Blair puts on bowling clinic |

Blair puts on bowling clinic

South Lake Tahoe bowler rolls 802 series, including 15th career 300 game

By John Shott

Tribune bowling writer

As each day comes, it’s exciting to see what the outcome of the day has in store for each of us. When Feb. 1 arrived, who would have thought that it would become one of the most memorable nights of Kevin Blair’s bowling career.

If you want to see a miracle, then be the miracle.

The miracle happened in the Basin Bowlers League, starting with Blair lacing up his shoes and stroking seven of eight strikes in shadow practice. This set the tone for Blair’s miraculous night.

When league play began, Blair left a 10 pin in the very first frame. He missed the spare, starting with just nine pins.

For the remainder of the night, Blair made bowling history, rolling 31 strikes out of the remaining 35 frames and realizing the first 800 series of his career in sanctioned league play.

To add more icing to the cake, Blair rolled a perfect game – the 15th of his career – in the final game en route to a fantastic 802 series. His single game scores were 258, 244 and 300.

As a result of these feats, Blair will receive both his 300 and 800 rings from the United States Bowling Congress. His name will also be enshrined on Tahoe Bowl’s honor chart for these accomplishments.

Let’s take a look back at Blair’s bowling roots:

When Blair was just 12 years old, his parents, Fran and Reed, moved from Pittsburgh to Florida. In the ensuing 20 years, Blair sparked an interest in bowling and taught himself the game. He began bowling in pot games and 20-game marathons and participated in more than 20 bowling tournaments.

It was from his parents that he inherited his bowling talent, though.

The constant support and encouragement of his mother (a nurse of 50 years and now his guardian angel) led to his successful career in the sport.

Blair would like to express his gratitude to his mother by dedicating his accomplishments to her memory and perseverance.

Blair moved to South Lake Tahoe when he was 32 years old and started bowling at Tahoe Bowl. He captured three bowler of the year awards from 1998-2000 and rolled his first 300 game at Tahoe Bowl on March 11, 2003.

Coming back from a four-year layoff, Blair switched his five-step delivery to a four-step approach. Inspired by fellow bowlers Michael Shott, Laura Amaral and Arlene Hailey, who attended the professional bowling class at The Reno Bowling Stadium, Blair has since dominated the lanes. He’s averaging an amazing 235 pins per game and is the highest average bowler in all of Lake Tahoe.

In addition, Blair bowls in Carson City on the Mid-Week Drifters Team on Wednesday night and holds a 234 average.

That’s pro material.

When asked why he doesn’t go pro, Blair replied, “It’s very difficult for outsiders to get on tour with the current format. There’s 120 bowlers competing in the qualifying rounds for only four spots. Also, it costs about $2,000 per week for the food, lodging, travel and entry fees to be on tour. If you’re not in the top 10, you can’t make a good living.”

When asked what it takes to become a better bowler, Blair responded, “Practice, practice, practice.”

Since everyone bowls differently, Blair says to just do your thing – whatever works for you. He also has four basic he follows, and they will improve anyone’s game: consistency, accuracy, hitting the pocket and marking your spares.

Consistency means repeating your steps, approach and delivery the same every time. Accuracy means hitting your mark every time, hitting the pocket will lead to higher scores and marking your spares is the key ingredient to becoming a better bowler.

Blair enjoys bowling on synthetic lanes. The oil holds up longer and with his slider approach and simple game plan, Blair can explode into action. Looping the ball leaves more room for error because you are crossing more boards. Direct is a much better approach, Blair said.

Four years from now when Blair turns 50 he plans to bowl on the Senior Tour. The Senior Tour runs from May through September, while the regular tour, which has 20 stops, lasts from October to April. The Tahoe bowling community wishes Kevin the best of success when becomes eligible.

We all would like to congratulate Blair on accomplishing his dream of shooting 800. Not only is he a great bowler, he is an inspiration to the entire bowling community. His soft nature, great character and awesome performance on the lanes led to his selection as Shott’s Men’s Bowler of the Week.

If you would like to see Blair in action, go down to Tahoe Bowl on a Friday night and watch the Basin Bowlers League.

The top women’s bowler of the week is Tori Stromberg. Stromberg bowls on Lulu’s Toonies team in the His and Hers League and carries a 145 average.

Stromberg connected for a score of 218, her high game of the season. She will receive her 200 game patch award from the USBC.

Stromberg’s awesome performance on the lanes led to her selection as Shott’s Women’s Bowler of the Week.

Tune in next week for more bowling news and scores.

High scores of the week

South Tahoe Seniors (Jan. 29): Larry Coffman 213, Franz Goepfert 206, Leo Fuller 204.

His and Hers (Jan. 29): Tori Stromberg 218, Jeremy Agnew 215, Richard Brown 235-256/681, Jim Clark 201-222-226/649, Jessica Urias 202-222/611, Kevin Close 202, Kevin Miller 236, Michael Shott 214-235/645, Greg McGowan 269, Anthony Gregorich 243/616, Lenny Lopez 246-200/641, Scott Spivack 227-237-236/700, Tommy Otomo 202-206, Bobby Silvius 229-237/658, Matt Silveira 201-218/600, George Alm 245/605, Ron Waller 208.

Guys and Dolls (Jan. 24): Michael Taylor 237/600, Pat Davie 206, Terri Tepper 203, Michael Shott 222-223-236/681, Steve Sandborn 211, Kevin Miller 214-246/640, Debbie Petire 222, Jere Petrie 222, Brian Stanton 246/601, Marty Montanyo 226-209/627, Glen Comet 204.

Goofers (Jan. 24): Franz Goepfert 201, Sandy Jackson 223, Don Jackson 209, Andrew Gregorich 209, Barry Givan 200, Donald Mayer 253/600, Max Withrow 203.

Basin Bowlers (Jan. 25): Christopher Shott 215, Toby Sharp 202, Sky Rosselle 208, Richard Brown 214-210/615, Wesley Snyder 201-206, Kevin Blair 258-244-300/802, Greg McGowan 245-237/656, Willie Campbell 213-235-265/713, Jeremy Agnew 204, Kevin Close 209-213, Anthony Gregorich 214, Lenny Lopez 216-208/623, Scott Spivack 204, Bobby Silvius 237-232/632, Kevin Iggens 209.

Juniors and Majors (Jan. 25): Joel Morris 223-213, Tyler Venema 211.

Bantams and Preps (Jan. 26): Jake Roe 87-87, Rochell Sawyer 101, Trieton Kuenzi 84, Daniel Sandborn 114, Miles Wilson 89-85, Angelica Rodriguez 98.

Peewees (Jan. 26): Chris Padayhag 82, Bryce Korba 107, Tyler Moore 80, Anthony Gallardo 106, Noah Ramos 87, Nehemiah Kaufman 89, Colby 88, Mike McDaniel 81, Loreli Kuenzi 85, Pearce Tanner 96.

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