Plenty of honors to go around for area bowlers, despite cancellation of awards banquet
In a non-COVID year, the Peoria River City USBC Association would be honoring its new Hall of Fame inductees and handing out a few other awards around this time of year.
Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, there will be no 2020 awards banquet, and no new honorees will be added to the local hall.
But that didn’t prevent the association from honoring its PRCA Bowlers of the Year and all-star teams in six different categories this past week.
The Bowlers of the Year were determined going strictly by a points list developed by the association’s board of directors. It awards points for league participation, high games, high series, and high finishes in local, state and national tournaments – with the focus being on the local events.
The local association recognized both male and female bowlers, from youth to seniors, with only one crossover honoree.
That was Dawn Guerrero, who was the Women’s Senior Bowler of the Year and a member of the non-senior women’s all-star team.
“I have worked very hard on my game,” she said. “My first goal for this year was to finish top Senior Bowler of the Year. But when I started putting up some decent scores last year and shooting so well in the city tournament, I started to push a little harder.
“I was really hoping with all my heart I had enough to make it. It really is a dream come true, a huge sense of accomplishment and incredibly special.”
Guerrero was joined on the non-senior women’s all-star team by her daughter-in-law, Bobbie Sweet. Other members of the team were Bowler of the Year Hailey Jepson, Jennifer Mauerman, and Kathleen Hermacinski.
“I’m very proud of Bobbie as well,” Guerrero said. “It feels great to be almost 60 and still hang with these awesome women bowlers. It’s truly a special feeling, because I'm pretty sure I have 20-plus years on them (in age).”
Jepson was the top female bowler on the women’s team for the second straight year. A few weeks ago, she broke the women’s city record for three games, rolling 33 strikes in an 848 series.
“I started out the beginning of the season strong for a couple weeks,” she said. “Then I seemed to struggle for a bit until after the first of the year. But I finished out the rest of the season pretty strong.”
The brother duo of Sammy and Steve Taylor were recognized in different divisions.
Sammy Taylor was the Men’s Senior Bowler of the Year, while younger brother Steve was on the men’s non-senior all-star squad.
“That took me by complete surprise,” Sammy Taylor said. “I actually never thought of myself as one of the best senior bowlers.
“I look up to a lot of senior bowlers and non-senior bowlers. I guess it just goes to show that hard work and never giving up seems to pay off at times.”
Rounding out the men’s senior all-star list were Tony Wysinger, Eric Kendall, Eric Zueck and Brian McDaniel.
Another family connection on the teams is between women’s senior all-star team member Elain Kaufmann and her granddaughter, Jasmine Kaufmann, who made the girls all-star team roster.
The other members of the women’s senior all-star team were Valeria Haynes, Val Anders and Selina Tandy.
Tommy Barnwell, the current average leader (235.1) in the traveling Perfect Angle/Bill Mastronardi Masters league, earned the Men’s Bowler of the Year honors, beating out some tough competition. The other men’s all-star members were Travis Anderson, Harley Bollinger, Kevin Tockes, Steve Taylor, and Mike Baker Jr.
“I was surprised that I was Men’s Bowler of the Year because I bowl out of town so much, and I know their points system is based more off local stuff,” Barnwell said. “So, I really didn't expect to make the team.”
On the youth side, Jade Frost was named the Girls Bowler of the Year, while her boyfriend, Austin Hall, was the Boys Bowler of the Year.
“It is really special to win the Bowler of the Year with Austin,” Frost said. “We work so hard together to support one another and push each other.”
Hall, a four-time youth city champion said both he and Frost were surprised to win the honor.
“Honestly, neither of us expected to be Bowler of the Year,” he said. “To us, it’s very special, because we both worked so hard to get where we are today in the sport. I couldn’t be more proud of her.”
The other members of the girls’ all-star team were Christi Jackson, Kourtney Hauk, Audrey Blair, Jasmine Kaufmann and Haley Weir.
The boys on the all-star team included Spencer Summer, Jason Yunus, Peter Milich and Blake Williams.
Johnny Campos is the Journal Star bowling columnist. He can be reached at 686-3214 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JohnnyCampos59.
Peoria-area bowling scores
Perfect Angle/Bill Mastronardi Masters (second round, first-week standings): 1 T-Shirt House 36-14; 2 Striketown 32-18; 3 (tie) Plaza Lanes and Linn Lanes 30-20; 5 Johnson Accounting 27-23; 6 Wingstop 26-24; 7 Bullpen 24-26; 8 Landmark Lanes 23-27; 9 (tie) Sunset Lanes and Potter’s Alley 20-30; 11 T&D Windshield 18-32; 12 Mt. Hawley Bowl 14-36.
Last week’s results (at Potter’s Alley, Morton): Linn def. Sunset 30-20; Striketown def. T&D 32-18; Plaza def. Potter’s 30-20; T-Shirt def. Mt. Hawley 36-14; Wingstop def. Bullpen 26-24; Johnson def. Landmark 27-23.
High series: Brad Moore (Wingstop) 762, Mike Baker Jr. 759, Dustin Hopkins (Striketown) 745, Tommy Barnwell (Plaza) 729, Don Sweet (Striketown) 726, Tony DeVita (T-Shirt) 725, Pete Burdette (Potter’s) 725, Terry Weisenberger (Sunset) 718, Kevin Audi (Linn) 716, Mike Boogren (Sunset) 706, Rob Johnson (T&D) 700.
High games: Weisenberger 288, Burdette 279 & 258, Yuma Scott (Plaza) 278, T. Barnwell 269, Joe Robards (Mt. Hawley) 268, DeVita 268, Chad Barnes (Mt. Hawley) 266, Hopkins 267, M. Baker 267, Audi 259, Moore 258 & 257, Sweet 258, Jack Ford (Bullpen) 258, David Colburn (T-Shirt) 256, Boogren 255, Brian Davis (Linn) 255, Harley Bollinger (Wingstop) 254, Dan Rogers (T&D) 253, Mark Stenger 253.