Illinois and Louisiana bowlers score top honors at International Family Tournament


    BPAA News

    2010IFTWinners.jpg2010IFTLogo.jpgAfter two days of friendly, but intense, competition, two families emerged atop the leader board to take home the top scholarships at the 35th Annual International Family Tournament (IFT) presented by QubicaAMF and sponsored by Georgia Coffee according to the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America (BPAA).

    L-R Youth Division winners Duane and Jacob Garretson, Louisiana and Teen Division winners Cody and Phillip Maske, Illinois.

    Some 63 teams representing 25 states competed July 30-31 at AMF Showplace Lanes in Euless, Texas. The IFT is the only sporting event in the United States in which parents participate with their children for a chance at an international championship and scholarship money. Contestants from across North America won their state competitions to qualify for the all-expense paid trip to North Texas.

    In the Parent/Teen division, Phillip and Cody Maske (Illinois) took home the big trophy, beating out Andrew Conley and Megan Cisco (Oklahoma), 312-254. Henry and Kassandra Leal (Texas) placed third.

    "This is the first time we've competed together," said dad, Phillip Maske. "I took off from bowling for about 10 years due to work and other commitments and this is my first time back on the lanes." Son Cody, a high school freshman, added, "I've been bowling since I was four years-old, but this was very intense with everyone watching.

    Cody plans to use his scholarship to attend Joliet Jr. College. The elder Maske captured their experience by saying the best part of it all was, "Coming out here, having fun and enjoying ourselves." The Maskes say they practiced at Comet Bowl in Crest Hill, Illinois to get ready for the IFT.

    In the Parent/Youth Division Duane and Jacob Garretson (Louisiana) outlasted Kennon and James McFalls (North Carolina), 265-262 with Daniel and Jeff Drury (Missouri) taking third.

    "We've bowled together for nine years," said Duane Garretson, "but this is the first time my son and I have made it to the finals." Jacob Garretson says he's used to the pressure having bowled in tournaments back home, but said this year he had special motivation.

    "Both my grandfathers died in the same month just before we came here, and each was trying to get well to make the trip." The younger Garretson added, "While they weren't here in person, I know they were watching and I wanted to win for them." The Garretsons bowl out of Circle Bowl and Metro Bowl in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

    Scholarships for the champions in each division were worth $5000, second place, $3500 and third place finishers took home $2500.

    High series honors and additional $500 scholarships were awarded to Katherine Baron (California) for shooting a 702, her first 700 series, Amber Herring (North Carolina) (593) and Garrett Hillerich (Kentucky) (738) in the Teen division.

    Awards in the Youth division went to Melissa West (Iowa) (449) and Kennon McFalls, (North Carolina) (663). The overall scholarship purse was worth $70,000.

    Bowlers competed all day Friday to field the top 8 teams in each division to meet on Saturday morning. After lunch, the top three teams in each division bowled in a stepladder format to decide the winners.

    As part of competition weekend, contestants and their families attended a welcome reception Thursday evening at the tournament host hotel, The Sheraton Arlington. On Friday night, families visited the International Bowling Campus and toured the Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame before being treated to an evening at Six Flags Over Texas.

    During lunch on Saturday, PBA pro Norm Duke and Team USA member Stefanie Nation entertained the crowd with a trick shot demonstration, then stayed for pictures and autographs.

    The weekend was capped by the awards banquet Saturday evening.