Web News Archives: August 1, 2015 through July 31, 2016...

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.

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.

posted on April 6, 2016

Jessica Underhill stormed through the stepladder finals with games of 233 and 242 to propel herself and teammate Ashley Ward to the championship of the 2016 Frank Vincent Memorial Doubles Shootout on April 2 at Pla-Mor Lanes.

Underhill and Ward, both residents of Bloomington, had to face two star-studded pairings in the 3-team stepladder. In the semifinal, facing perfect-game-shooter and PBA Regional champ Rick Kidd (El Paso, IL) and top amateur Jason Jones, the Ward-Underhill team struck at will en route to a 453-354 win.

In the championship match, two of Decatur's best, Chelsie Finch and Ryan Scribner, were standing in the way as the top seed. In a tighter match, the Bloomington ladies executed in the closing frames to eke out a 429-419 victory, earning $850.

Decatur teams claimed the next four positions, based on the five-game qualifying format. The team featuring Jon Parker and tournament host Gene Vincent finished 4th, while the brothers duo of Chad and Pat Hilligoss placed 5th.

Another set of brothers, Jase and Cody Finley, grabbed the 6th position, and the team of Scott Jaggers-Mike Swartz finished 7th.

Four award scores were rolled during qualifying. In addition to Rick Kidd, Springfield's Dave Barker and Decatur's Gary Bean also shot 300 games. Reigning Decatur Bowler of the Year Tim Frey fired an 807 in his first three games.

The touranment attracted 38 teams from a dozen different cities, and representing three states.

posted on March 28, 2016

Decatur and Illinois Bowling Hall of Famer Tom Adcock celebrated his birthday a few days early by winning the PBA50 Showtime Lanes Open presented by DV8 on the weekend of March 19-20 in Virden, IL.

Adcock, a member of the Professional Bowlers Association in the 1990s who regained amateur status later in that decade, overpowered a field of 33 players to win his second 50-plus professional title as an amateur.

In the Saturday qualifying round, Adcock got off to a slow start in his first five games, but he surged toward the top with a 268 in game 6. Then Tom buried 12 straight shots in the penultimate game of the block to register his 110th career 300.

As top seed in the final eight, Adcock started Sunday's bracket play with a 2-1 game victory over PBA champion Mike Mineman of St. Louis. In the semifinal, Adcock cruised by David Tyrrel of Harlan, IA, 2-0.

In the championship match, Adcock faced David Williams of Omaha, NE, and by the slimmest of margins, Tom took home the trophy and the $1600 top prize, 204 to 203.

Nationally known for his bowling prowess, Adcock garnered worldwide headlines in 2014 when he paired with Kerry Painter to win the PBA50 Doubles Championship in Decatur at Spare Time Lanes. His victory on March 20 was his first in a senior regional, which is now known as the Qubica-AMF PBA Regional Tour.

Adcock continued his version of March Madness two days later, when he fired 300-278-229 for an 807 series in the ADM League Sweepstakes at Spare Time, taking home the top prize in that competition. And two days after blowing out 54 candles, Adcock beat all-comers in the annual Rick Thomas Memorial Tournament on March 26 in Springfield.

posted on February 12, 2016

The three-man team captained by All-City contender Larry Porter, with help from Jeremy Largent and Michael Wilcox, bounced back from a bad start to win the second annual Pla-Mor Swiss Trio tournament on February 7 at Pla-Mor Lanes.

The Larry Carry team didn't during game one, losing the match by gaining only 2 of the possible 10 points. But after that, the trio went on a record-setting tear, going 45-5 over the next five matches, topping Team Juice (third-place finishers Jason Meeks, Doc Lewis and Tony Mahon) 7 to 3 in the final position match to claim the title.

The participation rate was also record-shattering. Even with the big annual NFL game being played later that day, a total of 28 teams took to the lanes in the special format that features position matches through the duration of the event.

Award scores were plentiful as well. Decatur's Tom Hector, Sr. got things started with a 300 in the first match, resulting in a 3-man handicap team score of 783. Reigning Bowler of the Year Tim Frey added another perfect game later in the day, and Pete Stone of Bloomington rolled an 803 series in games 1-3 to pick up another USBC honor.

The Larry Carry team took home over $1000 for the championship, while Team Stella (Ken Bean, Mike Wilkin Jr. and A.J. Berry) jumped to second place at the end, grabbing $792.

posted on February 12, 2016

Though there is no official vote for the moniker, Rick Coy of Taylorville was the Most Valuable Bowler in the recently-completed Decatur USBC Open Championships (the City Tournament), held at Spare Time Lanes.

Coy, a member of the Greater Springfield Bowling Hall of Fame, got things going in the right direction on Saturday, January 10, in his first event, the five-man team competition. Coy fired games of 237-300-237 for a 774 series, which ended up as the best set rolled during the three-weekend event.

The following weekend, Coy teamed with fellow T'ville resident Steve Miller, and they put up a doubles number that would not be topped, a 1495, with Coy contributing 746 and Miller besting that with 749. Their handicap score of 1532 also won the enhanced-score side, but only by six pins over Mike Sorrentino and Sam Chirich, Jr.

In the same squad, Coy spun a 758 series in Singles. Though it fell short of Scratch Singles champion Tom Adcock's 762, it was sufficient to give Coy the Scratch (2278) and Handicap (2359) All-Events titles.

Many ladies participated in the Open Championships, and the top performances there were by Women's Challenge champion Cassidy Walters (2nd in Handicap AE), and 101-average-player Tonya Jagggers, who crushed her entering average to finish 4th in that category.

Tonya Jaggers teamed with husband Scott, and added Gene and Janet Vincent and Damon Williams, to comprise the "Roto Grip Handicap" team. True to their name, they rolled a 3724 handicap score to win that side of the Team competition. Williams was the star of the team, firing a career-high 771 scratch series.

The scratch team title was captured by the Turbo Grips team (3469), featuring Darrell Bean, Steve Burger, Corey Kistner, Jason Queen and Tom Adcock,

Ben McCoy was also in the headlines with his 299 game in the Doubles Event, where he and teammate Clayton Griffin (who had a 299 in league play the previous week) finished 2nd scratch with 1473.

Thanks to the dedication of Tournament Manager Darrell Bean and his staff, plus the commitment made by Decatur-area bowlers, there was a massive increase in entries, from 36 teams in 2015 to 59 teams this year. The total payout was over $14,000, of which $3,500 was added by tournament sponsors and bowling ball raffles. A total of 144 bowlers competed in Doubles-Singles.

posted on November 5, 2015

Andy Stone of Bloomington, IL defeated Rick Kidd of neighboring El Paso in the championship match and took home nearly $500 by winning the inaugural "Pick Your Poison" tournament, held on October 25 at Spare Time Lanes.

The unique scratch tournament, which featured a different oil pattern on each pair of lanes, consisted of eight qualifying games, with a single-elimination bracket round. Seven of the eight pairs utilized a Sport oil condition, while the end pair was dressed with the Standard league oil pattern.

Jason Queen was the top qualifier after eight games, earning him $430 in prize money. The dual payout was made possible in part by a donation from tournament sponsor Custom Trophies.

The brackets were filled in another unique manner. In pairing the top seed with the lowest seed, the top seed had his/her choice of an oil pattern, or an opponent, who did not necessarily have to align with the normal 1-vs-32, 2-vs-31, etc. bracketing. The method of choice was about 50-50, as the field was reduced from its starting count of 31 to 8.

Queen was eliminated in the early stages of bracket play. In fact, the Decatur bowler with the most staying power was Larry Porter, who made it all the way to the final four, before he was defeated by Andy Stone in the semifinals.

A cash donation was also made to the Bowlstrong charity from 50-50 ticket sales and other offers.

posted on September 12, 2015

Coming off the best season of his career, longtime Decatur bowling standout Gabe Howell was one of seven new members recently elected to the Decatur Bowling Hall of Fame.

Joining Howell in the Superior Performance category will be Maroa's Jackie Smith, while Decatur's Sandy Propst and Ron Snyder were elected for Meritorious Service.

The Veterans category will be represented by current PBA50 member Tom Whitcomb of Decatur, along with former Decatur resident Ray Ballard, who now resides in Waleska, Georgia.

Being honored In Memoriam will be the late Marvin "Mike" Shae, who passed away on June 6, 2015.

Howell, 37, has rolled 38 perfect games as-certified by the United States Bowling Congress, plus 16 three-game series of 800 or higher. Howell won the prestigious TNBA National Championship tournament in 2012 in Indianapolis, rolling a 300 on the way to his victory.

The 2014-15 season was a breakout campaign for Howell, as he won 12 individual or team tournaments throughout the state of Illinois during the 12-month stretch. In his career, Howell has captured at least 35 tournament titles, including ten city crowns, and he has also served as a youth coach for the past decade.

Smith, who has a career high average of 194, has two Decatur WBA City tournament titles to her credit, a team championship in 2007 and a 600 Club All-Events crown in 2009. Smith has also served as a league officer for more than ten seasons.

Snyder, 49, has served on the Decatur BA Board of Directors, and he is entering his 12th season as a youth coach. Snyder is a 20-year participant in the state championships, organizing and entering multiple teams as a squad sponsor. Snyder has also rolled six perfect games and has a high series of 795.

In the 2013 city tournament, Snyder rolled a 296 game to propel his team to a record-setting scratch total of 3651 to win the Team Event, the most recent of his four Decatur Association titles.

Propst has been a member of the Decatur USBC Women's Bowling Association for over 50 seasons. For 30 of those years, Propst has been the President of the Pinpoppers League.

Elected to the Women's Board of Directors in 2012, Propst has served on four prominent committees. On the lanes, her high career game is 250, and Propst has four city titles and the prestigious Spotlight Award on her resume.

Ballard, 73, retired from Decatur league bowling in 1999, and is now a freelance photographer in his home state of Georgia. Ballard is best remembered for his mechanical prowess at Pla-Mor Lanes and The Bowl, serving as a mechanic for over a decade.

Ballard also excelled on the lanes, rolling a perfect game in 1993 and capturing two City Scratch championships.

Whitcomb, 62, recently retired from Caterpillar but still bowls on a regular basis. He started his Decatur career in 1997, but prior to that, he was a tournament champion in York, PA and in Rock Island, IL.

Whitcomb is a four-time association title-holder, and he joined Ron Snyder on the record-setting 2013 city champion team. Whitcomb has six certified 300 games, and his best finish on the PBA50 Midwest Regional tour was in Decatur in 2006, placing 12th after leading first-day qualifying.

Shae was the patriarch of a loyal Decatur bowling family and a mainstay in the headlines of the local bowling newspapers published from 1973-1975. Shae was part of a City Champion Team and also a Doubles titlist in the prestigious Eldorado Bowl tournament.

A former All-Caterpillar Tournament champion, Shae was also a longtime league president, and he earned membership into the exclusive 700 Club in the 1970s, also serving as President of that organization.

The induction ceremony will be held at the annual Hall of Fame Dinner-Dance, which will be Saturday, October 24 at the Decatur Conference Center and Hotel, with festivities starting at 5:45 pm. Admission is $35, and tickets are being sold by current Hall of Fame members, at Pla-Mor Lanes and at Spare Time Lanes.

posted on September 12, 2015

Decatur Bowling Hall of Famer Shawn Reed climbed out of the "Loser's Bracket" to defeat Keith Hillen 214-175 in the championship match of the inaugural "Bracket Madness" tournament, held on August 15 at Pla-Mor Lanes.

Reed had the second-highest qualifying series and rolled a 278 en route to four straight match victories. However a loss to Hillen in the sixth round dumped Shawn into the Elimination Bracket, where Reed defeated Al Pote 232-187 to earn a berth in the finals.

Needing two game victories to win, Reed topped Hillen 209-177 to allow the "if-game" to occur, where Reed took advantage of two splits by Hillen to take the title and $135 in prize money. Pote finished third and Jason Howard was fourth.

A total of 17 bowlers participated in an event managed by Corey Kistner, who used social media to try and promote a new event for a weekend which was freed up only four days prior to that Saturday.