STREATOR — Winning the Streator Major USBC Association Bowler of the Year can be a little overwhelming, even to the point where one might forget the award itself.
When Felicia Hallam was named to that honor Saturday night at the association’s annual awards banquet, held this year at the Streator Moose Lodge, she accepted three-foot-tall trophy and stepped to the podium to make a few remarks. After finishing them, she returned to her seat, but forgot to take the trophy with her, eliciting a few chuckles from the audience.
Hallam earned the honor, as well at a President’s Award top 10 and a spot on the Major division all-stars by turning a personal-best 177 average, a high game of 255 and a 527 series this season.
Zaruba this year rolled a 270 game, tossed several 700 series and was tabbed captain of the Major division all-stars.
“No many of you know what I went through with injuries. Doctors said I would never bowl again,” said Zaruba, “but here I am, doing what I love. I’m working hard at practice, I enjoy the game and I’m going to be around for a long time.”
Winners of the association's Presidential Awards were Jessica Green and Bill Scarratt.
Also honored were four new inductees to the association’s Hall of Fame: Jamie Tyne, Tracy Wargo, Jeff Kusnerick and Bill McKim.
Tyne, a three-time winner of the SWBA President’s Award (’82, ’92, ‘95), started her career bowling just nine games in the 1979-80 Thursday Nite Ladies and has since been Bowler of the Year (’85), made the Majors all-star team 17 times and been in the top five averages for 34 years. She had also been the City Tournament doubles scratch champion nine times and singles scratch champ twice. She also bowled the first 300 game in SWBA history.
Wargo, in addition to his outstanding bowling, has also posted a remarkable record of another sort, having had perfect attendance in 31 of his 34 years and missing just 12 times for competing in an amazing 4,703 of the 4,715 games. He was a Major all-star in 2011 and ’17 and a senior all-star this year, has 11 700 series and rolled his first perfect game on March 19. He has cashed often in the city tournament and participated in numerous tournaments across the country.
Kusnerick won the 1982 SMBA Bowler of the Year at the age of 19 and hasn’t stopped excelling since. Along the way, he’s won the Presidents Award four times (1997, ’98, ’99 and ’03), posted the high average three times, high series three times, rolled three 800 series and an amazing 14 300 games. In addition to cashing dozens of time in the City Tournament. He has also been an active member of his leagues officers, as well as the association’s board of directors.
Honored posthumously was McKim, who passed away on Dec. 3, 2017. He began bowling in his native Michigan in 1926 and became a mainstay in the SMBA after moving to Streator in 1981, known for his ability and sportsmanship.. While posting a career high game of 279, high series of 692 and high average of 173, he earned Classic all-star status in 2002, Senior all-stars in ’08 and ‘12 and was captain of the Classic all-star quintet in 2010.
Accepting an honor presented for the first time this year, the Director of the Year Award, were Dawn Gaspardo and Dan Pond.
Recipients of the association’s scholarship were Jesse Cashmer and Zack Grabowski.
Other honorees at the ceremony were:
CITY CHAMPIONS HANDICAP
Team open division: Alec Yuhas, Nicholas Libby, Aaron Yuhas, Bobby Sandy, James Hallam Jr. 3779 (record).
Team women's division: Kendra Gill, Sarah England, Carrie Dominic, Angela Kusnerick 2,940 (record).
Doubles open division: Kevin Casteel, Sherry Flynn 1,495.
Doubles women's division: Kathy Parzgnat, Angela Kusnerick 1,437.
Doubles mixed division: Jessica Green, Bill Scarratt 1,535.
Singles open division: Ron Sorenson 783.
Singles women's division: Marcia Smetanko 726.
All events open division: Jeff Kusnerick 2,153.
All events women's division: Carrie Dominic 2,130.
CITY CHAMPIONS SCRATCH
Team open division: Jon Zaruba, Rodney Leonard, Bryan Leininger, Robert Simons, Bill Cashmer 3,270.
Team women's division: Kendra Gill, Sarah England, Carrie Dominic, Angela Kusnerick 2,223.
Doubles open division: Jeff Kusnerick, Jim Ligori 1,252.
Doubles women's division: Jessica Green, Stephanie Trotter 1,150.
Doubles mixed division: Jessica Green, Bill Scarratt 1,424.
Singles open division: Brad Austin 677.
Singles women's division: Marcia Smetanko 585.
All events open division: Jeff Kusnerick 2,027.
All events women's division: Jessica Green 1,745.
CITY CHAMPIONS YOUTH
Pee wee division: Liliana Reel 158
Youth division: Adam Jakupcak 494 (+71), Jimmy Sokol 534 (+144), Christie Ricci 377 (+ 77).
MEN'S ALL-STAR TEAMS
Major division: Jon Zaruba*, William Cashmer*, Robert Simons, Robert Babzcak, Jeff Kusnerick.
Classic division: Eric Wissen*, Michael Sibert, Michael Dellinger, John Wade, Michael Marshall.
Booster division: Matthew Farrare*, Kevin Videgar, Douglas Walker, Nathan Garber, Michael Schmitt.
Senior division: Dave Strenzel*, Tracy Wargo, Dean Ahlstrom, Bill Scarratt, Jerry Smetanko.
* - captain.
WOMEN'S ALL-STAR TEAMS
Major division: Stephanie Trotter*, Jessica Green, Felicia Hallam, Marcia Smetanko, Jamie Tyne.
Classic division: Carrie Dominic*, Nana Lynch, Kendra Gill, Mary Ann Neumann, Michelle Orban.
Minor division: Kelly Lefler*, Salve Tertocha, Shirley Goldsmith, Michelle Drysdale, Marlene Scott.
Booster division: Cassie Ainsworth*, Mary Mounce, Dawn Gaspardo, Jenna Zaloudek, Mary Garza.
Senior division: Aloma McCoy*, Cheryl Schrader, Sue Straughn, Kathleen Huey, Roberta Lewis.
* - captain.
Most improved average: Kevin Casteel +26, Cassie Ainsworth +18, Jessica Green +18.
Rookies of the year: Rachel Puckett, Sean Brockman.
Senior sportsman of the year: Barb Hamann.
Association high game, men: Bob Babczak, Travis Brue, Tim Piszczor, Jeff Kusnerick, Bill Scarratt, Don Moore, Tracy Wargo, Dave Strenzel 300.
Association high series, men: Jon Zaruba 801
Association high average, men: Bill Scarratt 221.
Association high game, women: Nancy Longnecker 290.
Association high series, women: Stephanie Trotter 771.
Association high average, women: Jessica Green 200.