BY DAN WOESSNER
Bowling stories tend to grow taller as the years go by.
Some new ones will likely grow from this weekend's
Sterling-Rock Falls City Tournament.
On Saturday, the 60th city tournament will kick off at
1:30 p.m. at Blackhawk Lanes. The team event will run
into Sunday afternoon before giving way to the single
and doubles action, which takes place at Rock River
Bowling Center in Rock Falls on March 10-11.
"It's the city tournament, and to me it's always been
around," said Anthony Walters, a member of the
tournament's publicity committee. "There are a lot of
guys who have done it every year its been around."
Walters and fellow publicity committee member TJ Paone,
who owns Blackhawk Lanes, are both relatively new
members to the City Tournament Field. Sterling-Rock
Falls Bowling Hall of Famers such as Al Hunsberger, Al
Randall and Leo Veracini have had long running tenors in
the tournament along with local leagues.
"While I don't know if it's the longest running
tournament in the state, it is probably one of the
longest of its kind outside of the Chicago area," Paone
said. "That sort of makes it a unique event for the
area. It's survived by having a strong base of guys that
keep coming back to go along with the newer faces that
Blackhawk and Rock River share the event by alternating
who hosts the team event and the singles and doubles
each year. The event was bowled at the Coliseum in
Sterling and Emerald Hill before both lanes closed.
There have been numerous highlights at the tournament.
One that stands out for Walters was a game by Troy Smith
in 2003. Smith bowled a 300 game in his last game to
finish with a 803 series.
"That has always stood out for me," Walters said. "I
guess it was one of the first years I was in the
tournament, so that is why I remember it. I am sure
there are guys that could tell a lot of stories like
In 1999, the team of Mike Devine, Al Randall, Skip
Wolfe, Dennis Hay and Vern Myers set what was then the
second highest team pin total in the state and the
fourth highest nationally with 3,795 pins.
Reprinted from the March 2, 2007
issue of the Sauk Valley Sunday