AWBA bowlers and their families gathered in Ft. Worth, Texas to participate in the 57th AWBA National Championships held at Cityview Lanes. Bowlers came from all 4 corners of the United States to compete, renew friendships, develop new ones and all left with a feeling of accomplishment and great satisfaction. The week began with the Board of Directors meeting where your board spent most of the day reviewing proposals and putting in place rule changes that will make the organization better.
Bowling competition got started on Wednesday with the Nelson Welker Doubles Championship. With 26 teams competing, the bowling was outstanding. In the end, Jim Rice (NV) and Shawn Beam (TX) won the title with a pin count of 1290. Kevin Schaefer (CA) and John Budd (IN) came in second. Wednesday afternoon the Pfister/Ramus Team Championship was held where 16 team competed. The Texas Team of Stephen Smith, Mike Delgado, and Eric Sanchez ran away from the field with a total pin count of 1951. Closing out the day was the Al Uttecht Tournament of Champions where we had 12 past Singles Champions compete. In the Handicap Division, Wayne Webber (FL) won and in the Scratch Division, George Holscher (VA) won. It was enjoyable to watch the previous champions compete against one another. Wednesday night we held the social at Homewood Suites where we enjoyed music provide by Byron Haynie as he returned to entertain us with some great country music. The Mexican Fiesta was enjoyed by all that attended.
Thursday we were honor to have with us Anna Benton that sang the National Anthem. Then the AWBA bowlers took to the lanes to begin singles competition. The first two sets were a challenge as the lanes were difficult for some to read and adjust to. With 13 new members of the AWBA competing this year, it was enjoyable to watch as they overcame nerves and the competition itself. The house shot we faced for 4 days was a reverse block and gave some a great deal of trouble however many great scores were bowled by all divisions. Friday saw the continuing of Singles competition with the 3rd and 4th sets.
Friday night the up/down was a huge success as we filled the house and were join by the Storm Ambassadors as well as 10 members from the USBC. The Up/Down was won by Andy Bernt’s team with second place going to John Budd. It was a fun filled night with lots of people having a wonderful time.
Saturday saw the final set of Singles competition being conducted and the pin count in all divisions was very close. In the “B” Division roll off, Rick Mahaney defeat a new bowler, Danial Connelly, 237-200. Mahaney then moved on to defeat Bryan Shaner, 232-204. Rick then took on new member James Tipton, losing to Tip, 236-209. Tipton then took on new member and handle ball bowler, Glenn Davis. After 10 frames, they were tied and moved into a roll off where Davis won and was crowned the new “B’ Division National Champ. In the “A” Division, Andy Bernt took on Tom Richey in his first National with Bernt winning, 193-175. Bernt then took on John Budd and defeated Budd, 205-200. Bernt then took on Brooks Martin, the 2017 Champ and Brooks outlasted Andy, 242-215 to advance to take on top qualifier Gary Ryan. Martin handle Ryan with ease, scoring a 235-169 victory and claiming his second consecutive National Title. Finally, in the Scratch Division, Peter Arballo, 2017 Scratch Champion took on Eddy Hutchens with Eddy outlasting Peter, 170-168. Eddy then took on Curt Wolff, a Ikan ramp bowler with Curt beating Eddy, 203-189. Curt then bowled George Holscher and George moved on, 194-169. George then took on top qualifier Shawn Beam, Mr. 300 against Mr. 300 #2! George out bowled Shawn winning his first National Scratch Title, 171-151. Saturday evening, we held the Awards Banquet at Billy Bob’s where we had a great meal and wonderful time with friends.
On the individual awards, Jennifer Hooten won the Alma Ludwig Award, Gary Ryan won the Senior Championship for the 2nd year in a row, Smiley Wallace won the Buddy Cole, Randy Squier won the Bill Hart Award. Shawn Beam won the Scratch Richard Carlson Award and Glenn Davis won the Handicap award. Shawn Beam won High Scratch Series(590) Peter Arballo with high scratch game (222). Gary Ryan in A Division with the high hcp series 695, Brooks Martin with High Scr Series, 564, High Hcp Game, Gary Poole, 259. B Division High scr. Series, Glenn Davis,671, High Scr game, Rick Mahaney, 170, High hcp series, James Tipton, 682 and High hcp Game, Bryan Shaner, 285.
National Achievement Awards: High Average, High Scratch Game, High Scratch Series, George Holscher. Most Improved Average, Mark Linquist. High Hcp Game, Curt Wolff.
In closing, let me first thank my best friend Onie for all the hard work she did during the event and the months prior to the event. She was a huge help in many areas. A number of others stepped up and volunteer to assist in many areas. Let me thank my very strong committee for a great job!!!! Thanks to all our National Sponsors for without you, this would be difficult to do. A big shout out to Carolyn and Del Ballard for keeping their Pro shop open during the event. Thanks to Ken and Kathy Keegan of Logo Infusion for your great support. Gary Hulsenberg, you’re the man and thanks to Storm!! Thanks to the Girl Scouts for helping. Thanks to City View Lanes and their great Staff. Finally, thanks to all of you for coming. It was an honor to be your tournament director. See you next year!!!!