It is indeed Coldwater week.
Practice rounds begin on Wednesday at 2 p.m. and the champions will be declared sometime around 6:30 p.m. following a stepladder final that is currently slated to begin at 5pm.
It is the space in between those times that will be pure excitement for the fans of the sport who take the trip to Coldwater – including those who take the extra time to attend the two Pro-AM events scheduled on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Congrats has to be handed out to the Hartings family and the crew of Pla-Mor Lanes along with the PBA as they managed to get an incredible roster of bowling stars to Coldwater this season for The PBA Bowlerstore.com Classic presented by Moxy’s Xtra Pair – and a true gentleman of the game Doug Davidson.
If there is any justice, Doug’s son Michael will take the title but he will be seriously challenged in that attempt by without question the best array of talent to ever perform in our area.
A quick review of the members rolling in the Pro Am events should confirm that observation and help start the engines that will be needed to make the trip. The 5:30 squad has Andrew Anderson, Jakob Butturff, Parker Bohn III, Tom Daugherty, Bill O’Neil, Sean Rash, Ronnie Russell and E J Tackett on hand to compete. If that is not enough to wet your bowling whistle the 8:30 p.m. group will be perhaps even more loaded with Chris Barnes, Dom Barrett, Norm Duke, Tommy Jones, Marshall Kent, Kristopher Prather, Kyle Troup and Stuart Williams.
Can you imagine the opening rounds that are set to go in groups of 32 at 8 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 7p.m.? Yes they will re-oil between each shift for those that have that thought on their mind.
The cast bowling in the opening events would make for a great tournament but this event will also have crowd favorites Rhino Page and Chris Loschetter as well as Ryan Ciminelli back from his two tournament suspension for debating things with a lane man. When you factor in Brian Kretzer, more on him in a minute, as well as the likes of Jesper Svennson, Wes Malott and Thomas Smallwood you should just about be salivating. It will be a great week indeed.
The Moxy Ball Xtra Pair Event will be followed on Saturday and Sunday by the PBA50 Coldwater/Roto-Grip Central/Midwest Open.
As this goes to print that field is not quite set but I am going to go out on a very short limb and predict victory for Brian Kretzer who unless he pulls a hammy in the main event during the week seems like a natural pick for this event – in fact a double crown for Kretzer this week and a victory in Delphos in about another month would be fun. The PBA50 action is set to go in shifts at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday with the Cashers round beginning on Sunday at 1 1 a.m. The round of 8 is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and the stepladder at 3 p.m.
While Coldwater may be the story on the PBA level this week, there is a lot going on at the bowling arenas around Lima. Virtually every house is having league signups this week although my great friends at Wapak’s Astro Lanes got a great deal of their work done at the Auglaize County Fair this Yearl
My guess would be that leagues are filling up quickly throughout the area. That said do not listen to me – call the lanes that in your city or area and see what they have available on the day that you would love to roll. We will be writing more about the hearts of our local owners in the weeks to come – what I do know is that each of them will do all that they can to make the call worthwhile for you.
I also cannot let two separate contacts that I got this past week go by without a mention with regard to Esports.
The first would be from Ian Friesner, a co-worker who is now a student at Lourdes University who shared a tweet from Lourdes Esports they would be including a Fortnite team this upcoming season within their program.
In the words of Friesner … “There you go …it’s growing.”
The other contact that I got was from sadly a former bowler now, the best roommate on the road a bowler could wish for – Steve Frueh.
Frueh was exuberant when I picked up the call – you would have thought that THE Ohio State University had just taken down Michigan one more time!
“I just opened the Columbus Dispatch,” he went on to say, “Esports is all over the front page.”
I will let you research the balance of the article – it can be found on line. The essence of the story is that Lincoln Tower – a great dormitory with a clear view of the Horseshoe as well as the practice field for the Best Damn Band in the Land – will now be home to an Esports arena.
Brandon Smith is quoted in the article as he discusses the importance of engaging with students where they are in life.
The article also shares a number that amazed both Frueh and I in that the global audience for Esports in 2018 was roughly 395 million folks and that it is expected to grow to 454 million in 2019.
And to think people wonder why individuals such as myself and Alex Ewing of Elida are so fascinated with this concept.