It didn’t take long for PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke to make an impact on the PBA50 Tour.

In his rookie season on the tour for players ages 50 and older, the 37-time PBA Tour champion from Clermont, Fla., became only the second player to earn PBA50 Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year in the same season.

Despite the great season Duke had, it was two other PBA greats — Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Pete Weber — who led the PBA50 Tour statistical races, claiming the top spots in average, earnings and competition points over the course of the 11-tournament campaign.

Duke, who won two titles in 2014, including the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open for his first major, joined fellow Hall of Famer Tom Baker (2005) as the second player to earn the PBA50 Tour’s top awards in the same year.

Adding to his lengthy portfolio of PBA honors, PBA Hall of Famer and the 1998 PBA50 Rookie of the Year Johnny Petraglia earned Super Senior Player of the Year for players 60 and over as competition points leader among his 60-and-older peers. He had three top-10 finishes including a second-place finish in the PBA50 Dick Weber Super Senior Classic.

Dick Weber’s longtime home in Missouri — Florissant — will honor the late bowling great with a plaque on the community’s Walk Through History. Weber moved to Florissant in 1955 and, 16 years later, opened Dick Weber Lanes. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Weber’s widow, Juanita, will be in attendance, as will their famous bowling son, Pete, and other family members. The plaque will be dedicated on Sept. 2.

The PBA Southwest Region has experienced a youth movement during the 2014 season, according to Southwest Region manager Pete McCordic. So far this year the region has seen four players win their first PBA titles — and all of them are under the age of 28.

The most recent additions to the list are 23-year-old twin brothers Anthony and Sean Lavery, of Pasadena, who won their first titles in back-to-back weeks. Sean won the Killeen Southwest Open on Aug. 10 and Anthony won the Emerald Bowl Southwest Challenge in Houston on Aug. 17.

The other first-time titlists include 17-year-old Anthony Simonsen, of Mesquite, and 28-year-old Shawn Maldonado, of Houston.

In addition to the first-time title winners, 2013 Southwest Region Rookie of the Year Roger Petrin, 23, of Wichita, Kan., won his second title and Andy Patterson, of Tyler, who just turned 26, won his fifth title earlier in the year. And three nonmembers also have won PBA Southwest events for the first time — Kansas State collegiate bowler Dylan Burns; Eric Traylor, of Pearland; and Jay Nephew of Houston.

While on the youth movement topic, I would like for the youth coaches, including high school bowling clubs, to look at their athletes and start putting together statistics for the Youth Bowler of the Year. There is no one better to nominate a youth than a coach, and to not nominate someone simply doesn’t support the association or the youth. It’s time to take the time and recognize the future of our sport.

Fall leagues are underway at Hallmark, Bowlerama, and Phantom Warrior Lanes. The senior league at Phantom Warrior Lanes has 30 four-person teams.

The first week at Phantom wasn’t my best effort. I dropped to a 13-pound ball, but my elbow still gives me problems. My doctor will check me out again, and hopefully, I won’t have to sit out another year.

See you on the lanes.

Don Wright has been sharing insights on area/national bowling with Herald readers for more than 25 years. Contact him at

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