by Jim Kohner
Many of you may be too young to remember the Tournament of Champions.
It used to be the tournament you couldn’t miss if you were a Winona bowler. It was a separate event for men and women to cap off the bowling season. Bowlers rolled six qualifying games, and the top five went into a stepladder final, just like the pros do it.
It even got to the point of popularity that Winona’s cable TV station used to come and tape the event and show it many times the following week.
But it’s probably been 15 or 20 years since the Tournament of Champions last took place.
If all goes well, the event will be returning in the fall or early winter of 2009.
A small committee will meet for the first time on March 23 to attempt to get the ball rolling on the event. There’s a lot to be decided and the bowling community’s input is more than welcomed.
More than likely, the tournament will be held in the fall. With the city, state and national tournaments that many Winona bowlers compete in, it would be tough finding a weekend in January, February and March. The availability of Winona Bowl and Westgate Bowl will likely determine the exact dates of the event.
The committee, which includes Brian Fakler, Dave Hultgren, Tod Walters, Diane Marley, Julie Moldenhauer and myself, would like to go into the first meeting with a lot of ideas and have most of the plans set in place by May 1. This would be a tournament for Winona Bowling Association and Winona Women’s Bowling Association members only.
Here’s what we’d like input from the bowlers on:
*Should the tournament use a handicap system or be strictly scratch?
*How many qualifying games should there be to determine the stepladder finals?
*Should half the qualifying games be at Westgate and the other half at Winona Bowl?
*Should there be a separate event for senior (age 50 and over) men?
*Any ideas on a potential corporate sponsor?
*When’s the best time to hold it? We’re looking at either late September, late October or early to mid December.
If you have ideas, please talk to a committee member. If we’re going to bring the event back, we’d like to do it the right way and get as many people involved in the tournament as we can.
Winona Bowl owner Brian Fakler not only rolled the top score of the week, he just happened to have the top three. He started with a 719 honor count last Friday in the Legion League, then had a 744 Saturday in the Mixed Nuts League, a 744 Monday in the City League, and a 751 Tuesday in the Blue Ribbon League.
Two of the top rising stars for the men, Kyle Malewicki (737) and Joe Braatz (730), also turned in big scores.
Other 700s came from John Glowczewski (728), Greg Schewe (725, 700), Tim Pozanc (724), Erik Kanz (717), Jeff Fakler (716), Steve Brown (715), Paul Jandt (712), Jason Michalak (711), Tom Donnelly (709), Jerry Koutsky (707), Brad Kanz (706), Mike Benke (701) and Josh Wenzel (701).
Angie Booher rolled her third 700 series of the year with a 702 Monday night in the Spinners League at Winona Bowl. Sue Buermann continued her recent hot streak with a 671 Monday in the Alley Gaters League at Westgate. Also breaking the 650 mark were Rose Schultz (660), Keri Prigge (658) and Kim Kubis (653).
Wendy Brommerich tossed the first national honor count of her career with a 636 series Monday night in the Pin Topplers League at Westgate.
Rounding out the women’s honor counts were Dawn Bronk (638), Julie Moldenhauer (635), Krystal Beech (629), Diane Marley (628), Jenny Glowczewski (617), Wendy Fakler (615), Tina Wenzel (607), Schultz (605) and Shirley Benedict (605).