Team Fish: Sometimes, boys just wanna have fun, too


    2015 PBA Spare Shots #34

    West, Northwest finalists for PBA Challenge events are set; PWBA Tour heads toward season finale; PBA stars to represent U.S. in PABCON Men's Championships; Walter Ray Williams Jr. improves his overall PBA titles record to 95

    2015PBA07KyleTroup2.jpgTo borrow from the famous Cyndi Lauper song, sometimes boys just wanna have fun, too. Take "Team Fish" for example. "Team Fish" began to create national curiosity among Professional Bowlers Association fans during the Grand Casino Resort & Hotel PBA Summer Swing when Kyle Troup (pictured left) of Taylorsville, N.C., made his national television debut on CBS Sports Network, winning the PBA Wolf Open title with fellow "Team Fish" friends Connor Pickford of Matthews, N.C., and Craig Nidiffer of Trenton, Mich., in the background, cheering him on.

    Contrary to conclusions drawn by some fans, the "Team Fish" concept had nothing to do with Troup being the son of PBA Tour champion Guppy Troup.

    "At the (PBA) World Series (of Bowling) two years ago, Connor, Craig and I were rooming together," Kyle Troup explained.

    "Nidiffer plays online poker, and there are a lot of 'fish' who play as well. People who don't play poker well are called 'fish.' So during the World Series, we all bowled bad. None of us got a check. We decided we bowled like 'fish' so we kind of made up a little team among the three of us, and called ourselves Team Fish.

    "When I made (the Wolf Open) show, the name kinda took off because I had the name on my collar," Troup continued, "so we decided to make a logo and have fun with it. It's nothing serious; it's just going along to see what we can do with it."

    2014NMOpenCraigNidiffer2.jpg2014PBA08ConnorPickford.jpgThe little group began giving each other nicknames. Troup is "AfroFish" because of the Afro hairstyle he sported during the Wolf Open finals. Nidiffer (left) became "NidiFish." Pickford (right) is "FishFord."

    They created their own Facebook and Twitter pages (Team Fish), and a website is in the works. Through Facebook, fans create their own "fish" nicknames and can order o-FISH-al merchandise, like t-shirts.

    "If it takes off, hopefully other guys on Tour will make their own teams with their own names," Troup said. "It's all in fun. It just gives fans something special to cheer for."

    Next up, Team Fish will make its formal competitive debut during the upcoming PBA South Point Bowling Plaza Fall Classic in Las Vegas when five "fish" will bowl together in the new five-player PBA Team Challenge Oct. 24-25.

    2014BeaumontSouthwestOpenAnthonySimonsen.jpg2015MOTIVRevolutionTournamentKrisPrather.jpgBowling for Team Fish will be Dick "FishStick" Allen of Columbia, S.C.; Kyle "AfroFish" Troup; Connor "FishFord" Pickford; two-hander Anthony "TwoFinFish" Simonsen (left) of Princeton, Texas, and Kris "WickedFish" Prather (right) of Milton, Fla.

    Entries for the PBA Team Challenge, as well as the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship and PBA Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open singles event, are being accepted online or by calling Mary von Krueger at 206-332-9688 (email: [email protected]).

    The PBA Team Challenge will include six full qualifying games by all five team members at 9 a.m. PT on Saturday, Oct. 24, followed by 12 Baker format qualifying games at 5 p.m. After 18 combined team games, the top eight teams will advance to a Baker format round-robin match play at 9 a.m. Sunday, and after a combined 26 team games, the top four teams will bowl a Baker format stepladder final round at 3 p.m.

    All PBA Team Challenge competition will be covered live, exclusively on PBA's Xtra Frame online bowling channel.


    West, Northwest finalists for PBA Challenge events are set

    2014PBAJoshBlanchard2.jpg2014PBAScottNorton2.jpgWith only two qualifying events scheduled before the September 30 PBA Regional and PWBA-PBA Women's Regional qualifying deadline, the PBA West and Northwest Regional qualifiers for the end-of-season PBA Challenge events to be held during GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VII are mathematically decided.

    Earning paid entries into WSOB VII along with berths in the eight-player PBA Regional Finals qualifying tournament are West Region competition points champion Josh Blanchard (left) of Gilbert, Ariz., and Northwest Region points winner Scott Norton (right) of Mission Viejo, Calif.

    Topping the PWBA-PBA Women's Regional standings in the West Region is Missy Parkin of Laguna Hills, Calif., while April Lord Wittig of Steilacoom, Wash., is runner-up in Northwest Region women's points but gets the region's berth because Parkin, the points leader, is already in the field as West Region winner.


    Next on Xtra Frame: PWBA Tour heads toward season finale

    Coming up on Xtra Frame will be the final three events of the PBWA's revival season, including exclusive live coverage of the PWBA Detroit Open from Super Bowl in Canton, Mich., Aug. 28-29, the final standard PWBA event of its revival season; the BowlmorAMF U.S. Women's Open from Brunswick Zone-Carolier in North Brunswick, N.J., Sept. 1-5, and the season-ending Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship presented by, Sept. 11 at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas.

    PBA action returns to Xtra Frame Oct. 4 with the Kokomo Central Shootout presented by Security Federal Savings Bank from Heritage Lanes in Kokomo, Ind., followed by the PBA Xtra Frame Iowa Midwest Open from Thunderbowl in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Oct. 10-11, where a projected $10,000 first prize and a PBA Tour title will be at stake.

    The Iowa Midwest Open is the final event leading into the PBA Fall Classic, a multi-event Xtra Frame extravaganza hosted by South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas beginning Oct. 19. For Xtra Frame subscriptions, visit and click on the Xtra Frame link.


    PBA stars to represent U.S. in PABCON Men's Championships

    Five PBA Tour champions (Chris Barnes, Tommy Jones, Marshall Kent, Bill O'Neill and Sean Rash) along with highly-regarded amateur competitor John Janawicz will represent the United States in the Pan American Bowling Confederation (PABCON) Men's Championships in Puerto Rico Sept. 14-18.

    The competition at AMF Bolera Paradise Lanes in San Juan will feature the best bowlers from the American Zone competing for medals in Singles, Doubles, Trios, Team, All-Events and match-play Masters.

    At the last PABCON Men's Championships in Las Vegas in 2012, Team USA took gold medals in Singles, Doubles, Team And All-Events. Janawicz is the defending singles champion, O'Neill is the reigning all-events champion and O'Neill teamed with Jones to win the doubles gold medal that year. O'Neill, Jones, Janawicz and Kent were a part of the gold-medal winning team.

    A number of other PBA members are expected to compete, representing their home countries within the American Zone.


    PBA Regional Update: Walter Ray Williams Jr. improves his overall PBA titles record to 95

    2015PBA50FtWayneCentralMidwestShootoutWalterRayWilliams.jpg Walter Ray Williams Jr. (pictured left with proprietor Dave Small, right) improved his overall PBA titles record to 95 when he defeated Mike Dias of Lafayette, Colo., 279-207, to win the one-day the PBA50 Ft. Wayne Central/Midwest Shootout, an event sandwiched between the PBA50 DeHayes Insurance Group Championship and the PBA60 Dick Weber Super Senior Open, all hosted by Pro Bowl West in Fort Wayne, Ind.

    The latest title was Williams' seventh PBA50 Regional title to go along with his record 47 PBA Tour, nine PBA50 Tour and 32 standard PBA Regional titles. He's two titles ahead of Pete Weber who has 93 titles: 37 PBA Tour, 48 standard regionals, four PBA50 Tour and four PBA50 regionals.

    2014PBAShawnMaldonado.jpgReigning PBA Southwest Region Player of the Year Shawn Maldonado (right) from Houston, Texas, won his last five matches to overtake Nathan Bohr of Austin, Texas, and successfully defend his PBA Greenville Southwest Open title Sunday at Shenaniganz in Greenville, Texas.

    Maldonado opened the tournament with a 279 game and remained near the top of the leader board throughout qualifying and the match play finals. Trailing Bohr by 39 pins going into the final game position match, Maldonado recorded a decisive 226-200 victory to finish the event with a 21-game total of 4,835 pins and a 17-pin margin of victory over Bohr. Maldonado earned $2,500 along with his first PBA Southwest Region title of the year.

    2015PBACentralMidwestClassicSamMaccarone.jpg Sam Maccarone (left) of Blackwood, N.J. defeated Parker Bohn III of Jackson, N.J., 257-235, to win the PBA Progressive/Gerdeman Insurance/Al Smith Jeep Central/Midwest Classic at Al-Mar Lanes in Bowling Green, Ohio, on Aug. 19. The title was Maccarone's first of the year in the PBA Central Region, his 14th career PBA Regional title and he earned $3,500.

    2015PBA50TedStaikoff.jpgTed Staikoff (right) of Black Hawk, S.D., finished with a 4,261 pinfall total over 20 games to win the PBA50 Beverly Lanes Allstate Midwest/Central Open Sunday by 16 pins over Harry Sullins of Chesterfield Township, Mich. Staikoff, 67, earned $1,600 along with his first PBA Regional singles title. He recently won his first PBA Regional title in a PBA50 doubles event in Minnesota with partner Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas.

    Closing out the August schedule over the Aug. 28-30 weekend will be the Tony Reyes Memorial Member/Non-Member Doubles presented by Brunswick at Fourth Street Bowl in San Jose, Calif.; the Grand Hotel, Casino & Resort Southwest Invitational at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla.; the LaFayette Lanes Fayetteville (N.C.) South Open presented by 900 Global, and the Illinois Valley Midwest/Central Open at Illinois Valley Super Bowl in Peru, Ill.

    Also on tap as part of the Southwest Region's PBA Grand Casino Resort & Hotel Southwest Invitational, Aug. 28-30, at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla., will be the region's second annual hall of fame induction ceremonies. The invitational event will boast 32 of the top bowlers in the Southwest Region, and the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 29, will begin at 7 p.m. at the Grand Casino, Hotel and Resort in Shawnee when Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas; Nathan Bohr of Austin, Texas; the late Sean Swanson of Springfield, Mo.; Cary Mogard of Houston; and former College Bowl proprietors Ed and Virginia Autry of Texarkana, Texas, will be honored.

    A limited schedule of Labor Day weekend activity for the PBA Regional program includes back-to-back events at George Pappas' Victory Lanes in Mooresville, N.C., the PBA60 Wilson & Son Pest Control Super Senior South Open, Sept. 3-5, followed by the PBA50 Budweiser Mooresville South Open presented by Columbia 300. Also on tap is the PBA50 Strike Zone/Ebonite East Open, Sept. 4-6, at Strike Zone in Pottsville, Pa.

    For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, click here and open the "schedules" tab and click on Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area.


    Quick Notes

    2015PBA09RhinoPage_small.jpgFormer PBA Rookie of the Year Rhino Page (left) will make an appearance in a charity bowling event in conjunction with the Tidewater Patriot Day Charity Golf Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C., over Labor Day weekend. The weekend event is a benefit for the Folds of Honor Foundation, benefitting soldiers who have been wounded in combat.

    Correction: The Ballard Vs. The Big "C" fundraiser to benefit the Baylor Cancer Care Center will be held on Saturday, Sept. 19, at AMF Euless Lanes, not Sept. 9 as noted in last week's Spare Shots. For more information about the four-player team event, call Tina or Terry Taylor at 817-996-4544 or look for Ballard Vs. The Big "C" on Facebook.


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