The 17th annual Southwest PBA Killeen Open has concluded and for the first time our local bowlers proved they were up to the challenge. Eric Odette, Sandi Charles, Josh Maxson and Karin Ciesiolka all made the cut of 24 in the semifinals. When the field was again cut to 16, only Odette and Charles made it, with Maxson just missing it and finishing 17th.

On Saturday, Odette started the competition with a 300 game and finished in first place, averaging 244 after “A and B” squads were done for the day.

Ciesiolka, head coach of the Ellison varsity girls bowling team, finished in 15th place and averaged 228.

Charles’ average of 222.75 placed her in 20th place, followed in 21st by Maxson with a 222.62.

The spectators were proud of the showing our local bowlers made and it was probably the largest audience in the 17-year history of the event.

It was a successful Killeen Open, and Hallmark Lanes promises that next year will be even better.

Now that the Killeen Open is over, that means that fall leagues are forming.

The Killeen Bowlerama STARS senior league starts today at 11:30 a.m.

The Phantom Warrior Oldtimers senior league will start on Aug. 22 with a meeting at 10:30 a.m. Bowling will start at 11:30 a.m. and all teams will consist of four bowlers. The time change and number of bowlers per team are changes from last year.

Hallmark Lanes’ senior league, Golden Agers, will begin Aug. 26 at 11:30.

Other leagues are forming, and if you are not sure when yours starts, contact your center for further information.

If many of you, like myself, are wondering why there has not been a newsletter prepared by our association the past couple of months, it is because the board voted not to have one in July and August due to “nothing going on.”

In my opinion, it was a bad decision. Many of our youth bowlers were competing in tournaments in Michigan, the PBA was coming to town, the association held its quarterly board meeting, we had several members and Hall of Famers pass away, just to name a few things “going on.”

It’s my understanding that the association did not receive any nominations for male or female youth bowler of the year. How can that happen?

I look at the scores for high school bowling, attend the youth tournament and see some great youth doing great things. So why are coaches and youth directors not submitting anyone for recognition?

Who better than coaches and directors know what the kids are doing and should get recognition? It is not the job of the association manager.

The kids deserve better.

Hallmark Lanes will be hosting the Youth Harvest Tournament on Sept. 28. This tournament is one of the oldest youth tournaments held annually. For more information on the event, contact Hallmark Lanes at 254-690-4949.

Thanks to PBA Tour champions Mike Fagan of Fort Worth and Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., the United States has ended its 22-year World Games gold medal drought after teaming up to win the World Games mixed doubles title in Cali, Colombia, on  Aug. 1.

In the two-game gold-medal match, the Team USA representatives defeated Canada’s Dan MacLelland and Lynne Gauthier, 905-871, before a near capacity crowd at Cali Bowling Coliseum. Since the involvement of bowling in the World Games in 1981, the U.S. had never before won a gold medal.

See you on the lanes.

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