Columns & Blogs

Bowlers raise $1,200 for vets

Don Surdich, bowling columnist
Don Surdich, bowling columnist

Eleven local Bowlers to Veterans Link winners will be heading to Fireside Lanes at Citrus Heights on March 26 for the California USBC Helen Duval Veterans championships.

The following bowlers will represent Merced County in 11 divisions: Larry Valenti Jr. (Classic), Ed Rowen (A scratch), Manuel Frade (B scratch) and Pernell Jackson (D scratch) in men's; Rae Coonce (Classic), Dana Lee (A scratch), Karen Tweed (B scratch), Niki Abernathy (C scratch) and Maria Pugliese (D scratch) in women's.

Tyler Davis led local qualifiers in the youth division, advancing in C scratch. Andrew Bernal (D scratch) also moved on.

According to Karen Tweed, BVL chair, the association has raised more than $1,200, with $707 coming from the raffle of the Eagle bowling ball. The amount beats last year's total. Winner of the ball was Ken Schmitz of Merced.

Forty teams took to the lanes last Saturday at KC Bowl in Hanford for the Silver Foxes Bowling Club's yearly doubles event for 2010.

Julie and Bruce Wescott of Atwater were the No. 3 seed after four games of qualifying with an 1,805 series. They met the No. 2 seed, Hanford's Pat Souza and Donna Franklin, and edged them out with a one-game match score of 438-410. The Wescotts earned a check for $266 for second place.

Others bringing home some cash were: the team of Mike Coe and Marty Daniel in seventh place for $140; and in eighth place was the team of Pete DeVries and Don Sweet for $135.

Up next for the club will be a singles tournament to be held at Sierra Lanes in Fresno on Dec. 11 at noon.

Karen and Keith Hunter were in second place in the D division doubles at the Cal-State Senior Championships in Fresno with a handicapped score of 1,383. In B division singles, Keith Hunter has a bead on first place after rolling great games of 200, 212 and 248 for a scratch 660 set. His series ended up a 781 with handicap.

Looks like a winner to me.

A quick follow-up on the proposed 26-lane bowling center in Turlock: The plans for the center were approved by the Planning Commission last week. Organizers are set to seek Turlock City Council approval at its Dec. 14 meeting. Besides housing 26 lanes, there will be a sky box, two-story laser tag arena, bocce ball area and a sports bar and grill called Miko's.

"Gone are the smoke-filled, dingy lighting, and cramped quarters, they are really family fun centers now," said Rod Scott, one of the real estate agent who plans to build the center. "The worse the economy is, the better for business where bowling is concerned."

With only one more Tournament of Champions slot to fill, Kioni Sodaria of Stockton took the November scratch six-gamer at Yosemite Lanes, defeating Marty Deh in the final match 207-188. The win also netted Sodaria a check for $302. The final six-gamer is set for Dec. 5 to decide the finals to be held on Dec. 26.

Eric Hickman should be excited about the coming tournament -- it's a 10-gamer, like Hickman used to roll at Century Bowl years back.

It's being held on the first Saturday of the month, beginning in December, at the Morgan Hill bowl. Brackets and side pots are available. Entry fee is $50. Check-in starts at 6 p.m. with a 7 o'clock start time. To sign-up, contact Tim Brown at (408) 778-0909.

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