Tuesday, August 10th, 2010
Pro bowlers rolling back into Coldwater
2010 Lefeld Implement Classic
By Gary R. Rasberry
COLDWATER - Pla-Mor Lanes owner Rick Hartings is anticipating another exceptional year as the Professional Bowlers Association makes the trek to Coldwater for the PBA Central Region's Lefeld Implement Classic.
The event, in its third year, has brought many of the top regional bowlers and a number of the top stars on the PBA national tour to compete in Mercer County. The Coldwater community, as well as local bowling establishments in the area, have helped make the event one of the best on the regional tour.
"Just getting the local media to cover it is huge. We have 88 sponsors for the tournament, which is totally unheard of," said Hartings. "Our community really backs us. Local bowling centers from four counties around (the area) sponsor us. They believe in what we're trying to do. It has become a nice buzz in the area."
Hartings, who with father Linus "Liny" Hartings and PBA professional Brian Kretzer are hosts for the event, has been busy getting ready for the event.
"I think the numbers (of entrants) will be down a bit because the numbers in the region have been down," said Hartings. "But we do invite some people in, which makes our tournament higher, number-wise. Tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday afternoon) is when they'll release the roster. We'll find out who's coming and what our numbers are."
Hartings hopes that 17 exempt bowlers - those who do not have to qualify for the national tour events - will come in for the tournament.
Last year, Chris Loschetter beat Mike Wolfe 246-184 in the championship match to collect the first-place check of $4,000.
This year, the pro bowlers will add an event to their schedule, taking part in a charity softball game against race car drivers from Eldora Speedway, with the chance that some of the Red Cross go-kart racers may join in. It will be part of the annual Coldwater MDA softball tournament that also takes place this week.
The inspiration for the game came during the first year of the bowling tournament.
"The first year they were here, we went down to McSober's after we had a scholarship doubles tournament. Mike (Moorman) is a sponsor (of the tournament) and we wanted to go and patronize him a little bit," explained Hartings. "All these Canadian softball players came in and other softball players came in. All these (bowlers) were asking questions (about the MDA tournament). They got all excited and by the end of the night they had the lineup for the next year and wanted to play in the whole tournament, which I thought was kind of crazy because I didn't want to get anybody hurt.
"Last year, we had our tournament in July, which backed us out of that. Once we were in the same weekend again, we talked to Brian Kretzer and he spread the word. ... We're doing PBA All-Star jerseys and sold some sponsorships on (the jersey). We're going to auction the jerseys off Saturday night at 9 p.m. The money we raise over and above the cost of the jerseys we're going to donate back to the (MDA)."
With events spread out over six days, from this Thursday to next Tuesday, the tournament is beginning to have a festival-like feel.
"Six days of craziness," said Hartings. "Like Brian (Kretzer) said on the radio the other day, Mercer County will be buzzing. We'll have the fair, the PBA bowlers coming in, the MDA tournament going on."
Lefeld Classic Schedule of Events:
PBA Bowlers vs. Eldora Drivers softball game at Diamond #8 at Coldwater Park (Part of Coldwater MDA Softball Tournament), 8 p.m.
PBA practice session, 2-4 p.m.
Junior Pro-Am, 5:30 p.m. (5 p.m. check-in)
Outdoor Party, 7 p.m.-midnight
Adult Pro-Am, 8:30 p.m. (8 p.m. check-in)
PBA Qualifying Sessions, 8 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 7 p.m.
Hog Roast, noon-midnight
Coldwater Cup Drawing, 8 p.m.
Round Robin Finals, 10 a.m.
Championship Round, 3 p.m.-*
Awards Presentation, 5 p.m.-*
* - Time approximate
Linus Open Golf Outing for WOHSBC Scholarship fund at Fox's Den, 10 a.m.
Roto Grip/Storm Youth Bowling Clinic, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
- More information at www.plamorlanes.net/lefeldinplementclassic