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Marvin "Jerry" Pettiford

L-R: ABT director Victor Mirassou congratulates champion Matt Sanchez of Bakersfield. Roger Hall, Jr., of Lancaster placed third, and Melvin LaRolf of Palmdale was second.

By Bette Addington & Mike Hefley

Contributing bowling columnists

Matt Sanchez is still in shock over his victory Sunday bowling in the Amateur Bowlers Tour tournament that was held at Vista Lanes in Palmdale.

Sanchez, 42, has only been bowling for a year and a half and has been happy to get his average up to a respectable 165. For this short bowling career, he has been happy to bowl in local leagues and this year, even joined the Bakersfield Scratch Trio league. Through the convincing of fellow bowling friends, Russ Tweedy and Gary Cole, who encouraged him to try some local tournaments, Sanchez has bowled practically all of them. Some he felt he did okay; others, not that great. But, Sanchez keeps trying and bowling and practicing.

It all paid off for him after he entered his second ABT tournament. After the ABT came to Bakersfield a couple of weeks ago, several local bowlers decided to travel to Palmdale. Those making the trip included, Sanchez, Gary and Sophia Cole and Jerry Pettiford.

Sanchez bowled the first squad and was not pleased with his scores so he decided to enter the second squad and pulled out his Vibe bowling ball that he hadn't used in about eight months to see if that would help his game. And help it did! Sanchez rolled a 197 his first game, a 233 his second game and a 191 for his third! This put him up as the top seed of the day with a +144!

In the final match, Sanchez got a split about the middle of the game and figured he would be lucky to get third place but then started striking in the eighth frame and kept on striking until his final ball which left the 7 pin and got a nice 247 game to win the tournament!

What an experience for Sanchez, who now has a title under his belt and will be presented with an ABT shirt also for his win. This just goes to show you what perseverance can do for you!

ABT is scheduled to have a tournament this coming weekend in Lancaster and plans are that they will return to Bakersfield in the next couple of months. For further information, like ABT SoCal on Facebook.

New youth bowling league at AMF Southwest starts Saturday

Calling all youth who are interested in bowling in a short-term league, AMF Southwest Lanes (3610 Wible Road) will be starting Feb. 2! League meeting for this Saturday will be at 9:30 a. m., and you will bowl the following Saturdays at 10 a. m. Teams are made up of any two bowlers. For further info, please contact either Lorrie or James at (661) 834-2695.

Bowling on TV on Super Bowl Sunday

Just before the Super Bowl kick-off, be sure to catch some fun times bowling on ESPN for the 5th annual Chris Paul PBA League All-Stars Tournament which will air at 1 p.m. Event will be hosted by Chris Paul of the LA Clippers who is also one of the founding owners of the new PBA League. Event will take place at the Lucky Strike LA Live in Los Angeles.

Competitors include teammate LA Clippers forward Blake Griffin, former NBA star Jalen Rose plus PBA League team owners NFL all-pro receiver Terrell Owens, actor/comedian Kevin Hart, Comedian Chris Hardwick, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley and Grey's Anatomy star Jesse Williams who will compete with PBA stars Chris Barnes, Norm Duke, Jason Belmonte, Sean Rash, Osku Palermaa, Bill O'Neill, Mike Fagen and Missy Parkin.

In addition to the doubles portion of the tournament, a best-ball competition returns featuring the celebrity competitors plus actor Quinton Aaron. Jesse Williams is hoping to defend his title.

Bowling Tech: Bowling with the competitive bowler

The Competitive Bowler, and dealing with the competitive bowlers who are sometimes way over the top when it comes to just plain old league bowling. Whether it's your teammate, or a competitive bowler on the other team you are bowling against, sometimes it can be very annoying when they just don't get it and only want to win at any cost!

Bowling, like any other sport, can also be very competitive, but there is a thing called good sportsmanship and every team captain should make sure that the players on their team at least understand the theory of good sportsmanship. Enforcing it, well that's another story.

We have all seen shouting matches, elevated tempers and sometimes even fist fights break out in the middle of a league bowling night! Of course, the stakes are a lot higher in a scratch league environment where the bowlers are paying upwards of $25 a night, compared to the handicapped fun league where the bowlers are paying $12 a night.

Tournament bowling, now that's a different story. Where there's big money on the line and competitive bowlers are in a combative mode to win that match, sometimes the psychological warfare is way over the top! That's the nature of the beast--the higher the stakes, the more competitive and more head games can be expected.

Looking at the big picture, we still need new league bowlers every year, so if the competitive, higher-average bowlers are going to bowl in the handicap mixed leagues, they should at least be aware of their surroundings and help the game of bowling by treating the lower-average bowlers fairly. It's on all of us to make sure bowlers are having fun; otherwise, they go play something else!

Average books now available

The 2011-12 average books are available for sale and are still just $2 each. Check with any GEUSBC Director or at the Control Desk at local centers on where you can pick up your copy today.

PBA has raised $12,085 to date for Tony Reyes Family Fund

Funds raised for the Reyes family have come primarily from the sale of "TR" tribute emblems and proceeds of a silent auction held during the World Series of Bowling this past November in Las Vegas.

"TR" tribute emblems are still available for sale that will go to the Tony Reyes Family Fund. To order "TR" patches, send your order along with a check or money order (payable to PBA) for $5 per patch to: PBA, c/o TR emblem, 615 Second Avenue, Suite 680, Seattle, WA 98104. Make sure to include your return address.

Weekly super scores

Congratulations to two local bowlers who rolled their first career 300 games!

--Mark Bess, bowling in the Bakersfield Scratch Trio Traveling league, on his first night back at AMF Southwest Lanes on Monday, January 14, rolled his first-ever 300 game for his first game of the night. Bess was carrying a 195 average.

--And to Ken Tarbran, bowling in the Dixie league also at AMF Southwest Lanes Jan. 25, rolled his first 300 game and ended the night with a nice 777 series.

--Jim Rehana got 11 in a row for a 298 game rolled back on Dec. 3 bowling in the Elks & Friends league at Regency.

Bowling calendar

Jan. 31: Marge's Super Senior No-Tap Tournament, 1:00 p.m., Regency Bowling Center. For information or to sign up, call Janet at (661) 325-6428.

Feb. 12: GEUSBC Youth Meeting, 5 p.m., Regency Bowling Center.