Kretzer three-peats at Delphos

Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist

When the day began on Sunday Brian Kretzer was in fifth place and was 174 pins behind former Mel Westrich PBA50 champion Jeff Zaffino for the ‘medal play’ championship of the Delphos regional. In addition there were three other bowlers in front of him to include former two time champion Harry Sullins.

Some would have seen it as a daunting challenge – not Kretzer.

“We still had twelve games to bowl so I was only looking at 15 pins or so a game. It was something that I knew I was able to do!” Sure enough on Sunday afternoon he did climb that mountain for championship number three in Delphos and PBA50 regional number nine over the last two plus years.

Kretzer from Dayton is a personal favorite of mine for all the assistance that he has given to Rick Hartings and the WOHSBC with regard to getting professional bowlers to Coldwater back in the early days of that regional but also for the help that he has been to the development of the scholarship programming for that conference.

Kretzer shared, “We really have to continue to do more to get youth involved in our sport. It is important for the parents of the youth to see the availability of scholarship money for their children through our youth programs!”

He was almost as focused on that critical topic as he was his play during the day.

“I really felt things started to change in game five [of the twelve match games on Sunday]. I got lucky and bowled good and was able to beat Jeff in our match. I was still behind him but the win was important. I started the next game really strong but he also started with five in a row so I knew that there was work to be done.”

Kretzer referenced the size of the house as being important as well noting that he was always able to keep a watchful eye on how Zaffino was doing throughout.

He had a critical game with Sullins that he won, 279-268 but he pointed to two other matches that were equally important to the victory.

“I had just passed Jeff in game seven and then started game eight with two misses. I was able to hold on with a strike and a spare and was then lucky enough to go off the sheet [the last eight strikes in a row. I then had the game with nine in row with Sullins.”

He also pointed to his match with Richie Brown as most important as Brown had a big split interrupt a nice string of strikes which led to a 258-242 victory while Zaffino’s opponent struck out in the tenth for a one pin victory earning the thirty bonus pins.

It was a big day for the Buckeye fan who wore a High 5 shirt that closely resembled a Buckeye helmet. It had his Roto-Grip and Vice logos that but there was still room for a buckeye leaf or two that Kretzer would not rule out in the future.

He was a gracious champion throughout, thanked the fans for coming out and the VanMetre family for having him. He was also presented with a trophy for being the Central/Midwest PBA50 Bowler of the Year..

Congrats Brian for a job well done.

Also congratulations to Bob Edwards who carried the clipboard on Sunday as the alternate for Sunday action. There was some rumor that he was ready to go Tonya Harding on somebody for the opportunity to roll in the match play. He missed qualifying for Sunday by 4 pins. In our chat he was okay with how he rolled the ball but could tell you each of the single pins that he missed.

Regardless it was a great showing for one of the best ever in our community.

Back to us ordinary bowlers!!!

The season is well afoot by now … While in Delphos I did see that Kevin Kill had rolled a 300 game this season and Cathy McCaslin from Westgate shared with me that Bruce Ferris had rolled his first perfect game. We will hear more on at least one of these accomplishments very soon.

On the college scene…

One of the biggest tournaments in Ohio, certainly the biggest in our relative area will be rolled this upcoming weekend in Dayton. Pikeville State University will again hold the talent rich Orange and Black event at Beaver-Vu Bowl.

The University of Northwestern 0hio will roll in the event as well as the new kids on the block, Lourdes University from Sylvania, Ohio.

For those who wonder why Lourdes ‘shares the billing’ with UNOH, it is simply because four youth from Lima schools bowl for Lourdes. It will be interesting to see the action when the schools cross in this event.

Coach Sosby has high expectations for the men of UNOH and they were able to bring home the first place honors in the Thomas N. Burris Memorial. Gage Sterling and Ryan Clarke were all tournament stars.

The JV team finished third in the tournament with JJ Myers all tourney and Taylor Rossi, Individual champion.

The same crew had finished runner-up in the Louisville Collegiate Classic the day before.

Great job guys.

Lourdes did well in their first WHAC Jamboree as they continue to grow into collegiate bowlers.

The men sent a solid message finishing fifth in a field of thirteen while the women while the unofficial results that I have show the ladies finishing third. While this is not gold it clearly shows the potential of this program

It will certainly be a fun to watch the two schools compete this upcoming weekend.

See you at Dayton or around the lanes.

Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist

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