The Greater Killeen-Fort Hood USBC Association honored Thomas (Happy) Chapman with induction into the association’s Hall of Fame.

I first met Chapman in the early ’70s when I was trying to get on a team after returning from Korea. He needed a bowler and picked me up and we had a heck of a good team made up of Win Cockrell, Billy Wallace, me, Chapman and Ron Wacker. With tonight’s induction, that entire team is in the Hall of Fame, and Cockrell is in the Texas State USBC Hall of Fame.

Chapman is the kind of guy every association would love to have. He dedicates himself in every endeavor. He has filled positions as director, youth coach, youth tournament director and nearly all the committees. He currently volunteers his time to the ways and means and does everything he is asked, from selling tickets, to handling tournament entries and working the ways and means table.

Happy is the right name for him because in the 30 plus years I have known him I have never seen him mad. If you need to find him, all you have to do is go to the Bowlerama snack bar and you’ll usually find him there.

Back in the ’70s and ’80s there were not too many 200-average bowlers in the association and Chapman wasn’t one of them. When new equipment came on the scene and the short oil patterns made their way into our sport, he was still — and remains — a rocket to the pocket and a heck of a spare shooter. He always showed up at the center, and still does, with his bowling ball on his shoulder and his shoes in his hand. Keep it simple.

He has received the associations merit award and the presidents award.

Think about his service: 12 years as president of the youth association and 34 years of dedicated service to the community, association and our youth in promoting our sport.

Over the years he has bowled in the local association in centers many of you never knew about — King’s in Copperas Cove; Center Lanes, formerly on the corner of what was Hood and Headquarters Ave.; Albee Lanes and Bowlers Green, both replaced by Phantom Warrior.

I was proud that Chapman asked me to do the induction and I consider him a friend and worthy of this honor.

Between the coughing and the medicine I was prescribed, I have only one excuse for missing my deadline last week. I fell asleep and when I awoke I knew it was too late to send it in. My apologies to my editor and my readers, who quickly reminded me when I got to Bowlerama.

If you missed the Professional Bowlers Tour on Dec. 9, you missed the first telecast of the new season. The Professional Bowlers Association’s 33rd season on ESPN had the men’s and women’s finals of the Bayer Advanced Aspirin World Bowling Tour Finals.

As the first event of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IV, the men’s and women’s finals featured a lineup of PBA star players who earned their spots in the three-player stepladder format by placing among the top three in World Bowling Tour points over a span of two seasons.

The women’s final consisted of three players who have made their marks in PBA history. The opening match featured Liz Johnson, the first woman to win a PBA regional title and the first woman to reach a nationally-televised PBA Tour title match, bowling against Kelly Kulick, who won the 2010 PBA Tournament of Champions to become the first woman to capture a PBA Tour title. Johnson defeated Kulick and moved on to face Missy Parkin.

Parkin, was the first woman to join the PBA and she defeated Johnson 278-180.

The men’s opening match had four-time tour winner and 2012 USBC Masters champion Mike Fagan against 14-time tour winner and former Player of the Year Chris Barnes. Barnes easily defeated Fagan and went on to battle defending WBT Finals champion and top qualifier Mika Koivuniemi, a nine-time tour winner and two-time PBA Player of the Year. Barnes won that match 244-228.

The winners in each division received $20,000. Second place paid $10,000, and third was worth $5,000.

The next four consecutive Sundays will feature World Series of Bowling finals, with all 90-minute programs airing at noon.

Bowlers Journal reports that a new name, new venue, a season-long points competition leading to an ESPN-televised finale, and a crop of new star players will highlight the 2013 PBA50 Tour season.

The 2013 PBA50 Tour (formerly PBA Senior Tour) schedule will consist of 11 tournaments, with new stops in Welch, Minn.; Tampa, Fla. (tentative), and Trussville, Ala.

The 2013 PBA50 season will again see a new crop of top-level players from the PBA Tour eligible to compete, including PBA Hall of Famers Pete Weber, Parker Bohn III and ESPN analyst Randy Pedersen. Also on the list of those becoming eligible at age 50 in the months ahead are PBA Tour champions Jack Jurek, Chris Warren and David Traber.

See you on the lanes.

Contact Don Wright at

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