News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 29, 2008

Kegler's Korner: Nichols tough to beat in 2008

By Dennis Clark

TERRE HAUTE — Ryan Nichols has been the bowler to beat in 2008, winning two of the last three 700 Club tournaments over the past couple of months.

Nichols defeated Brian Taylor in the championship match to win the 700 Club Scratch Singles event at Vigo Bowl on Jan. 27. Then on March 9, he captured the 700 Club’s 14th annual Match Games at John Curry Lanes (Elks), edging Bryan Barton for the title.

In the Singles event on Jan. 27, the top five were Nichols, Taylor, Gary Busiere, Darrell Davis and John Michael Fugate. Division winners included Taylor (Upper), Busiere (Senior) and Lyndsay Jarvis (Women).

In the Match Games event, the top eight were Nichols, Barton, Pruett, Bill Chance, Taylor, Davis, John Michael Fugate and Blackburn.

Also, the 700 Club Trio Tournament at Brazilian Lanes on Feb. 17, featured a winning team of Rick Fugate, Mike Blackburn and John Michael Fugate. Second place team was Rusty Archer, Davis and Scott Hill. Third place went to Phil Huynh, Jarvis and Marc Pruett.

• • •

Technology is everywhere … it’s cutting edge … it’s rad. Does anyone say “rad” anymore? I know, I’m showing my age yet again.

The website is chock full of information for the bowlers wondering why their bowling ball rolls the way it does or reacts to lane conditions like it does. Answers to those and many more questions can be found in bowling-related “Tech Talk” published articles.

Frankly, to me some of those tome-like articles would be a cure for any insomnia I might suffer — I certainly wouldn’t need a prescription for Lunestra (Don’t you love the green butterflies. Side effect?). But to each his own I always say.

Some of the current featured articles include:

• Is that the 3-pin carrying the 10-pin? A study in the light pocket strike.

• Marketing vs. Physics: The truth about axis migration and core dynamics.

• How critical is center of gravity placement on a symmetrical bowling ball?

• Understanding the relation between core and cover stock.

• Getting to the “core” of the matter.

If any readers learn anything about “axis migration,” please send it to me in the form of an e-mail. The only kind of migration I understand are birds flying south for the winter.

• • •

If you need a break from college basketball, the final PBA tour event of the winter season concludes today with the finals of the U.S. Open from North Brunswick, N.J.

Former PBA Bowler of the Year Mika Koivuniemi surged into the No. 1 seed, prior to Saturday night’s final eight games of match play.

The top four after Saturday’s match play advance to today’s championship round televised live on ESPN at 2 p.m. ET. The winner will take home $100,000 and a three-year Denny’s PBA Tour exemption.

• • •

The following item falls into the category of “one shining moment” or “where are they now?” or “I knew him back when.” Sounds like a Bullwinkle cartoon with alternate titles?

To win a singles title at the annual USBC Open Championships (formerly, the ABC Tournament) takes a lot of bowling acumen and a whole heckuva lot of luck (blessing?) as well.

Frederick “Chip” Aki is living that dream, rolling an 814 three-game series, bettering over 82,000 bowlers over the several-month run of the tournament and good enough to win the coveted regular singles title in 2007 in Reno, Nev.

I remember Aki “back when,” having seen him bowl as a collegian for Vincennes University at a Sycamore Classic at Imperial Lanes back in the early 1980s. Back when Indiana State had bowling teams. Remember?

Aki was a phenom at the time and his unusual name always stuck in mind over the years.

Aki popped back on my radar last year, winning the USBC National Singles title — prompting me to do a little research. Aki’s not done too shabbily since being in Terre Haute so many years ago.

Aki, 46, lives in Nicholasville, Ky., where he is a pro shop manager and just bowled his 60th career perfect game — along with an 838 series — in league play on March 10. He also loves teaching the game of bowling and is coach of the Tates Creek (Ky.) High School boys bowling team.

Aki celebrated his singles title by getting an eagle tattoo — one talon a bowling pin with the score, the other talon with the year. He said in the article, “I have a collection of sleeveless shirts to bowl in next summer. If I ever got another title, I’d add to it.”

With a repeat performance this year, Aki would have become the first bowler in 105 years of competition to defend a regular singles title at the USBC Open Championships. But alas, Aki fell well short of attaining that goal at this year’s event.

This year — the tournament is in Albuquerque, N.M. — Aki, making his 27th tournament appearance, bowled a merely mortal 558 series (192, 192, 174). He went on to bowl a pedestrian 566 in doubles and 539 in team for a 1,663 all-events total.

Obviously, now it’s 106 years and counting.

But regardless of this year’s performance, Aki will always be a champion at the USBC Open Championships.

• • •

Speaking of tournament success, a pair of local bowlers rank in the top 15 of the 98th Men’s Indiana State Bowling Tournament in Lafayette.

Troye Callahan is currently seventh in the All-Events Handicap with a nine-game total of 2,258. Darrell Davis, the “ole left-hander”, is tied for 14th in the Singles Actual with a three-game set of 734.

• • •

Men’s local association manager Tony Leturgez will be sending along his group’s local tournament results when they are made official. We will report those winners in an upcoming column.

• • •

As always, please. PLEASE submit bowling news and results for future columns. If you like, send them along with the bowling league results turned in each by each of the three main bowling facilities by Friday. Thanks.

Dennis Clark can be reached by e-mail at

Vigo County Bowling Leagues

Terre Haute Bowling Center

Chandler Construction — High games: B.L. Chandler 227, Patricia Stewart 212, Lucky Strikes 771. High series: Chandler 583, Stewart 521, Lucky Strikes 2,115.

THBC Prime Timer — High games: Ed Beasley 278, Ruth Price 192. High series: Beasley 697, Sara Wright 499.

ANG Mixed — High games: Stan Shimer 235, Jodi Moan 215, Shear Madness II 769. High series: Estel Nightingale 629, Moan 622, Shear Madness II 2,210.

Terre Haute Restaurant — High games: Dusty Derigo 240, Michelle Hennessy 151, Garfools 670. High series: Derigo 675, Hennessy 390, Garfools 1,902.

Wabash Valley Christian — High games: Todd Hart 241, Sandra Cannaday 171, Salt of the Earth 747. High series: Hart 675, Candy Rooksberry 454, Salt of the Earth 2,153.

Wednesday Prime Timers — High games: Emery Shumaker and Rob Klemaszewski 216. Judy Meng 189. High series: Herb Gosnell 619, Jean Liggett 475.

Guarantee Roofing — High games: John D. Phillips 300, Affordable Awards 1,221. High series: Scott Johnson 775, THBC 3,346.

Affordable Awards Ladies — High games: Joyce Harvey 237, Honey Creek Honies 961. High series: Carol Davis 641, Honey Creek Honies 2,661.

THBC Minors — High games: Cole Walker 171, Kellee Edington 133. High series: Walker 490, Edington 351.

THBC Majors — High games: Wade Sons 240, Brittany Wence 188. High series: Ian Huffington 606, Wence 470.

THBC Bantams — High games: Aiden Fellows 138, Madison Rice 70. High series: Fellows 303, Rice 197.

THBC Preps — High games: Dylan Davis 156, Kelly Combs 187. High series: Cory Keller 424, Combs 478.

THBC Juniors — High games: Ian Bartlett 222, Taylor Derickson 193. High series: Bartlett 560, Erin Hazelrigg 494.

THBC Seniors — High games: Austin Dowell 265, Mackenzie Pepper 223. High series: Dowell 685, Pepper 544.

Russ Fisher Truck Parts — High games: Michael Winemiller and Michael Fisher Jr. 279, T.H. Heart Center 1,200. High series: Winemiller 764, T.H. Heart Center 3,418.

Imperial Lanes

WIMS Lounge — High games: Todd Hart 298, Amanda Taylor 247, Don’t Give a Split 847. High series: Hart 723, Vicki Rich 703, Stuckey’s 2,420.

Smith Trucking — High games: Crystal Sullivan 300, Al’s Sports Bar 1,241. High series: Sullivan 802, Al’s Sports Bar 3,388.

Sunday Mixed — High games: Phil Cooper 298, Lissa Dressler 224, Imperial Lanes Pro Shop 839. High series: Al Farmer 718, Dressler 604, Imperial Lanes Pro Shop 2,435.

Pizza Works Mixed — High games: Danny Travelstead 266, Terri Tabor 199, Accurate Heating 1,039. High series: Travelstead 705, Tabor 586, Imperial Lanes 3,003.

Tuesday Ladies — High games: Phyllis Grover 201, 3 Ole Ladies 489. High series: Debie Reed 534, 3 Plus 1 1,262.

John Curry Lanes (Elks)

Tuesday Men — High games: Chuck Overpeck 249, Green Leaf 1,044. High series: Phil Cooper 700, Green Leaf 2,866.

Thursday Men — High games: Paul Ingle 255, Molar Bowlers 1,066. High series: Ingle 717, Molar Bowlers 2,990.