Is any local athlete in more halls of fame than Cindy Coburn-Carroll?
There's Kenmore East, Erie CC, the National Junior College Athletic Association, University at Buffalo, the Buffalo Women's Bowling Association, Women's All Star Association, Women's International Bowling Congress and the Professional Women's Bowling Association.
When Carroll is inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame on Oct. 24 in HSBC Arena, it will bring her total to nine.
Bowling teams and bowling associations have been a common thread for her earlier enshrinements, but the Greater Buffalo honor brings her into a wider array of talent. "It's in your hometown and it encompasses all sports so that makes it special," Carroll said. "And being in with my mom (Doris)."
Doris Coburn was inducted into the Greater Buffalo Hall in 1992, its second year. Mother and daughter are also in the BWBA, WIBC and PWBA halls of fame. Doris Coburn is also in the state women's association hall of fame, a distinction Carroll has not attained.
Carroll, 44, has been a member of the women's pro tour for more than 20 years with 15 national titles and over a half-million dollars in earnings. She bowls more in regional pro events and in local leagues.
Among her recent titles is the Buffalo Area Bowling Council's Kickoff Tournament at Thruway Lanes, a generally relaxing and low-key event, which nevertheless brought out the competitor in Carroll.
"You're always there to win," she said. "It's a prestigious tournament, even though there's not any money. It's always an honor to win.
"After the first couple of rounds I figured something out (by modifying her release). It means a lot (when you solve a problem). I let the equipment do the work rather than (forcing) the ball too much.
"On regular lane conditions (not a pro tour shot) I get a better read and I can predict the ball reaction a little better."
Carroll said she started working on her newest approach in regional tournaments last fall. "I still wanted to stay in competition but I wasn't sharp, but I'm finding I can use (the changes) as my 'A' game. Unless you can hook it a lot, you're almost better off going straighter.
"I wouldn't always start with it. (There were times) I felt I could make my other game work but I kept analyzing and (her husband) Jerry helped me a lot with it. The carry seemed to be better. For as much as I hit the pocket, I wasn't carrying the strikes as well."
Carroll's bowling plans these days are more toward the short term. "I don't know how many long-term goals I have. I can't see me on the (national) tour a long time. It's not something I want to do.
"I'll bowl the regionals (she made most of the Eastern stops last season) and some majors. I feel I can compete but I know what it takes to be out full time and that's not a priority now.
"Your life changes. I want security and family life. My daughter (4-year-old Haley) will be starting school soon. I give my mom a lot of credit. I was 5 or 6 when we went out (on tour). It takes a lot of preparation."
Carroll rates her WIBC Queens title and first tour win (in 1979) as the tournaments that stand out.
"The first one was a major back then (the Women's PBA championship in Alexandria, Va.) and the Queens because so many factors (more qualifying rounds, who you are paired against in match play, lane conditions) have to go your way," she said.
When not bowling, Carroll works for Brunswick as an instructor at bowling centers where new equipment is installed.
Tickets ($75 per person) and information for the 11th annual hall of fame awards dinner are available from ticket chairman Jerry Flaschner at 688-2342, by fax at 688-1200 or e-mail: Jerry@livingprimetime.com.
Bowlers aid victims
Women from the Wednesday night Best Rate League at Transit Lanes donated half of their 50-50 club donations to the disaster relief/victims fund from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Their share was $326, which league sponsor Besrate Insurance matched for $652.
The Transit men's league, the Wednesday Night Memorial, added half of its 50-50 club for another $144 for a total of $796, which HSBC matched for a grand total of $1,592.
AMF's seven area centers are part of a national bowl-a-thon from noon to 3 p.m. on Oct. 7 to benefit New York City firefighters, police and rescue workers.
All of the money contributed will go to agencies assisting families of those who died or were injured Sept. 11. AMF will donate all monies from bowling games, shoe rentals and administrative costs.
AMF's 400 U.S. centers are recruiting bowlers to fill its 16,000 lanes nationwide with four bowlers per lane donating or pledging at least $50 apiece with a goal of raising more than $4 million. Individuals and businesses are asked to contact their local AMF center. There are seven centers in the Buffalo Niagara region. At Thruway, the bowl-a-thon will be an Xtreme event with lights, music, dancing and door prizes.
Around the lanes
Former Buffalo resident Penney Harzynski, now living in Leesburg, Fla., writes that she was among the Liz Johnson fans at the PWBA Tour stop in Sebring, Fla. Harzynski says Johnson was wearing an angel pin she had given her for luck the night Johnson won the Foundation Games V Tournament. . . . Ryan Ciminelli, 15, recorded his first 800 in the season's first Youth Bowlers Tour stop in Canandaigua. He had games of 279, 279 and 259 for 817. . . . Ciminelli also won a $250 scholarship as an easy winner of the Teen Classic Summer Session at Thruway. He averaged 230 for the 11 events he entered, winning three with two second-place finishes. Runner-up P.J. Ziolo earned a $100 scholarship and third place Jeff Tycz won a $50 scholarship. . . . The BPA Buffalo Beverage Miller Lite All Stars bowl today at Alden at 3 p.m. . . . The Amateur Bowlers Association has a $1,000 first place tournament Sunday at Kenmore.