Talent, teamwork needed to win team challenge

Barry Sparks
For The York Dispatch

The collective talent of the 60 bowlers, representing 12 teams, converging on Lion Bowl on Sunday for the 2022 Mike Elicker Memorial Team Challenge, would impress Professional Bowlers Association Commissioner Tom Clark.

"This is an amazingly talented field," said Adam Baer, a team member of Hanover Bowling Centre No. 1, the defending champs. "But, this is more than just the best of the best. The most talented team won't necessarily win. 

"A team tournament is about more than talent," he added. "It's about which team works together the best and how well you communicate with, and support, your teammates."

Adam Baer

Baer said the Baker format, where each bowler rolls two frames, puts a greater emphasis on making each shot a quality shot.

"You have to share your knowledge with your teammates," he stressed. "Every facet of the game is important.  Teammates need to elevate each other."

Tournament director Jimmy Plessinger said, "There's a lot of pressure because bowlers compete for their team and their respective center. There's always plenty of pride on the line."

"This is a fun, challenging and competitive event," said Baer. "Our team looks forward to defending its title and becoming the first team to repeat."

Baer doubts, however, that this year's finish will top last year's, when his team won a one-ball, sudden-death roll-off against Suburban Bowlerama No. 1.

Teams consist of five bowlers, any combination of men and women. The top three to six average bowlers from each center received automatic invitations to compete on a team.

Teams roll three games (league style), and the number of pins over 3,000 will carry over to match play. Teams then roll one game against each of the other teams in Baker match play.  In the Baker team format, individual bowlers roll frames 1 and 6, 2 and 7, 3 and 8, 4 and 9, and 5 and 10. Teams receive plus or minus the number of pins over or under 200 per game and 30 bonus pins for a win.

The top three teams after the Baker team match play advance to the stepladder final, which consists of a two-game match play set. If teams tie one game each, there will be a one-ball, sudden-death roll off to determine the winner.

First place is worth $1,800 per team, or $360 per bowler.  The winning team receives the Mike Elicker Memorial Traveling Cup. The event, sponsored by Real Estate Exposures, will be live-streamed at fb.me/yorkcountymatchplay. Action starts at 9 a.m.

Here are the teams and their members:

Suburban No. 1 − Chris Green, Ritchie Wolfe, Paul Wolfram, Mike Spangler and Eric Smith.

Suburban No. 2 − Terry Miller, Kevin Sollenberger, Mike Runk, George Kostjal and Mark Fuhrman.

Suburban No. 3 − Brandon Maxfield, Brian Arnold, Steve Burkins, Ben Marvel and TBD.

South Hanover No. 1 − Randy Seibert, Paul Johnson, Chad Bupp, Brent Hunter and Nick Ryncewicz.

South Hanover No. 2 − Nate Klunk, Dan Dariano, Randy Warner, Joe Davis and Guy Johnson.

Laser Alleys − Shawn Smith, Joel Logan, Ben Lamb, Rob Koller and Dave Kareis.

East Lincoln − Andy Stefanowicz, Mike Lenhart, Matt Grove, Denny Runkle and Dane Slenker.

Colony Park North No. 1 − Jerred Poff, Rick Graham, Chuck Crone, Andy Carson and Jacob Hawkins.

Colony Park North No. 2 − Travis Sparks, Chad Ruby, Alex Ludwig, Jim Tomek and Jen Sparks.

Lion Bowl − Dave Zelger, Tim Zelger, Chris Lakatosh, Andrew Miller and TBD.

Hanover Bowling Centre No. 1 − Josh Coleman, Joe Pickett Jr., Broc Lawrence, Cody Shoemaker and Adam Baer.

Hanover Bowling Centre No. 2 − Mike Staub, Dan Noel, Adam Mobley, Brian Hahn and Joe Pickett Sr.