CHICAGO – Veteran PBA Regional competitors Dick Allen of Lexington, S.C., and Brian Kretzer of Kettering, Ohio, were repeat winners in 2019 PBA Regional awards categories, but otherwise, it was a year dominated by newcomers and first-time award recipients.
Allen, who won his first PBA South Region Player of the Year award during the 2004-05 season, won back to back honors in 2018 and ’19 while Kretzer (below) captured Senior Player of the Year for the third time in four years in the PBA’s Central Region while also winning the same honor in the PBA Midwest. Kretzer had previously won both Senior POY honors in 2017.
Another familiar winner was PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Fla., who was named South Region Senior Player of the Year for the third time in the past four years.
Those accomplishments in 2019 were among the highlights of the PBA Regional awards program that annually honors a Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Pat Patterson Award winner. The recipients were announced today by Director of the PBA Regional and PBA50 Tours John Weber for each of the seven domestic regions.
The Pat Patterson Award recipients are recognized for contributions to the regional program. Award winners were selected by the PBA’s regional managers: Russ Mills, East Region; Sam Zurich, South Region; Bobby Jakel, Central and Midwest Regions; Pete McCordic, Southwest Region, and Gary Mage, West and Northwest Regions.
Here’s a summary of the 2019 PBA Regional Award winners:
EAST – Keith Laing of Oakdale, Conn., won two titles in seven tournaments and led his region in earnings to capture Player of the Year honors for the first time. Rookie of the Year was Baltimore’s Zachary Dudley who cashed in three of his five events, qualifying for match play in one of them. Sammy Ventura of Syracuse, N.Y., Senior Player of the Year after winning two titles in eight tries and added three additional top five finishes to win the PBA50 honor for the third time. Don Herrington of Ballston Lake, N.Y., was recipient of the East Region’s Pat Patterson Award.
SOUTH – PBA Tour veteran Dick Allen of Lexington, S.C., repeated as PBA South Region Player of the Year and his third overall after initially winning the 2004-05 honor. Allen bowled in eight events and won four of them, earning nearly $12,000 in the process. Lithuania’s Kristijons Sergejeves, a former Webber International collegiate star, entered seven tournaments, cashed in four and had a second-place finish to win Rookie of the Year honors. Ageless PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Oxford, Fla., bowled in eight events and finished in third place or higher (winning once) to capture South Region Senior Player of the Year honors for the third time in the last four seasons. Rich Kosto of Tavares, Fla., was recipient of the region’s Pat Patterson Award.
CENTRAL – Central Region veteran Patrick Dombrowski of Parma, Ohio, failed to win a title, but he finished among the top four in eight of 10 tournaments he entered, finishing second three times, to end Graham Fach’s two-year run as Player of the Year. It was Dombrowski’s first POY selection. David Harold II of Columbus, Ohio, captured Rookie of the Year honors after cashing in eight of 15 tournaments and recording a fourth-place finish. Brian Kretzer of Kettering, Ohio regained the Senior Player of the Year he held in 2016 and ’17, winning six times in 15 tournaments and recording four additional top five finishes. Bruce VanMetre of Delphos, Ohio, was recipient of the region’s Pat Patterson Award.
MIDWEST – Brady Stearns of St. Augusta, Minn., was one of the rare players to win both PBA Midwest Region Player and Rookie of the Year awards after winning his first title and finishing second in two other events. Brian Kretzer of Kettering, Ohio, repeated his 2017 double-header feat by winning Senior Player of the Year honors in the Midwest and Central Regions after posting seven top-five finishes in eight events in the Midwest, including one title. The 2018 Midwest Senior Player of the Year, Jeff Johnson of Freeport, Ill., earned another honor as the Midwest’s Pat Patterson Award recipient.
SOUTHWEST – After contending for the honor for a few years, Anthony Lavery-Spahr of Pasadena, Texas, had a breakout year to win the Southwest Region’s top honor. Lavery-Spahr was selected as the region’s Player of the Year after winning one title and finishing second and third twice each. Thomas Rash of Longview, Texas, earned Rookie of the Year honors after posting two top-five finishes in the nine tournaments he entered. Paul Fleming of Fort Worth, Texas, was the Southwest Region’s Senior Player of the Year after recording second- and third-place finishes in four tries. Scott Dodson of Waxahachie, Texas, was awarded the Southwest Region Pat Patterson Award.
WEST – West Region veteran PJ Haggerty of Roseville, Calif., won Player of the Year honors for the first time, notching first-, second-, fourth- and fifth-place finishes in seven tournaments. Taylor Jacob of Auburn, Calif., was selected as Rookie of the Year after cashing in four of six events. Bob Rosenau of Redding, Calif., was a first-time West Region Senior Player of the Year after two runner-up and a fifth-place finish in four events. Ty Dawson of Sunnyvale, Calif., was named the Pat Patterson Award recipient.
NORTHWEST – Christopher Tuholski of Gresham, Ore., had one finish in each of the top five positions – including a title – in the seven tournaments he entered to end Jakob Butturff’s three-year reign as Northwest Player of the Year while Zack Stone of Kelso, Wash., cashed in three of his four tournaments with a best finish of third place to earn Rookie of the Year honors. John Gould of Yuba City, Calif., captured his first Senior Player of the Year nod after one win and two other top-five finishes in five events. Don Marquart of Klamath Falls, Ore., was selected as the Pat Patterson Award recipient.
The PBA’s regional program, founded in 1970, provides bowlers with a proving ground to develop their skills in high-level competition against some of the sport’s established stars. The PBA Regional program annually conducts roughly 150 events across the nation and in its Japan Region.