McHenry tourney 'Peachy'

Special to the Sun-StarJuly 27, 2013 

The 64th annual Peach Singles Classic at Modesto's McHenry Bowl comes to an end this Sunday.

It's a five-game (2-1-2) handicap tournament where competitors move lanes after the second and third games.

This year the prize fund has a guarantee of more than $20,000. First place is $2,000, second $1,000, third $750, and fourth place $500. The Peach pays down to 100th place at $100.

Merced's David King is still on the leaderboard in the men's high scratch game with a 259. Squad times are at noon, 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday only. To reserve a spot, call (209) 571-2695.

Webber wins ESPY

Pete Webber won his third Best Bowler ESPY award at last Wednesday night's award ceremony at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. Webber, a PBA Hall of Fame member and winner of the 2013 PBA Tournament of Champions, took the PBA50 Senior Masters title. He has 37 PBA titles in his career. Walter Ray Williams Jr., formerly of Stockton, has seven ESPY's to his credit.

Sweet retires

Don Sweet of Atwater has been the chief bottle washer for our association since the late 1980s. Now he can relax at home, as he has retired from running for an officer position in our Merced County USBC Association.

Sweet had been a director for many years. At one time he had a run of president and vice-president from 1992-1996. But his expertise was being the lane inspection man for the association.

When August came around he would get out his lane inspection equipment with gauges and levels, and with the help of the members of the board would check the lanes at Bellevue Bowl and Castle Lanes.

He would check for loose screws or nails around the pin deck so that your ball would not come back with a gouge in it. He made sure that all the pins were on their spots on deck when the rack came down. He checked out the wood boards at Castle Lanes.

He gave both lanes a list of problems and would come back in a few weeks to make sure the repairs were complete and then sanction the lanes for league play in September.

Enjoy your retirement Don, you had a great run.

Los Banos Bowl (part one)

The Los Banos Bowl opened on May 27, 1961, with 12 lanes, pool tables, a lounge and a restaurant called Coffee Lanes, which would become famous in its own right.

The owner was Mel Soares and it was built by general contractor Ted Falasco, who built a few commercial buildings in the city. He also owned Los Banos Lumber at the time.

The Bowl came to Los Banos when it needed something for the residents to do. It began to form new leagues on March 31 in anticipation of the new lanes.

Everyone from the West Side was ready for the bowl to open. Dos Palos and the surrounding area had people signing up for the new leagues, and most of them were first-time bowlers. Regulars were Ed Teicheira, Frankie Souza, and Dino Turri who rolled perfect games at the Bowl.

The Los Banos Men's Bowling Association was led by Joe Cardoza and Viro Marchochi. Other bowlers in the association that I remember were Harry Chew, Jack Moorhead, Albert Bradac, Al Peres, Frank Gallichio, Frank Costa, Mike Gill, Rene "Lefty" Erratchi, Gary Gill, Ken Jones and Joe "Bread Man" Baganha. There were the Silvas, the Reddings and the Vonallmans.

I guess the bowl was the local hangout. It had a small but cozy lounge and a great coffee shop that had a great customer base for lunch.

Part two next week.

In passing

A long-time bowler passed away last week. Ed Sanders bowled in the association for over 25 years on several teams. During his league play he averaged between 155 and 166, according to our association's book records. During the Commercial Classic league on Wednesday nights at Bellevue Bowl, Ed would be walking around the concourse talking to bowlers he knew. Services were held last Sunday at the Stratford Evans Funeral Home in Merced.


Travis Mason 227, Kim Barcellos 245, Garland Moore 202, Mark Camp 224, Tyler Davis 276, Kristin Weimer 190, Ashley Danel 190, Mike Coe 231, Brian Liebelt 227, Bradley DeHart 225, Bob Weimer 234, Larry Valenti Jr. 228, Susan Couture 182 (125 avg.), Mickey Wallbaum 236, Steven Ney 213 (137 avg.), Patty Harrell 188, Roger Ross 226, Jim Fortin 213, Justin Decker 205, Mark Moua 236, Stephanie Thompson 192.


Maria Herrera 541, Kim Barcellos 590, Melissa Eldridge 592, Larry Valenti Jr. 626, Mickey Wallbaum 626, Bill Barthel 626, Chris Elias 637, Jay Cairncross 650, Jeremy Hurd 650, Sean McCulloch 668, Hugh Gray 674, Kevin Wagner 675, Tyler Davis 680, Scott Eldridge 690.

Don Surdich is the Sun-Star's bowling columnist and can be reached at (209) 777-1111 or via e-mail at

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