Smallwood Helps Motown Muscle Claim Top Stepladder Berth in Roth PBA League Qualifying Round

by Bill Vint January 23, 2013 08:39

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Michigan native Tom Smallwood, who launched his Professional Bowlers Association career at Thunderbowl Lanes in 2009, helped his Motown Muscle team claim the top stepladder position in the Mark Roth PBA League qualifying round Wednesday.

Smallwood, a Saginaw resident who lost his job at General Motors during the auto industry’s economic downturn in 2009 and turned his unemployed status into a victory in the PBA World Championship later that same season, averaged 232.25 for an eight-game total of 1,858 pins to help the Motown Muscle team – owned by Detroit native and former Pittsburgh Steelers star running back Jerome Bettis – to the No. 1 berth in the Mark Roth round stepladder finals by 182 pins over Billie Jean King’s New York City WTT KingPins. The BROOKLYN STyLES, owned by actor Jesse Williams, and led by Mark Roth Classic qualifying leader Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., locked up the third team stepladder berth with 8,991 pins.

The other five teams will compete in a one-ball Clash Match eliminator round to determine the fourth team that will bowl in the Baker format television finals. In Baker team competition, each of the five players bowls two frames to complete a game.

The Roth PBA League stepladder finals and the Mark Roth Classic championship match will be contested on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET at Thunderbowl Lanes. The finals will air on ESPN on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 3 p.m. ET.

The Detroit Winter Swing features a unique combination of PBA individual and team competitions. A field of 135 players are competing for individual titles while eight teams of five players are also using their qualifying scores to help their teams qualify in inaugural PBA League competition.

“The PBA League is a good concept,” Smallwood said. “The players are still a little up in the air about it because it’s so new, but it’s a cool concept. It’ll make for good TV. Actually, I feel more pressure bowling for the team than myself because you don’t want to let your team down.”

Smallwood, now 35, began chasing his bowling dream in 2009 after being laid off at GM. He decided to enter the PBA’s “exempt tour” qualifying tournament at Thunderbowl, won a chance to bowl full-time on tour during the 2009-10 season, and turned that opportunity into a major championship with a $50,000 payday. A year later, he finished second in the PBA Tournament of Champions, earning another $100,000. Since becoming a full-time professional bowler in 2009, Smallwood has earned nearly $300,000 in PBA Tour competition.

“It’s nice to come back here,” he said of returning to Thunderbowl. “If we had 40-50 tournaments a year here, I’d make a great living. It’s almost like home for me. It’s really nice to have a big crowd behind.”

In addition to Smallwood, Motown Muscle team leader Mike Fagan contributed 1,770 pins to the team total while Mike Scroggins added 1,888, Ronnie Russell 1,827 and Jesse Buss 1,875, including one of the two 300 games bowled in the qualifying round.

Rash, the PBA’s reigning Player of the Year, led the field of 16 players who advanced to the Mark Roth Classic match play finals Wednesday night, bowling at a 253.63 pace for a 2,029 total and a 108-pin lead over Finnish-American star Mika Koivuniemi, who makes his home in nearby Hartland, Mich. After nine games of round robin match play, the top two players after 17 games will advance to the Mark Roth Classic championship match.

The Detroit Winter Swing continues Thursday at Thunderbowl Lanes with qualifying and match play rounds in the Don Carter Classic and the third day of PBA League competition.

All preliminary rounds of Winter Swing competition are being covered live, exclusively on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. To subscribe to Xtra Frame, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link.

PBA MARK ROTH CLASSIC
Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich., Jan. 23

Final Qualifying Standings (after 8 games; top 16 advance to round robin match play Wednesday night)
1, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 2,029.
2, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 1,921.
3 (tie), Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif., and Brett Spangler, Niles, Ohio, 1,912.
5, Michael Haugen Jr., Carefree, Ariz., 1,911.
6, Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 1,906.
7, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 1,897.
8, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 1,888.
9, Jesse Buss, Belvidere, Ill., 1,875.
10, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 1,860.
11, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 1,858.
12, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 1,852.
13, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 1,843.
14, Dom Barrett, England, 1,840.
15, Ronnie Sparks Jr., Ecorse, Mich., 1,834.
16, Tom Baker, King, N.C., 1,833.

Other Cashers (after 8 games):
17, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 1,832, $1,000.
18, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 1,829, $950.
19, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 1,827, $900.
20 (tie), Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., and Brian Valenta, Lockport, Ill., 1,826, $835.
22, Jack Jurek, Lackawanna, N.Y., 1,823, $800.
23, Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan., 1,821, $790.
24, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 1,816, $780.
25, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 1,814, $770.
26, B.J. Moore II, Apex, N.C., 1,813, $760.
27, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio, 1,809, $750.
28, Mark Milasinovich, Macomb, Mich., 1,804, $740.
29, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 1,802, $730.
30, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 1,801, $720.
31, Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Twp., Mich., 1,799, $710.
32, David Haynes, Las Vegas, 1,798, $700.

Failed to Cash:
33, Frankie Calca, Elmont, N.Y., 1,796.
34, Tom Daugherty, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 1,794.
35, Josh Blanchard, Gilbert, Ariz., 1,792.
36, Craig Nidiffer, Trenton, Mich., 1,791.
37, John Szczerbinski, North Tonawanda, N.Y., 1,786.
38, Thomas Larsen, Denmark, 1,782.
39, Dave Wodka, Henderson, Nev., 1,780.
40, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 1,777.
41, Justin Neiman, Warren, Mich., 1,775.
42, Mike Williams II, Montgomery, Ala, 1,772.
43, Patrick Girard, Canada, 1,771.
44, Mike Fagan, Dallas, 1,770.
45, Humberto Vazquez, Mexico, 1,769.
46, Brett Cunningham, Clay, N.Y., 1,766.
46, Joe Ciccone, Buffalo, N.Y., 1,766.
48, Rick Graham, Lancaster, Pa., 1,763.
49, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 1,756.
50, Jason Sterner, McDonough, Ga., 1,752.
51, D.J. Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 1,749.
52, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 1,748.
53, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 1,742.
54, Corey Miller, Grand Blanc, Mich, 1,740.
55 (tie), Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa., and Jesse Smith, Garfield Heights, Ohio, 1,736.
57, Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore., 1,728.
58, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 1,727.
59 (tie), Craig LeMond, Jasper, Ind., and Brian Gunn, Chicago, 1,723.
61, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 1,721.
62, Todd Book, Russells Point, Ohio, 1,715.
63 (tie), Mike Wolfe, New Albany, Ind., and Mason Brantley, Detroit, 1,714.
65 (tie), Rick Zakrajsek, Lorain, Ohio, and Brian Robinson, Morgantown, W.V., 1,710.
67, Kirby Allen, Ironton, Ohio, 1,708.
68, Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, 1,706.
69, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 1,704.
70, Lee Vanderhoef, Greenville, S.C., 1,700.
71 (tie), Bob Learn Jr., Macomb, Mich., and Sean Swanson, Springfield, Mo., 1,696.
73 (tie), Mike DeVaney, Hemet, Calif., and John Furey, Freehold, N.J., 1,695.
75, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 1,694.
76, Kyle Bigelow, Troy, Ohio, 1,693.
77, Jake Peters, Decatur, Ill., 1,681.
78, Gregory Thompson Jr., Dublin, Calif., 1,678.
79 (tie), Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., and Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 1,675.
81 (tie), Michael Stocks, Leesburg, Va.; Jim Pratt, Glendale, Ariz.; Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., and Kevin Brophy, Oakhurst, N.J., 1,672.
85, Kurt Pilon, Warren, Mich., 1,671.
86, Stephen Pavlinko Jr., Sewell, N.J., 1,669.
87, Jeff Roche, Dearborn, Mich., 1,668.
88, Jeffrey Edwards, Sterling Heights, Mich., 1,664.
89, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 1,663.
90, Christopher Colosimo, Elkhorn, Wis., 1,660.
91, Chad Reiffer, Kentwood, Mich., 1,659.
92, Keith Caldwell, Detroit, 1,655.
93, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 1,646.
94, Scott Newell, Deland, Fla., 1,641.
95 (tie), David Tullos, Spring, Texas, and Dan MacLelland, Canada, 1,637.
97, Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla., 1,633.
98, Brad Miller, St. Charles, Mo., 1,632.
99, Jon VanHees, Charlestown, R.I., 1,631.
100, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 1,629.
101, Eric Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 1,627.
102, Andrew Graff, Las Vegas, 1,621.
103, Mike Edwards, Tulsa, Okla., 1,620.
104, Bo Goergen, Sanford, Mich., 1,619.
105, Julio Cesar Blancas, Mexico, 1,616.
106, Ryan Appel, Cinnaminson, N.J., 1,614.
107, Darren Andretta, New Hyde Park, N.Y., 1,611.
108, Tyler Wilds, Three Rivers, Mich., 1,610.
109, Jerry Sikora, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., 1,594.
110, Stuart Williams, England, 1,590.
111, J.T. "Action" Jackson, Sherman Oaks, Calif., 1,584.
112, Michael Calhoun, Wyandotte, Mich., 1,582.
113, Tony Campagna Jr., Hendersonville, Tenn., 1,575.
114, BJ Satkowski, Jackson, Mich, 1,567.
115, Josh Lewis, Asheville, N.C., 1,566.
116, Justin Stevens, Aiea, Hawaii, 1,565.
117, Randy Weiss, Columbia, S.C., 1,564.
118, Jonathan Russell, Rockwood, Tenn., 1,561.
119, Phillip Vallar, Southgate, Mich., 1,560.
120, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C., 1,559.
121, Chris Cundiff, Lake Station, Ind., 1,550.
122, Johnathan Bower, Middletown, Pa., 1,541.
123, Justin Bychkowski, Fairfield, Conn., 1,531.
124, Andrew Horodecki, Norcross, Ga., 1,528.
125, Mike Keily, Golden, Colo., 1,526.
126, Diandra Asbaty, Chicago, 1,524.
127, Nick Kokenos, St. Clair Shores, Mich., 1,521.
128, David Shinn, West Columbia, S.C., 1,505.
129, Kasey Normandin, Canada, 1,497.
130, Carleton Chambers, Detroit, 1,484.
131, Kenneth Bland Jr., Germany, 1,449.
132, Dustin Baker, Melbourne, Ky, 1,402.

300 Game: Rick Zakrajsek, Jesse Buss.

EARL ANTHONY PBA PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING LEADERS

(top 32 players after 16 of 32 games; top 16 after 32 games advance to round robin match play Friday night)

1, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 3,915.
2, Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif., 3,853.
3, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 3,811.
4, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 3,741.
5, Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 3,738.
6, D.J. Archer, Friendswood, Texas, 3,726.
7 (tie), Brett Spangler, Niles, Ohio, and Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 3,717.
9, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 3,694.
10, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 3,686.
11, Michael Machuga, Erie, Pa., 3,684.
12, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 3,650.
13, Dom Barrett, England, 3,646.
14, Frankie Calca, Elmont, N.Y., 3,636.
15, Tom Daugherty, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 3,620.
16, Ildemaro Ruiz, Venezuela, 3,619.
17, Michael Haugen Jr., Carefree, Ariz., 3,615.
18, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 3,614.
19, Brian Valenta, Lockport, Ill., 3,610.
20, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 3,595.
21, Ronnie Sparks Jr., Ecorse, Mich., 3,590.
22, Craig Nidiffer, Trenton, Mich., 3,570.
23, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 3,566.
24, Dave Wodka, Henderson, Nev., 3,562.
25, B.J. Moore II, Apex, N.C., 3,559.
26, Mark Milasinovich, Macomb, Mich., 3,554.
27, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, 3,545.
28, Jesse Buss, Belvidere, Ill., 3,544.
29, Mike DeVaney, Hemet, Calif., 3,540.
30, David Haynes, Las Vegas, 3,538.
31, Mike Fagan, Dallas, 3,534.
32, Harry Sullins, Chesterfield Twp., Mich., 3,533.

PBA LEAGUE ROTH QUALIFYING ROUND STANDINGS (after 8 games; top 3 teams advance to Baker format stepladder finals; teams 4-8 will bowl a one-ball Clash Match eliminator round to determine the fourth team in the stepladder finals)

1, Motown Muscle, 9,218 (Mike Fagan 1,770, Tom Smallwood 1,858, Mike Scroggins 1,888, Ronnie Russell 1,827, Jesse Buss 1,875).

2, New York City WTT KingPins, 9,036 (Pete Weber 1,843, Tommy Jones 1,672, Scott Norton 1,912, Jack Jurek 1,823, John Szczerbinski 1,786).

3, BROOKLYN STyLES, 8,991 (Sean Rash 2,029, Ryan Ciminelli 1,860 , Ryan Shafer 1,675, Walter Ray Williams Jr. 1,675, Jason Sterner 1,752).

4, Philadelphia Hitmen, 8,898 (Bill O’Neill 1,826, Mika Koivuniemi 1,921, Chris Loschetter 1,897, Mike DeVaney 1,695, Dick Allen 1,559).

5, Silver Lake Atom Splitters, 8,775 (Chris Barnes 1,721, Dom Barrett 1,840, Josh Blanchard 1,792, Stuart Williams 1,590, Nathan Bohr 1,832).

6, Dallas Strikers, 8,738 (Norm Duke 1,852, Rhino Page 1,633, Amleto Monacelli 1,777, Bryon Smith 1,728, Mike Machuga 1,748).

7, L.A. X, 8,659 (Jason Belmonte 1,756, Wes Malott 1,814, Andres Gomez 1,646, Parker Bohn III 1,663, Dave Wodka 1,780).

8, Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits, 8,592 (Osku Palermaa 1,742, Martin Larsen 1,727, Dan MacLelland 1,637, Patrick Allen 1,704, Thomas Larsen 1,782).

PBA LEAGUE THUNDERBOWL FINALS QUALIFYING STANDINGS (after 16 of 32 team games; top five teams advance to live ESPN Baker format stepladder finals Sunday at noon ET)

1, Motown Muscle, Detroit (owner Jerome Bettis), 18,189.
2, Philadelphia Hitmen, Philadelphia (owner Kevin Hart), 17,992.
3, New York City WWT KingPins, New York (owner Billie Jean King), 17,966.
4, BROOKLYN STyLES, Brooklyn, N.Y. (owner Jesse Williams), 17,747.
5, Silver Lake Atom Splitters, Silver Lake, Calif. (owner Chris Hardwick), 17,615.
6, L.A. X., Los Angeles (owner Chris Paul), 17,555.
7, Dallas Strikers, Dallas (owner Terrell Owens), 17,397.
8, Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits, Pittsburgh, Pa. (owner LaMarr Woodley), 17,341.

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