By Milt Northrop
Pro bowling on television is more than a month away, but the sport is getting some exposure on a smaller scale these days with a weekly show on Channel 23 WNLO.
At 1 p.m. today, the third in a series of WNY Youth Bowling shows presented by the Bowling Proprietors Association of Western New York will air on Channel 23 (Time Warner Channel 11). The proprietors always have been active promoting youth bowling but the decision was made a few years ago to allocate more resources to that area and take them from other projects such as support of a Saturday Traveling Classic League.
The show comes under the category of “pair programming,” since it was paid for solely by the BPAWNY, its sole sponsor.
“We’re hoping to attract some [sponsors] if the show gains any attention. We have five shows in the can right now,” said Jim Russo of Manor Lanes.
The segments were taped at Broadway Sports Center in Cheektowaga and produced by Bean Media Productions, which tapes and edits the video. Each segment features six youth bowlers of varying abilities, both boys and girls from the 26 member bowling centers around Western New York. “It’s a good cross-section of young bowlers ... a pretty good variety of talent,” Russo said.
The format calls for two groups of three bowlers each, one group for each half of the 30-minute show, to bowl six or seven games off camera in a handicap match, then complete their games on camera. Prizes are awarded at the end.
Russo, who narrates each show, has experience in broadcast media. For three years, he co-hosted a bowling show on Adelphia Communications’ old WNSA Radio when that station was on the air.
“We are trying to show the kids that bowling is a viable sport,” Russo said. “I mention on the shows about scholarships that are available and teaching kids about sportsmanship, teamwork and coordination -– all of the things you have in other sports but without the risk of injuries.
“The consensus is that our junior programs are dwindling a little bit because of the other activities kids have available to them now more than every before. We’re trying to let them know that bowling is a viable option for them.”
The show has produced these 10 winners: Week One – Brad Arnold and Kyle Wells; Week Two – Tealaya Huff and Jimmy Erler; Week Three – Christopher Galligan and Blaise Anderson; Week Four -–Lincoln Law, Jr., and P.J. Enright and Week Five – Jonathan Fanara and Hayden Garey, the latter in bumper bowling.
The BPAWNY is still active promoting youth bowling in other areas.
Qualifying begins this weekend at member houses for the Autumn Youth Tournament. The finals will be Nov. 23-25 at Arcade Lanes. For information call Arcade Lanes at 585-492-1370.
The proprietors also sponsor a Holiday Tournament during the Christmas season and a Spring Tournament. Scholarship awards and trophies earned at each of the three seasonal tournaments will be presented at the 59th Annual Championship Awards dinner next June.
WNY pros in Vegas
The Western New York professional bowling contingent (Ryan Ciminelli, Brad Angelo, Jack Jurek, Joe Ciccone, John Szczerbinski and Liz Johnson) is off to South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., where the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling gets underway on Sunday.
Over the next eight days, championships will be decided in seven events including Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon and Scorpion patterns, the PBA World Championship and the World Ten Pin Association men’s and women’s finals.
All the finals will be taped next week for showing on the Sunday ESPN PBA telecasts which will begin Dec. 9 with the WTBA Bayer Advanced Aspirin World Bowling Tour Finals.
During the summer and early fall, local pros stayed active in PBA Regional tournaments with some success. Ciminelli defeated hometown favorite Todd Book of Wapakoneta, Ohio, 289-217 to win the G.A. Wintzer & Son Classic at Astro Lanes in Wapakoneta. It was Ciminelli’s eighth PBA Regional title and worth $3,000.
Ciccone defeated Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio by 172 pins to win his 14th career regional, the PBA Central Dan Kondas Memorial Scorpion Open at Legend Lanes in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. He earned $2,400 along with paid entry into the World Series of Bowling as an entry into the optional animal pattern championship series.
Before that, Ciccone reached the finals of the Lefeld Implement Classic at Pla-More Lanes in Coldwater, Ohio, losing to Dick Allen of Columbia, S.C., 232-211. Ciccone won $2,300 for second place.
In June, Jurek picked up $3,500 for winning the PBA Central Cheetah Open in Wooster, Ohio.
Last weekend, Johnson finished third and earned $1,100 in the PBA Central/Midwest Region Star Lanes Classic in Indianapolis on the Cheetah Pattern.
• Entries close next Friday for the Greater Buffalo USBC Association 45th Annual Youth Family Tournament at Voelker’s Lanes Nov. 17-18 and 24-25. The official tournament entry form is available at gbusbc.com.
• The 2012 Greater Buffalo USBC Association Women’s Senior Singles Tournament is today and Sunday at Airport Lanes.
• The GBUSBCA Hall of Fame Induction Dinner is only three weeks away. It will be held Saturday, Nov. 24 at Samuel’s Grande Manor, Inductees will be: Tom Harnisch, Richard G. Hapeman, Brad Kiszewski, Debby Janora, Sally Nielsen, Tony Sorrento and former Buffalo News bowling columnist Norm Warner.