After shining in the junior leagues and on the Winona/Winona Cotter high school bowling team for five years, Joe Braatz has moved up to the “big leagues” this year.
And it looks like the transition is going rather well.
Tuesday night, Braatz carded the first sanctioned honor count of his adult-league career in the Blue Ribbon League at Winona Bowl. The spring Winona High graduate and current Winona State University freshman rolled games of 243, 270 and 237 for a 750 series – the top score so far this year at Winona Bowl.
“This is 10 times better,” Braatz said. “My junior and senior year, we were always giving up 400 or 500 pins of handicap. And the Saturday morning conditions weren’t the best.”
Braatz averaged over 200 last year in the Next Generation League at Winona Bowl, while also anchoring the high school team to a fifth-place finish in the state tournament in December.
But he’s ready to take his game to a new level. Braatz’s big series Tuesday put his average at 217. He also bowls on Friday in the Legion League at Winona Bowl, and practices every Wednesday with the club bowling team from Winona State.
“My goal is to be in the top five or six in the (Blue Ribbon) league,” Braatz said. “That’s going to have to be around 220. That’s high, but that’s my goal. I was bowling really bad to start with.
“I thought about going to Johnny (Glowczewski) or Brian (Fakler) for help. We’ll see what happens after the 750. Brian helped me with my balance before. I used to almost fall over. I’ve talked to John before at Lakeview, but I’ve never worked with him on the lanes.”
Braatz’s teammates on the Malewicki Cement team in the Blue Ribbon League are the same ones he had in junior leagues two years ago – Kyle Malewicki, Brent Cordes and Aaron Shiroma. The fifth member is Braatz’s dad Don.
Braatz did toss a 795 series this summer, but that came in an unsanctioned league at Winona Bowl.
No one has started out the bowling season as hot as Krystal Dorman. In the past week, she turned in honor counts in all three of her leagues at Winona Bowl. Dorman fired a 665 honor count Wednesday in the Lamplighter League, a 662 Saturday in the Mixed Nuts League, and a 627 Monday in the Spinners League.
Sue Yeoman tossed the top women’s series of the week with a 690 in the Mixed Nuts League.
Joining Dorman with multiple honor counts were Keri Prigge (685, 618) and Tina Wenzel (677, 668).
Lindsay Serwa (681), Laurie Wiseman (655) and Dawn Bronk (650) all recorded their first honor count of the season in the last week. Julie Moldenhauer (633) and Shirley Benedict (604) also carded 600s.
The second 300 of the year was rolled Tuesday night by Richard Orlikowski in the Blue Ribbon League. Larry Moger came up a pin short with a 299 last Friday in the Masters League at Westgate Bowl.
Men’s honor counts for the week came from Robbie Waldera (748), Mike King (734), Ross Harrison (731), John Glowczewski (723), Darrin Aarre (723), Nick Ostrander (719), Orlikowski (717), Joe Jasnoch (715), Tom Donnelly (706), Tim Pozanc (703), Moger (701) and Josh Wenzel (701).
Jamie Niemeyer had a memorable night on Sept. 9 when he bowled his first career 300 game at LA Lanes in Lewiston.