By Milt Northrop
NEWS BOWLING COLUMNIST
Because of a lingering hand and wrist injury, Brad Angelo passed up this week’s PBA World Series of Bowling V competitions in Las Vegas, but still had great interest in that and some other bowling events in Nevada.
Angelo was eagerly following the efforts of his 18-year-old protege, Aaron Herbert of Eden, in the Boys High School final of the 2013 Teen Masters at Red Rock VIP Lanes.
Herbert, the Section VI individual champion last season, ran into some tough luck and was eliminated in the first phase of the finals, finishing fourth among the four finalists.
Each finalist bowled two-game matches against each of the other three. If the bowlers split their games, a one-pin rolloff was held. The two top finishers in round-robin met for the boys title.
Herbert split with Alex Martin of Georgia, 208-215 and 207-146, then lost the rolloff, 10-9. A loss to Greg Young of Florida, 212-159 and 209-208, in the second round knocked him out of contention even before his third match against Kamron Doyle of Tennessee. Doyle averaged a torrid 267 in defeating Herbert, 256-192 and 278-190.
Doyle, 15, is the youngest person in USBC history to record a sanctioned 800 series, the youngest to ever cash in a PBA Tournament and the youngest to cash in a PBA major – in the 2012 U.S. Open – and he cashed in this year’s Open as well.
Herbert, now a freshman engineering student at the University at Buffalo, received a $2,000 scholarship award for his finish. He could have earned a $64,000 scholarship if he won the Boys Championship then won Friday night’s Grand Championship match against the Girls High School champion.
The Teen Masters finals are scheduled to be shown on ESPN, but not until Jan. 19, at 1 p.m.
Angelo has been coaching Herbert for the last five years.
“I haven’t worked with anybody as dedicated as him,” Angelo said. “I just told him what to do and he put the work into it.
“He started working with me every week back when he averaged about 160. We overhauled his whole game. He used to spin the ball. Now he has a pro tour-caliber ball roll. He can do it all. That’s no joke. He can go as far as he wants to go.”
“I am a dedicated person,” says Herbert, who led the boys high school field for 30 games during the 16th annual Teen Masters National Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in early July. The top four in the boys and girls high school divisions advanced to Friday’s finals in Las Vegas.
Herbert led the boys with a 203.33 average for 30 games.
Just missing the finals was another Section VI high school star, Chad Mee of Hamburg, who finished sixth, averaging 202.33.
Herbert was trying to become the third Teen Masters winner from Western New York. Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga won it in 2004 after a runner-up finish in 2003 and John Szczerbinski of North Tonawanda won in 2005.
Both Ciminelli and Szczerbinski along with Jack Jurek of Lackawanna were in Las Vegas to compete in World Series of Bowling events, including the four so-called animal pattern championships and the overall PBA World Championship at South Point Bowling Center.
Ciminelli led the qualifying for today’s finals of the Viper championship. In addition, he was seventh in the Chameleon.
Finals of the Cheetah, Viper, Chameleon and Scorpion oil patterns will be taped today for later showing on ESPN. The first telecast will be the Cheetah at 1 p.m. on Dec. 1. The Viper, Chameleon and Scorpion will be shown at the same time on subsequent Sundays in that order.
Besides Ciminelli, other top qualifiers were Parker Bohn III (Cheetah), England’s Dom Barrett (Chameleon) and collegiate star Marshall Kent (Scorpion).
Barrett also will be on top of the five-bowler stepladder for the PBA World Championship final. The finalists were determined by 28 games of qualifying in the animal pattern events and then three rounds of match play.
The other finalists for the World title are: Sean Rash (Montgomery, Ill.), Mike Fagan (Fort Worth, Texas), Tom Smallwood (Saginaw, Mich.) and Pete Weber (St. Ann, Mo.).
And, you’re wrong if you thought Buffalo native Tom Baker is over the hill. The King, N.C., resident just missed the World finals. He finished sixth, 27 pins behind Weber, after a 14-10 record in match play. Baker earned $8,100.
As for Angelo, his injury hasn’t healed enough yet for him to return to the tour.
“I can throw the ball but I can’t generate” the revolution rate to knock the pins over, the Lockport pro said.
“I have to admit, I missed it watching the scores this week,” added Angelo, who was busy nevertheless. He estimated that he and his wife, Michele, together put in about 140 hours a week operating their bowling lanes (the former South Transit Lanes) in Lockport.
“It’s growing,” Angelo said of the business he purchased in 2012. “We’re getting there; I only hope it grows faster. It’s a learning process.”