In its many years of existence, the Junior Classic League has seen many change. For the 2018-19 fall/winter season, the league will see some more.
The league was started in the early 1990’s at the former Bowlers Country Club in Fairhaven by Rosemary and Tony Rodriques. It was by invitation only.
Bowlers with a 135 average and over from the other Bowlers Country Club Junior Leagues would be invited to join the league, which competed at 9 a.m. on Saturdays.
When the center closed in 1998, the league moved over to Wonder Bowl. The Rodriques’ bowed out shortly thereafter and Rose Tomczewski took over as director. She was assisted by Debbie Camara. They used the same format, with the 135-average eligibility.
In about 2006, Beth LaBossiere came on board as assistant to Tomczewski.
Something new came from USBC — Junior Gold — and LaBossiere and Tomczewski looked into it, and in the first year, LaBossiere’s daughter, Amanda LaBossiere, then 14, qualified for the National Junior Gold by winning the Massachusetts State Pepsi Tournament.
That spearheaded a fundraising effort called “Amanda’s Dream” to help forgo the cost of traveling to the event.
After that, each year, fundraisers were held as other bowlers in the league qualified for Junior Gold. The number of junior bowlers going to Nationals increased every year. They qualified during various state events or Junior Gold qualifiers held periodically around the state.
LaBossiere went to National Junior Gold for six years, until she aged out at 20. Her best finish was 10th in her next-to-last event.
The major purpose of attending, besides winning a spot on the Junior Team USA, is to get noticed by college scouts who are in attendance at the Junior Gold events and keep a keen eye out for potential candidates.
Besides LaBossiere, who went to Arkansas State and saw success on their collegiate bowling team, Tyler Perry and Tiler Levesque went on to college as a result of the scholarships, each attending a different school in the Midwest.
“Preparation for Junior Gold is tough,” said Beth LaBossiere. “At the National Junior Gold, the junior bowlers compete against the best in the country on lane conditions that are much more difficult than the normal house shots. Bowlers from our area were at a disadvantage not having experience on the tougher lane conditions.”
Eventually, with the help of Wonder Bowl, she changed the lane patterns on Saturday mornings to a more difficult oiling pattern.
“It wasn’t the more difficult Sport Pattern,” she said, “that the bowlers face at Nationals, but (still it's) a more difficult shot than what they were used to. The bowlers had to work harder to score better.”
For the 2018-19 season, Brian Blanchette, has come on board as co-director of Wonder Bowl’s Junior Classic League.
“I’d like to see more junior bowlers,” said Blanchette, “get college bowling scholarships, so we are going to work to get them more than ready to compete with the best juniors in the country.”
The next season, the format will change. The 135-average qualification that has been in effect since the beginning will still be in effect.
What will change is the format of the league.
The league will be formatted after Sharon Evans’ Junior Bowling Sports Challenge events that are held at AMF Auburn Lanes.
“My son,” said Blanchette, referring to 15-year-old Sam, “has been bowling in that event for a few years and has learned a lot. He also bowled in the AMF Cranston Junior Sport Shot League for a few years.”
At the National Junior Gold held in Dallas last month, Sam Blanchette was the highest finisher among SouthCoast competitors. He missed making the finals in his division by 10 pins.
There are high hopes for next year’s Junior Gold event and the league co-directors are going to work hard so that the junior bowlers who are serious about taking bowling to the next level will be able to get scholarships to college and bowl on college teams.
“We are going to have actual different type of Sport Patterns each week put out on the lanes,” said Blanchette. “About every sixth week or so, we will have a Teen Masters (only two spare-type bowling balls allowed and varied oiling patterns) event or a Bakers (where each bowler on the team bowls a frame then the next bowler and then the next). We might have some of the bowlers who have gone to college, as a result of bowling, visit and talk to our league members.”
Registration for this league takes place at Wonder Bowl on Aug. 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Both LaBossiere and Blanchette will be on hand to answer questions.
Competition for the 2018-19 season gets underway on Aug. 25 with practice at 9 a.m. and league bowling at 9:30.
The Southeastern Massachusetts USBC Bowling Association 2018-19 season league kick-off meeting is Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Holiday Lanes in Westport. League secretaries or their representatives are urged to attend to pick up their fall/winter league supplies. Also, important information will be presented. Light refreshments will be served.
Registration for the Westport Junior League fall/winter season is at Holiday Lanes in Westport on Aug. 18 from 10 a.m. to noon. The league begins competition on Sept. 8.
Wonder Bowl’s Junior Leagues registration is Aug. 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This includes the Junior Classic League. The season begins on Aug. 25.
Steph’s Winter Doubles League at AMF Somerset Lanes has its organizational meeting for the 2018-19 season on Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. The league will begin its season on Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. The league will bowl for 16 weeks, have Christmas and New Year’s off and then bowl for another 16 weeks. Format is bowl four games per night with two two-game matches. Handicap is 90 percent of difference between both teams with a maximum of 60 pins per game. For more information, call Steph at 508-730-7715.
Summer leagues will begin soon. Schedules are posted at each area tenpin center. Sign up for leagues before their roster is filled. The sooner you register, the best choice for day/nights and time you’ll have.
Tim Healey, in Steph’s Summer Doubles League at AMF Somerset Lanes, bowled a 300 game on July 26.
In the NEBA Yankee Lanes Doubles, in Keene N.H. on August 4, Tyler Perry and Hunter Kempton were champions. It was Perry’s second NEBA title and Kempton’s first.
Alex Aguiar was champion in the NEBA Yankee Lanes Singles in Keene, N.H. on August 5. It was his 22nd NEBA championship.
There was tremendously good bowling in the Columbia 300 Summer Classic on August 1. Alex Aguiar bowled an 816 three-game series and a 1,040 four-game series.
And, Sean Richard bowled his 99th career 300 game that was included in a four-game-1,073 series; also, Jayme Silva Sr. bowled a 300 game that was included in a four-game-993 series. His 300 game was part of a team (Money Team) in which he, his son Jayme Silva Jr. and Josh Pires bowled an 836 series.
AMF Somerset Lanes
John Grobe Mixed Seniors: Sandy O’Hara, 222; Frank Orlando, 238; Don Caisse, 204; Kelly Van Hees, 202, 205; Russ Chace, 204; Leo Desrosiers, 209; Jerry Butterfield, 231.
Wednesday Summer Seniors: Don Rowell, 215; Bob Thibeault, 201; Germaine Damm, 502.
Friday Senior Mixed Tournament (Aug. 3): 1st, Steve Sirop, 665; 2nd, Dave Flint, 638; 3rd, Karl Thomspen, 637; 4th, Ernie Bourque, 630; high woman out of the money, Ellie Lauzon, 628.
Columbia 300 Summer Classic: John Marsden, 277; Derrick Silva, 227; Jesse Paceco, 233; Tiler Levesque, 244; Steve Millette, 234; Josh Claudio, 235; Tommy Machado, 299; Charlie McConnell, 233; Josh Pires, 257; Jayme Silva Jr., 279, 278/961; Thomas Bergeron, 198; Craig Bouchard, 200; Bobby Rebello, 244; Louie Lemmertz, 256; Chris Baker, 252; Matt Rayner, 267/950; Scott Fisher, 258; Tyler Perry, 258; Jon Norton, 255, 288/987; David Saucier, 246; Josh Anderson, 256; Chris Dos Santos, 246, 247; Jason Correia, 267; Peder Sivertsen, 279/916; Christine Brewer, 205; Brent Brewer, 269; Joey Lopes, 209; John Camara, 234, 232; Mark Dean, 226; Karen Henriques, 219; Vinnie Furtado, 236; James Penney, 222;
Tony Avylla, 233; Nakita Guilmette, 234; Dan O’Brien, 213; Steve Tinkham, 258; John Ventura, 246.
Summer Adult/Child: David Napier, 233, 287/710.
Summer Junior Doubles: Jody Donnelly Jr., 215, 218/602; Madisyn Leavitt, 202/527; David Napier, 226.
Summer Tuesday Nite Mixed: Tony Avylla, 255, 244/694; Tom Charis, 234; John Maciel, 232; Rachel Maciel, 503; Ronald Maciel, 225, 238/642; John Marsden, 277, 211/669; Tiffany Oliveira, 507; Ozzie Oswald, 213, 210; Peter Pelletier, 212; Artie Pierce Sr., 215; Steve Riccardi, 235; Dave Saulnier, 228; Jayme Silva, 279/701; Jay Smith, 245; Chuck Salomon, 203; Mike Turek, 205.
Vicki Prevost covers bowling for The Standard-Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.