There are well-known strong partnerships: Batman and Robin, Brooks & Dunn, and Starsky & Hutch, to name a few.
There is one in our backyard: Don Granda Jr. and Bruce Beers.
For 25 years, the dynamic duo Granda Jr. and Beers, co-owners of Lakeside Lanes since 2006, have been the backbone to the success of many, and many, bowlers in our association – beginning with operating the Pro Shop at Plaza Lanes in 1996.
On Saturday, Granda Jr. and Beers get their due fittingly – in so many ways – by getting inducted together into the WCCUSBCBA (Western Crawford County USBC Bowling Association) Hall of Fame at Pampered Palate Catering & Conference Center in Saegertown.
“It is amazing to be inducted at the same time with a great friend that you have spent 25-plus years working to succeed in the bowling industry,” said Granda Jr., unarguably the greatest bowler in Crawford County history with 128 career 300 games and 103 career 800 series.
It wasn’t planned this way either.
“I submitted my entry (last year) so that DJ (son) and Austin (son) would be able to attend, but Covid put a wrinkle in that since last year’s event was cancelled and Austin is now at boot camp for the Marines,” said Granda Jr. “I am sure there may have been something in the back of our minds that it could work out that way.”
Although there is an 18-year gap in their ages (Beers 68, Granda Jr. 50, their unbreakable friendship is so obvious to many. When did it start, fellas?
“I think our friendship really became special when we bowled in the Zoo Animals League at Plaza Lanes in the 1990’s,” said Beers. “We then started working together at the Pro Shop in Plaza Lanes and it got stronger. Partnerships don’t usually last as long as ours has … the chemistry has always been very positive.”
An understatement, Mr. Beers.
Beers on Granda Jr.: “He is a very good friend and is a very caring person, and fun to hang out with.”
Granda Jr. on Beers: “He is a great friend and business partner. He has a true dedication to the sport I love and puts a ton of effort into building and promoting bowling in our community.”
Besides his bowling achievements, Beers also is the county’s premier youth bowling coach. One of his first pupils? Granda Jr.
“I started coaching when Donnie was a teenager at Plaza Lanes, and he was a challenge for sure, in a good way,” laughed Beers. “We stayed in touch when he went to college.”
Beers’ eyes light up when he sees improvement in a youth bowler: “When you have a person set goals, and when they have a breakthrough, seeing the joy and excitement and motivation is incredible. That keeps me coaching.”
Beers concluded the interview perfectly, “Bowlers, for the most part are a very special family. You develop friendships that last a lifetime.”
None better than Granda Jr. and Beers.
Congrats, Hall of Famers!
Mr. 300’s Top Five
As this columnist did last week with Rodrick Baird, yours truly asked Granda Jr. for his top five bowling achievements:
PBA Regional champion in 1995 in Classic Products event at Ft. Wayne, Ind.
One-hundred-plus 800 series.
One-hundred-plus 300 games.
Rolling back-to-back 300 games.
Winning league championships with family.
Simply the best.
The husband-and-wife Keener tandem, Jeff and Whitney, were on-fire in the Sunday Mixed League at Lost Lanes.
Finishing with five consecutive strikes, Whitney Keener rolled her first 700 series of the season with a 702. Her games were 218, 238 and 246.
“I knew what I needed and just kept telling myself that I can do it,” she said, who was Cat’s Women’s Bowler of the Year runner-up last year.
Her hubby nearly shot an 800 series: 237, 279 and 275 games for a 791. The punishing right-hander left the 10-pin in the fifth frame of his 279 game and strung together nine consecutive strikes after sparing in the first and second frames of his 275.
“Honestly, I was rooting for Whitney more than myself,” he said, the defending Cat’s Bowler of the Year. “It was awesome to watch her bowl that well, especially finishing with the last five strikes to get the 7.”
Whitney Keener jokingly said, “It’s nothing new for Jeff to throw a 700, and I was so happy, but he had to beat me by 89 pins.”
Great bowling, Jeff and Whitney!
Duck rolls 815
New Cochranton Lanes owner Lee Duck is crushing his pins – literally.
Throwing 289, 269 and 257 games, Duck tossed the first 800 series of the season in the circuit with an 815 in the Pioneer League.
A night earlier, the CL proprietor fired games of 263, 257 and 247 for a 767 in the Sunday Mixed League.
More details on Duck’s 800 will be in next week’s column.
Klinko shoots 299
Cochranton Lanes also nearly had its first 300 game of the season.
In the Pioneer League on Monday night, right-hander Todd Klinko threw his last shot where needed, solid in the 1-3 pocket, but shockingly left the 10-pin.
Klinko finished with a 716.
Great game, Todd!
In other Cochranton Lanes action, Ricky Kanline – while subbing in the Sunday Mixed League – fired games of 222, 252 and 236 for a 710. You will read more about Kanline in the Lost Lanes portion.
At the other houses …
Lakeside Lanes – Steven King dominated action in the Stewart’s Classic League by shooting games of 253, 243 and 255 for a 751 … Four other 700’s were thrown in Conneaut Lake: Doug Dunham (717 in Wednesday Nighters League), Don Granda Jr. (706 in NFL Mixed League), Ryan Williams (705 in Wednesday Nighters League) and Andrew Barnes (703 in Wednesday Nighters League).
Lost Lanes – Kanline, again. A 268 game fueled the explosive right-hander to a 711 in Tuesday Mixed League. Sidenote: I’m still waiting for that type of bowling in the Spa League, teammate … Speaking of the Spa League, Eric Mansfield was the top gun by throwing 256 and 234 games for a 708 … In women’s action, the legendary Natalie Hanks rolled 645 and 633 series in the Tuesday Mixed League and Tuesday Ladies League, respectively.
Plaza Lanes – Legendary men’s bowlers? Rodrick Baird and Tom Archacki, no doubt. The WCCBA Hall of Famers crushed ‘em in the Plaza Men’s League with 707 and 706 totals, respectively … In women’s action, Kayla Card tossed a 614 in Monday Invitational League.
“M&M’s” were on full display on Sunday at Lakeside Lanes – as in Brandon Medrick and Meegan McKinney.
Medrick fired games of 227, 221 and 222 for a 670 in Junior-Major League, while the promising 15-year-old McKinney tossed games of 205, 186 and 253 for a 644.
Mutli-600 roller Dylan Platz reached that mark again with a 625.
“The kids are practicing more with high school bowling ramping up,” said Lakeside Lanes proprietor Don Granda Jr. “Their games are getting sharper.”
Local keglers rule
Four local four-person teams may not get asked to come back in the annual monthly Seneca No-tap Tournament.
On Sunday, the four teams were the top four finishers in the 20-team field. The foursome of yours truly, Rick Schiffer and the Lynns, father Jim and son Corey, won the event. Our no-tap (9-counts are credited for strikes) scratch series: Hunter (865), Jim Lynn (824), Corey Lynn (823) and Schiffer (822).
Former Saegertown resident Charlie Shaffer, who now resides in Erie, led a young Erie trio to a second-place finish; the Robinsons of Cochranton (father Chad, daughter Ciera and son Nicholas) and Ricky Kanline placed third; and, the Lillys (Dan, Mick and Gary) of Cambridge Springs and Kyle Wentling finished fourth.
Burnell back into 300-game action
John Burnell can still handle 300-game pressure.
Throwing two perfect games within a three-year period, 2014 through 2016, Burnell appeared on his way to making it an occasional feat
Surprisingly, the smooth-shooting Burnell hadn’t tossed 12 strikes in a game since his second perfecto.
Buckling down in the 10th frame, the 33-year-old Burnell got back into the 300-game heroics in the Spa League at Lost Lanes.
“It feels pretty good to throw another 300,” said the low-key Burnell. “I didn’t feel like I was throwing the ball well in my first game, but it all came together in my second game. I got a little nervous on my last ball, but it was there.”
Sunday Night Mixed – Lee Duck 254-625, Karen Steadman 195, RICKY KANLINE 222-252-236-710.
Pioneer – Kipp Decker 243-603, Trevor Seher 267-616, Andrew Barnes 225-623, LEE DUCK 289-269-257-815, Cody Buckley 258-629, Shawn Smith 247-226-681, Brad Spring 220-601, TODD KLINKO 299-225-716, Bill Anderson 225-645.
Tuesday Night Mixed – LEE DUCK 263-257-247-767.
Stewart’s Classic – Shaun Boyle 244-630, Don Granda Jr. 236-625, Glenn Dillon 236-606, STEVEN KING 253-243-255-751.
NFL Mixed – Doug Dunham 225-610, John Gaunt 227-623, DON GRANDA JR. 229-280-706, Mike Almon 222-279-674.
National Mixed – Troy Johnson 233-600, Josh Pecar 244-602.
Wednesday Nighters – Don Eaton 223-637, Glenn Dillon 603, DOUG DUNHAM 257-246-717, Tim McEntire 259-232-677, Dan Francis 258-654, ANDREW BARNES 279-225-703, Don Granda Jr. 619, RYAN WILLIAMS 255-264-705.
Prep – Bryson Beers 103-106, Jackson McKinsey 121-312, Trevor Vetter 111-108-315.
Junior-Major – Colby Stewart 192-473, Chase Stewart 140, Katarina Cameron 159-199-497, Noah Scott 131-143-134-408, Garrett Brown 184-232-569, Steven Heckman 111, Mazie Arnett 156, Lexi Potts 163-165-204-532, Abigail Powell 151-145, MEEGAN McKINNEY 205-186-253-644, Nathan Stockton 134-131, Eric Graham 196-180-178-554, DYLAN PLATZ 209-219-197-625, Andrew Medrick 164-188-183-535, Victoria Medrick 183-471, BRANDON MEDRICK 227-221-222-670, Nate Brace 123-103-307, Wyatt Griggs 117, Zoe Griggs 128-154-384.
Spa – Jim Hunter 224-247-686, Jim Lynn 234-610, Charlie Shaffer 238-615, SETH BEERBOWER 278-705, Jeff Keener 278-665, Ed Hunter 244-238-683, ERIC MANSFIELD 256-234-708, Mark Baideme 600, JOHN BURNELL 300-647, Harry Hanks 638, John Davis 240-620, Mike Black 247-619, Max Blair 225-625, Dan Francis 229-257-649, Mark Orlop 606, Matt Orlop 268-633, Doug Francis 233-263-668, Joe Paden 235-239-673, Ryan Paden 257-636, Todd Oakes 654, Everett Schwerin 244-607, Brian Stainbrook 225-606, Jason Kirk 236-645.
Tuesday Ladies – NATALIE HANKS 223-203-207-633.
Tuesday Mixed – John Burnell 241-668, NATALIE HANKS 215-248-645, Allen Simpson 247-227-633, RICKY KANLINE 268-226-711, Phil Stepchuck 237-614.
Wednesday Ladies – Barb Abbott 223.
Friday Morning – Bob Mudger 232-247-620, Charlie Shaffer 629, Harry Hanks 236-642.
Sunday Mixed – Mitch Worley 257-663, Steve Kinkade 600, WHITNEY KEENER 246-238-702, JEFF KEENER 237-279-275-791.
Commercial – Ryan Park 226-644, Andrew Barnes 246-660, Donnie Graham 224-646, Tyler Barnes 236-612, Savannah Custard 205, Trystan Rough 634, Paul King 601, Shawn Whitehead 229-612, Josh Beerbower 244-224-681, Seth Beerbower 232-629, Jeff Hamilton 236-625, Dan Hamilton 228-606, Brian Stainbrook 602, Ryan Williams 247-223-684, Gary McGranahan 268-612.
Plaza Men – RODRICK BAIRD 256-707, TOM ARCHACKI 266-706, Brian Stallard 257-678, Mike McHenry 245-671, Brandon Wachob 224-645, Darren Hargett 226-615, Zane Wolf 225-607, Jeff Heibel 223-607, Jasmine Shaffer 192.
Monday Night Invitational – Steve Harvey Jr. 232-617, Brandon Wachob 246-227-697, Anthony Card 245-607, Rodrick Baird 612, Scott Grinnell 236-227-638, KAYLA CARD 199-214-204-614.
Eagles 429 – Dan Parello 624, Lewis SanFeleice 257-619.
Allegheny – Cam Karnik 254-663.
Talon – Paul King 232-658.
Senior Men – Ed Burdick 205-596, Michael Chance 241-591, Art Barnes 204-588, John Gaunt 216-575, Joe Belknap 202-545, Ralph Mowris 202, Joe Paris 191, Butch Schwab 191, John Bowersox 190, Ken Mudger 189, Ed Shaffer 185.
Senior Mixed – Michael Chance 230-595, Jake Perrine 238-578, Jim Lostetter 208-548, Rich Howcroft 210, Jerry Ferguson 193, Bob Griggs 189, Mike Forbes 182, Bill Furno 181, Sheree Griggs 194-491, Betty Longo 190-505, Judy Bowman 170-465.