Tim Criss and Greg Via teamed to win the Bel Air Bowl Scotch Doublestournament that ended March 1, banging out a scratch total of 1,373 with an additional 42 handicap pins for a total of 1,415.
Via, works for Alban Tractor and makes his home in Bel Air with his wife, Sondra (she carries a 142 average and bowls in four leagues). He's been within one pin of a 300 game and has a high series of 768. His average is 202 with a 16-pound bowling ball.
"I won't use anything but a Hammer bowling ball," said Via, who has been bowling for 15 years.
Criss bowls in two leagues weekly, Monday First Nighters and Wednesday Mid-Week Mixed, both at Bel Air Bowl. He has thrown seven 300 games and has a big 817 for his series high. Owner and operator of Criss' Dura Clean, he is averaging 210 witha 16-pound ball.
"Actually I have about 10 bowling balls," Criss said with a laugh. "I want to be sure that I can bowl on whatever lane conditions I find."
The Bel Air resident, married to a 157-average bowler, Cherie Criss, has been testing the professional waters.
"I've bowled a few national pro stops, and last year in the pro regionals I cashed in 11 of 13 events."
With that kind of background it's little wonder that the only thing keeping Criss off the PBA national tour full time is lack of sponsors.
"If I can find the sponsors to back me, I'll go on the tour full time."
I'll bet he makes it.
It's official: The champs of the Baltimore Young America Bowling Alliance City Championship Tournament, held at Kings Point in Randallstown last Dec. 15, were four Harford bowlers.
The champs --Steve Austin, Todd Duley, Dave Harkins and Chad Kornick -- belong tothe All-Star Youth Travel League that calls Forest Hill Lanes home.
* Austin and Duley joined forces to win the Junior Division (age 12 to 14) with a total of 1,196.
Austin, a 10th-grader at C. MiltonWright High School, lives in Bel Air and throws a 15-pound Red Rhino. Austin, 15, started bowling about six years ago, and has a high career game of 234 and a high set of 623, while carrying an average of 150.
Why was he so successful against the best bowlers in the Baltimore metro area?
Austin attributes his success to YABA coach Bob Evans' tutelage, and help from his dad, Ed.
* Duley lives in Bel Air with his parents, Linda and Chuck, and attends St. Margaret School.
"I just like to bowl. Sometimes my dad and I will go bowling justfor the fun of it," he said. "I'll probably take the summer off and return to bowling in the fall."
The 14-year-old throws a 16-pound Purple Hammer ball for an average of 170 with a high set of 630 and ahigh game of 289. He started bowling about five years ago. He'd liketo someday try the pro bowlers tour.
* Harkins teamed with Kornick to win the Major Division Boys Doubles with a 1,362 total, then split up to take honors in individual events.
Harkins, bowling in theJunior Division All-Events, hit a 1,570 pin fall for his second trophy of the tournament. He lives in Forest Hill with his parents, Herb and Pat. The eighth-grader took his victories humbly.
"I just had a good day, I guess," he said.
* Kornick added two more trophies to his doubles victory with Harkins. He threw an impressive 771 seriesfor the crown in the Boys Singles of the Major Division on his way to the top of the All-Events Handicap Division with a total of 1,731 plus 387 handicap pins. His total: 2,118.
An 11th-grader at Fallston High, he lives in Joppa with parents, Vicki and Dave.
The 16-year-old carries a 160 average and has a career high game of 247 with a high set of 642. He saved that high game and set for the YABA City Tournament, and it paid off with trophies.