There's a new entity on the Western New York bowling scene with the arrival of an Amateur Bowlers Tour franchise.
The Grand Opening WNY ABT tournament will be Jan. 13 and 14 at AMF Thruway Lanes.
The local franchise holders are Ed and Lorraine Mousseau, who moved to Getzville recently from Chicago to be close to their grandchildren. The Mousseaus are Massachusetts natives who have operated ABT franchises in Albany, St. Louis and, for the last 15 years, Chicago.
"We are full-time tournament operators," Ed Mousseau said.
The plan is to run three Western New York ABT tournaments each month, for 10 months of the year. Transit Lanes is on the schedule for February and another January tournament is being negotiated with AMF Airport Lanes.
There will be competition in two handicap divisions -- the Classic Division for 140-199 averages and the Masters Division for 200-225 averages.
The tournament format is three qualifying squads on the first day with bowlers shooting three games across six lanes. One of every six entries (assuming there are enough lanes to accommodate them) will advance to the semifinal on the second day. Semifinals will consist of three games. The top five advance to stepladder finals later that day.
Handicaps will be based on 80 percent of 200 in the Classic Division and 80 percent of 225 in Masters.
"In Chicago, we had winners with an average as low as 120 and as high as 222," Mousseau said.
There will be an $800 guaranteed first prize in each division. The high series in each division on the first day will receive a Storm Spit Fire ball and all new members receive an embroidered shirt.
First-year membership in the ABT is $30. The Classic prepaid entry fee is $50 ($52 on site) and the Masters entry is $60 prepaid ($62 on site).
"We might lose dollars before it gets rolling," said Mousseau, who, nevertheless, is confident the ABT will be successful.
The Mousseau's Chicago franchise was so successful it was split into two (North and South) and the season was highlighted by the Chicagoland Open, over Memorial Day weekend, which drew around 1,500 entries.
"I don't think it will go that big here because Chicago is so much bigger but I see no reason why it won't be a success here," Mousseau said. "Buffalo and Rochester is a good bowling area."
Nationally, the ABT is headed by Myron Mitchell and operates out of Salt Lake City. The organization runs two national tournaments in the spring and summer at Sam's Town in Las Vegas. The ABT Storm Spring Nationals will be held in Las Vegas March 27 through April 1 with a $40,000 first prize in the Classic Division and $10,000 in the Masters Division.
Interested bowlers may contact Mousseau by phone at 636-1383 or by visiting the ABT of WNY Web site at www.abtwesternnewyork.com.
Lenoci, Groves triumph
Joanne Lenoci in Class A (65 and over) and Dawn Groves in Class B (50-64) won top honors in the recent Greater Buffalo USBC Association Women's Senior Singles Tournament at Voelker's Lanes. There were 40 entries in Class A and 44 in Class B.
The prize list: Class A -- 1, Lenoci 715, 2, Felicia Ciesla 767; 3, Norma McCloud 667; 4. Kathleen Dolan 666; 5, Anna Hammell 664; 6, Jackie Jensen 659; 7, Helen Donaldson 654; 8, Cordelia Fuller 653. Class B: 1, Groves 723; 2, Cheryl Johannes 718; 3, Kathie Glenn 693; 4. Mildred Bailey-Acosta 673; 5, Patricia Pasinski 666; 6, Cynthia Pohlman 659; 7, Barbara Barker 657; 8, Nancy Walczyk 656; 9, Carmen Evans 655.
*Jim Mee outbowled Mike Campbell, 266-197, in the title match of this week's Brunswick Senior Shootout at Transit Lanes. Mee defeated Randy Faith, 237-224, and Hank Baker, 223-199, to advance to the final. Faith was high qualifier with 257-725, followed by Bill Truman (268-701).
*Is bowling three times your age the equivalent of a golfer shooting his age? Frank Aronica, 77, shot a 256 in a 704 series, his first ever 700, in the Super Seniors at Tonawanda Bowling Center.
*Frank Kwiatkowski took first place in the recent Greater Buffalo USBC Association League Offices Tournament at Town Edge Bowling Center. Donna Anticola was second and Anita Galisik was third. There were 101 entrants.
*Brian P. Ruszala and Alicia Shea combined for 1,424 to win the Open Division of the 39th annual Greater Buffalo USBC Association Family Tournament at Kenmore Lanes. Robert J. Fitzpatrick Jr. and Emily A. Fitzpatrick won the Father-Daughter Division with 1,482. Carl C. and Carl S. Siegel posted 1,420 to win the Father-Son Division. Jody M. and Allyson C. Harvey took the Mother-Daughter Divison with 1,333. Kelly M. and Sammy Carroccia won the Mother-Son Division with 1,310. Each youth winner received a $150 scholarship.
*Jon Baes last week bowled a pair of 300 games in an 847 series, one of the top sets reported locally this season. It's believed to be a first time two 300 games were bowled in the same series in the history of the Knights of Columbus League at Tonawanda Bowling Center.