Cuero Trotters begin season

By ABEL GARCIA
Aug. 19, 2017 at 8:36 p.m.

Abel Garcia, bowling columnist

Abel Garcia, bowling columnist   Abel Garcia for The Victoria Advocate

The Cuero Trotters opened the 2017-18 season last week with their first of a 10-week season of friendly competition among ladies. The league is composed of five teams that bowl the second Sunday of each month.

The Funtappers League has one more week of competition before the summer league session ends. Melissa Buenger rolled a 414 series to lead the ladies.

The Funtappers is a no-tap league, which means that if a bowler knocks down nine pins on the first ball, the bowler is credited with a strike. The team, Great Balls of Fire, is the current leader going into the final week.

The women's high score of 625 was posted by Cecilia Wilson, followed by Billie Mathiews' 604. Kary Fortenberry rolled a nice high game of 230.

Bug Turek posted the high series with a 265-761, and Gerald Brooks rolled the second highest score with 252-716.

Looking back

Sanctioned bowling was brought to Victoria by Beryl and Eva Loper in 1953 when they opened the eight-lane Victoria Bowling Center on Rio Grande St. They were instrumental in organizing leagues and providing a competitive and fun sport from the start.

The following year, Gene Bailey, along with Ed Brooks, opened the six-lane Campus Bowling Center on Red River. It is now the Woodlawn Bowling Center with 10 lanes, but no sanctioned competition.

In 1958, the then-modern 16-lane bowling center, Palace Lanes, was opened on the Houston Highway. It featured the latest AMF bowling automatic pinsetters and was a great boost to bowling, especially with Foster Air Force Base being nearby.

The Century Lanes opened in 1982 with 32 lanes of the latest AMF bowling features and is the only remaining sanctioned center in town. The Victoria Bowling Center closed in 1978, and the Palace Lanes closed in 1986.

At the height of bowling in Victoria, 40 leagues were sanctioned locally in 1984 with an adult membership of more than 1,400. While the large membership may be gone, bowling is still a fun competitive sport for the bowlers starting a new season.

Latin Bowlers Tournament

A local team did very well during the Latin Bowlers Tournament in San Antonio last weekend. Randy Vivero, Mark Gonzales, Ida Caballero, Lee Caballero and Miles Michalec took third place in the team event.

On the PWBA Tour, Texas transplant Stefanie Johnson rejoined the tour after giving birth to a baby girl in March and had great success by winning the PWBA Orlando Open. The qualifying rounds and match play were held at Boardwalk Bowl in Orlando, with the step-ladder finals being televised from the Plano Super Bowl.

As the No. 4 seed, she faced Liz Johnson, who had just won her sixth US Women's Open. Strikes from the fifth through the ninth frame gave Stefanie Johnson a 210-176 victory. In the second match, she defeated Danielle McEwan 245-216 to advance to the championship round against Germany's Birgit Poppler.

Splits hurt both bowlers, but Johnson was able to grind out a 189-184 win for her championship title.

The win gives Johnson a spot in the 16-player field Smithfield Tour Championships to be televised Sept. 6.

The PWBA St. Petersburg Clearwater Open step-ladder finals will be televised Tuesday at 7:30 pm on the CBS Sports Network.

RESULTS

CUERO TROTTERS 1ST (tie) ALLEY CATS, PIN-UPS, and TEAM 5 Women: M. Buenger 414; L. Hempel 409; P. Mayer 405; FUNTAPPERS (No-Tap) 1st GREAT BALLS OF FIRE Women: C. Wilson 625; B. Mathiews 604; K. Fortenberry 230; R. Wortham 220; Men: B. Turek 265-761; G. Brooks 252-716; J. Holbert 278-704; M. Hernandez 275-684; A. Whitehead 266-683.


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