamed in doubles competition, both earning Hall of Fame status and high positions on the all-time PBA Top-50.

Petraglia, 62, is relying on scores of helpers and donors to aid Roth with his living expenses and, in a perfect world, help return the legendary right-hander to the sport that made them household names.

With the help of Roth's former sponsor Brunswick, Petraglia is organizing 60 raffles across the country, where the prize is a commemorative PBA Anniversary bowling ball. One is being raffled at Spare Time Lanes during this week's Miller Lite PBA Decatur Senior Open.

"I was horrified when I heard about (Roth's stroke), because I was thinking he's so young (58) and he's such a close friend," Petraglia said. The 21-time tour champion southpaw, who bowls out of Manalapan, NJ, has also been a longtime Brunswick staffer, and John is effusive with praise for his employer's dedication.

"It's equivalent to an executive's salary," said Petraglia of the amount of money necessary to ship the bowling balls and coordinate the events. One of the deliveries was to Roth's home, where he was able to autograph the special balls, adding an even more special touch to a great cause.

Petraglia, who earned a national senior title earlier this spring in Florida, is also teaming with Parker Bohn III to hold benefits for the Roth family. They raised $2300 on a single day in July, and a new event is scheduled for October 4 in Howell, NJ.

"Mark has waited until the room was empty and then tried to get out of his chair on his own, falling twice," Petraglia said of Roth. "Even in recovery, he's still a fierce competitor."

TRABER LOOKING TO PAD RECORD

Perhaps the most unheralded world-record holder in sports is in Decatur this weekend, working to add to his list of professional bowling titles.

"I kind of like being under-the-radar," said Dale Traber, currently in third place on the 2009 PBA Seniors point list. In his career, Traber has earned more regional championships than any other bowler, with 35 on the under-50 circuit, six Senior regional wins and two National Resident Pro titles.

Earlier this season, Traber captured two national crowns on the West Coast swing, winning in Brentwood, California, and then later in Las Vegas at the USBC Senior Masters.

"Vegas was really good to me this year, also winning the Team and Team All-Events in the USBC Open Championships," Traber said. "I like the grind-out conditions where I may be able to outsmart the others."

Like many seniors, Traber has a full-time job, and in Dale's case, he works a pair of occupations. Traber has been with JCPenney in Wisconsin for 32 years, and he is now working with a teammate to refurbish bowling centers.

Regarding Decatur, Traber's career has mirrored his current season. "I'm like Jekyll and Hyde; I finished second to Eugene McCune a few years ago, but I've put up zeroes too. I do enjoy coming here."

Traber denied local pro Bennie Holman of a title in Taylorville, a tournament Traber admitted "fell into my lap."

"My semifinal opponent made a mistake that got me into the title match, and Bennie missed a spare at the end, but he was tough. We went at it in sudden death for several frames until he went high."

Traber and Petraglia will be at Spare Time Lanes with 108 fellow competitors for the first round of qualifying Sunday [today] at 9am and 4pm.
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Winners of all 2021-2022 Decatur City Championships!

Decatur Youth Championship,
December 2021:

Team Handicap

  • 10 Pin Galore (2943)
    (Lucas Boyd, Riley Barry,
    Tucker Griffin, Dillan Carter)

Team Scratch

  • 10 Pin Galore (2289)

Doubles Handicap

  • Lucas Boyd-Riley Barry (1436)

Doubles Scratch

  • Lucas Boyd-Riley Barry (1205)

Singles Handicap

  • Glen King III (735)

Singles Scratch

  • Lucas Boyd (606)

All Events Handicap

  • Dillan Carter (2245)

All Events Scratch

  • Lucas Boyd (1860)
Decatur Women's Championship,
November 2021:

Team Handicap

  • Thrown Together (2870)
    (Amy Barry, Cassie Walden,
    Trisha Swartz, Laura Stone)

Team Scratch

  • Thrown Together (2384)

Doubles Handicap

  • Jo Fellows-Mandie Dietz (1387)

Doubles Scratch

  • Kendra Griffin-Vonna Mears (1128)

Singles Handicap

  • Kendra Griffin (775)

Singles Scratch

  • Kendra Griffin (685)

All Events Handicap

  • Diana Finley (2106)

All Events Scratch

  • Cynthia Howell (1752)
Decatur Mixed Championship,
October-November 2021:

Team Handicap

  • Larry Carry (2725)
    (Trinity Bush, Robyn Adcock,
    Adam Mackey, Larry Porter)

Team Scratch

  • Kiss'n More Sturgeon (2526)
    (Hannah Moore, Sheila Queen-Kistner,
    Corey Kistner, Britt Sturgeon)

Doubles Handicap

  • Diana Finley-Cody Finley (1461)

Doubles Scratch

  • Chelsie Finch-Terrence Cloyd (1363)
Decatur Open Championship,
October 2021:

Team Handicap

  • Drakes Dream Team (3666)
    (Mike Drake, Trace Wade, Clayton Griffin,
    John Larry, Cody Finley)

Team Scratch

  • Drakes Dream Team (3429)

Doubles Handicap

  • Trevor Petro-Logan Petro (1531)

Doubles Scratch

  • Clayton Griffin-John Larry (1377)

Singles Handicap

  • Mike Tanzyus (785)

Singles Scratch

  • Rob Baser (757)

All Events Handicap

  • Clayton Griffin (2192)

All Events Scratch

  • Clayton Griffin (2119)
Decatur 600 Club Championship,
February 12-13, 2022:

Doubles Handicap

  • Jo Fellows-Mandie Dietz (1455)

Doubles Scratch

  • Kendra Griffin-Vonna Mears (1250)

Singles Handicap

  • Diana Finley (777)

Singles Scratch

  • Taylor Bird (689)

All Events Handicap

  • Jo Fellows (1499)

All Events Scratch

  • Taylor Bird (1307)