By JOHN BASSETTI
William J. Lovell Jr., known as “Billy,” was a 27-year-old bowler who lived big, loved big, and gave big, according to Bob Lovell Jr., an uncle.
“He truly loved bowling and he showed it by participating in three leagues and subbing in others,” Bob said of his nephew, who passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 12, 2012. “Billy always had a smile for his friends and family.”
To help with expenses, Bob Lovell Jr. said that friends — such as local bowler Adam Barta, along with Hammer and Holiday Bowl — organized a tournament that was held in December. The William J. Lovell Jr. Memorial Tournament attracted bowlers from as far away as Chicago and Detroit. Among the more than 150 participants, one of the biggest names was Billy Oatman, the PBA 2007 rookie-of-the-year.
The Lovell family dedicated the 2012-13 season in William’s memory, including his father, Bill Lovell Sr. who bowls in three leagues and was the 2010 Senior Masters champ. Lovell Sr.’s highest average is 228 and he had a 299 game this season.
Brother Joe carries a 218 average on Thursdays at Holiday Bowl, uncle Frank is averaging 230 at Wedgewood on Thursdays and Bob Lovell Jr. has a perfect game and 819 series this season.
Billy’s mother, Debra, and grandfather, Bob Lovell Sr., also bowl at Holiday.
“Billy was what you’d call a cranker,” Bob Lovell Jr. said. “His ball would have more revolutions than most would ever see.”
Local standout Joe Nuzzo described Billy Lovell Jr.’s style as “unique.”
During the 2011-12 season, Billy scored many high 600 and 700 sets with a plastic bowling ball.
“Not many can say that,” said his uncle.
The family is hoping to keep his memory alive two ways.
First, Bill Sr., Joe Lovell, Frank Lovell and Bob Lovell Jr. are going to bowl together next season and call the team Billy’s Boyz. Secondly, the Lovells want the William J. Lovell Jr. Memorial to become a yearly scholarship tournament to help a student attend Youngstown State University.
“Billy gave big to so many, in so many ways,” Bob Lovell Jr. said. “This is a way for him to keep giving and help others.”
Chambliss had 850
Stan Chambliss had a whopping 850 in Youngstown Steel/Mopar at Boardman behind a 290 game.
Russ Anania, 84, shot his fifth career 300 game in Aaron Rentals at Camelot on Feb. 13. Anania threw his first perfect game at age 73.
Jim Horvath’s 300 in Mixed Bankers at Holiday on Feb. 3 was only the second ever rolled in league play. Horvath’s set was 694.
Brian Stanton’s lucky 777 set included a 300 in Willow Woods G.C. Classic during week 21 of 32 at Bell-Wick Bowl.
Rick Burley bowled his first 300 in the last game of the night in Thursday Night Sportsman at Wedgewood on Feb. 14.
Riley brings relief
Tri-County Classic secretary Dennis Riley made my day when he reported that just eight more weeks remain in his league’s season. Tim Graham and Nick Gesacion recently rolled Tri-County 300s.
Those coming close with 11-in-a-row were Bud Weiser’s 298 and Randy Colla Jr.’s 298.
Mahoning Valley Lanes has unlimited cosmic bowling every Friday and Saturday for $9. Wednesday is customer appreciation $1-a-game bowling and $5 12-inch pizza and Carl Severino is DJ on Saturday night inside Strikers Lounge.