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  (ARCHIVES)Back to Current
The Bowling Report (12/16/2007)

The unexpected death of Geoff Gardner last Friday was a big blow to the Winona community.

Gardner ran a successful business at Westgate Bowl and Wellington's Pub. His generosity was second to none.

I can't remember how many times I took my kids over to Westgate for a couple games of practice, and when I took my billfold out to pay for the bowling, Geoff would say, "Don't worry about it, Bear, we'll take care of it."

Or the many times I met my wife for lunch at Wellington's when Geoff was cooking. When it was time to leave we'd ask the waitress for the bill, and she'd reply, "Lunch is on Geoff today."

That's just the type of person Geoff was.

Now I think it's time to repay Geoff and the Gardner family.

I would like to start a Geoff Gardner Memorial Bowling Tournament and make it a yearly event. It's my goal to put together a tournament committee and get the ball rolling so we can run the event sometime in February before Winona bowlers take off to compete in state and national tournaments.

I'd like to see a tournament where all skill levels can take part. We can maybe run a singles tournament with two or three men's divisions and two women's divisions, which would all be based on average. We can maybe even put something together for junior bowlers.

Dave Hultgren brought up the idea of having a doubles tournament where teams can consist of both men, both women or mixed. But there's a hitch. The combined average of the teams cannot be more than 400. In other words, a person with a 215 average cannot have a partner that averages more than 185.

Or we can possibly run some type of Baker team tournament.

The best news of all would be that all proceeds from the tournament would go to the Gardner family. I'd like the tournament committee to sit down with the family shortly after the holidays to get all the details ironed out.

If there's one complaint I've heard from Winona bowlers over the years it's that there's no tournaments in town, except for the city tournaments. Here's our chance to have one and honor Geoff Gardner at the same time.

Anyone interested in joining the tournament committee can contact me either at home (454-5498 after 5 p.m.) or by email at (bjkohner@hbci.com).

Who's hot?

Brandon Verbout's first national honor count of the season was a big one. Last Thursday in the Action League at Westgate Bowl, Verbout nailed a 791 national honor count.

Brian Fakler and Adam Stockhausen both turned in a pair of honor counts in the past week. Fakler tossed a 730 series Monday night in the City League at Winona Bowl and a 750 Tuesday in the Blue Ribbon League. Stockhausen added a 736 in the City League and a 716 in the Action League.

Other 700s were rolled by Josh Wenzel (742), Cody Monahan (740), Scott Ellinghuysen (727), Jim Zaborowski (718), Brian Dunbar (711), Ryan Repinski (709), Matt Wise (707), Steve Maliszewski (706), Kyle Malewicki (705), Russ Prenot (703) and Jason Michalak (702).

The top two women's scores of the week both came out of the Lamplighter League at Winona Bowl on Wednesday. Diane Marley led the way with a 279 game and 672 series, while Dawn Bronk fired a 666.

Mandi Steffes added a 660 series in the Pin Topplers League and Keri Prigge pitched in a 656 in the Sunsetters League, both at Westgate.

Shirley Benedict (632), Lynda Krall (630), Krystal Dorman (620, 616) and Wendy Fakler (613) also recorded honor counts. For Benedict, it was her fourth straight week with at least a 600 in the Pin Topplers League.

Jonathon Retzloff tore up the lanes last Saturday in the Westgate Junior League. He rolled his first career 600 series with a 649.



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