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News Archive

2007 - 2008 Season

Gary Baird

 ends in 6th place in men's singles

at Masters Nationals

Lawrence Fobert

finishes 6th in singles competition.  Alberta gets team medals as follows.

National Open Championship


Heritage Lanes Senior Boys

team is 7th at YBC Nationals

Travel Raffle Winners Drawn.




S. Fincaryk

Red Deer

$ 1,500 cash

R. Gallaugher



D. Langrock



C. Van Eaton



R. Colpitts



C. Barber

Red Deer


T. Porter



Alberta Open Provincial Championships

Lawrence Fobert wins Men's Singles Championship as well as 10 game qualifying round.   
Dianne Violini of Lethbridge wins Ladies singles crown for sixth time.

Shauna Pirie Laisnez of the Central Alberta team delivers a ball during the Ladies singles at the provincial 5-pin open at Riverside Bowl.

photo by JERRY GERLING/Advocate staff

By Josh Aldrich - Red Deer Advocate

Published: March 20, 2008 7:57 AM

Lawrence Fobert has won several team provincial titles over the years, but it had been 15 years since he won his first and only men’s open singles bowling provincial crown.

On Wednesday the wait for number two ended.

“It feels pretty good, it’s been a long time since I won in ‘93,” said Fobert. “I’ve won on the team before, but singles is always special.”

Fobert beat Calgary’s Tom Stevenson in 272-190 in the final to claim the crown.

Despite the lopsided score in the final, winning the provincial tittle was never a sure thing, in fact Stevenson had won the first game of the double-elimination final 296-222, the worst score of Fobert’s day, to force the winner-take-all final.

For Fobert it was a combination of butterflies and a little bit of rust that put him off to the slow start in the first game. Fobert had to wait three hours between his final game of qualifying, through the women’s playoffs and then through the rest of the men’s playoffs before he stepped back up to a lane.

The break was due to being the No. 1 qualifier in the men’s bracket and the subsequent ladder style playoff format.

“With a three-hour layoff warm up balls don’t really do it, you have to get into the match before yo really get loosened up,” said Fobert. “In about the sixth frame or seventh frame of the first game, that’s when I felt comfortable again and then it just kind of kept going after that.”

Fobert, did however, have a bit of inside knowledge of the lanes, being the manager of Riverside Bowl and Lounge where the provincials were being held. But he claims the advantage was minimal.

“I don’t bowl the whole bowling centre, so this end of the bowling centre is kind of strange to me,” he said. “But I found my niche real quick and it worked out well.”

Stevenson beat Mark Johnstone from Edmonton in the semifinal to make the final. Johnstone beat Gary Baird from Red Deer in the quarter-final after beating Steve Wright from Northern Alberta in the playoff opener. Greg Gigliuk of Red Deer finished in 13th with a 224.6 average and missed the playoff cut.

The women’s side also saw the return of a long-time provincial competitor to the top of the mountain.

Dianne Violini of Lethbridge won her sixth singles provincial championship, but it was her first in five years.

“This is my 35th year bowling in the open, not always as a single, but it never gets any easier,” said Violini, 57.

Violini beat Calgary’s Tracy Smith 281-237 in the first game of the final.

She wasn’t exactly sure what to expect out of the tournament as her average has decline the past few years, but it all came together on Wednesday as she bowled a 279.5 through qualifying and then a 281 in the final.

“Normally I’m in the 250 to 260 (range) but I’m sitting at 235 this year, I’m really struggling and getting a lot of head pins and not scoring as well,” said Violini. “It’s unfortunate, but maybe it’s making me pick up my game and forcing me to do other things to be more accurate.”

As the No. 1 qualifier on the women’s side Violini to had a bit of a wait but she manage to fight through the nerves and the rust to get the job done.

“I was really able to keep my focus and my concentration, I had been struggling with that for a couple of years,” she said. “But when I was up there I was able to block out the other things and able to think about throwing my ball out there on to the lane on target and it really helped.”

Smith beat Stettler’s Shantelle Szuch-Roeder in the semifinal to qualify for the final. Szuch-Roeder went on a run as the fifth qualifier, beating Northern Alberta’s Bonnie Olson and Edmonton’s Tina Arychuk to make it to the semi. Andrea Leavitt of Drumheller finished seventh and Shauna Pirie Laisnez of Big Valley finished 12th, both missed the playoff cut.

High Low Provincial Championship

Bernie Swain & Jeff Burns of Leduc finish in third place, only 16 points from 1st. 

UNO Ca$h Provincials

Candy Klatt, Linda Seitz finish 1st & 2nd at UNO Provincials.  Blaine Heward 5th on the mens side. 


1st annual Sleeman Traditional tournament

Gene Ziebarth
Inaugural Champion

Championship Final - Three Games Total Pin Fall



Game 2

Game 3


Greg Degrazia





Gene Ziebarth





Alberta Winter Games

Gold Medal

13 - 15 boys

Kyle Mielnichuk (Innisfail)

  Eric Kjos (Wetaskiwin)

Gold Medal

16 - 17 boys

Jordie Weich (Penhold)

Adam Peter (Red Deer)

5th place

13 - 15 girls

Michelle Heidinger (Morinville)

Melissa Armstrong (Leduc)

8th Place

13 - 15 girls

Jessica Pelletier (Red Deer)

Brittany Ryrie (Bowden)

7th place

16 - 17 girls

Amanda Brunke (Red Deer)

 Alyssa Lentz (Red Deer)

BPAA Provincial Cash Singles


Blane Heward

Rocky Mountain House


Candy Clatt

Rocky Mountain House


Amanda Bradshaw


BPAA Men's Big Four



Rocky Mountain House


UNO CA$H Zone Finals

The following people won the listed amounts for finishing in the top three at the zone finals.





Steph Hamm


Eric Andersen


Bev Morin

$  65.00

Kris Lappin

$  65.00

Karin Sauer

$  40.00

Blaine Heward

$  40.00

TPC tournament

Two Central Alberta bowlers meet in the finals where Gene Ziebarth (Millet)defeats Kerry Fincaryk (Red Deer)

UNO Provincial Finals

Congratulations to Brady Swier of Ponoka who won the men's section of the UNO Provincial Finals.  Brady won $500 first prize. 

Waneta Armstrong of Leduc finished 4th on the ladies side of the event.

YBC Bantam Boys Provincial Winners

Bantam Boys team win Provincial Y.B.C. championship in Calgary and go to Canadian Championship in Winnipeg in mid May.

The team was composed of Steven Stammers, Jake Coulter, Cody Pratt, Eric Walters and Brendan Innes with coach Bruce Watson all of Heritage Lanes.

Saskatoon Brewhouse Jubilee Ford Open  Champion

Ziebarth Repeats! 

Gene Ziebarth of the Central Alberta 5 Pin Bowlers Association, and resident of Millet, Alberta,  won the Brewhouse Jubilee Ford Open in Saskatoon by defeating Mark Sawatzky in the grand final of the 2007 event.

Gene had previously won the event in 2002.

Terry Ell of Innisfail also competed and made the A and B Side Playoffs.

Youth Challenge Provincials


Central Boy's Zone 4 Team Win Provincials

and Richard Jackson

makes the Provincial Team

Red Deer Advocate  February 21, 2007

Coach, First Lady of the Lanes.

By CARL HAHN, LIFE staff      

INNISFAIL - Anyone who thinks you need fingers to bowl apparently needs a lesson in open-mindedness.

The girl who was born with no fingers on one hand is one of bowling coach Maaike van Soeren's favourite memories.

The girl had been told by someone else that she could never learn to bowl, but she went to van Soeren to see if there was any hope.

I said, “Oh, we will, lady. And you'll be a good bowler.”

They worked together for three years, until the girl's family moved away. And at the end of every bowling season, the girl's mother would send in flow­ers for van Soeren, for making her daughter believe she really was worth coaching, and could do the things everyone else does.

“Her mom was so happy.”

Van Soeren has been a coach with the Master Bowlers Association for 28 years, cruising the lanes of Innisfail Bowling Lanes for that entire time. She coaches youth bowlers at the Innisfail lanes Mon­days and Tuesdays after school.

The 73-year-old bowls with the 55-plus group Wednesday mornings and assists the seniors who need a hand as well. That's in addition to all the evenings she spends bowling in the masters league herself.

"I coach twice a week and I bowl four times a week," she says. "My husband said I'm here all the time. My husband said, they should get a bed for You."

She hasn't forgotten what it was like to be clueless about bowling, though. About 35 years ago a neigh­bour twisted van Soeren's arm into filling a vacant spot on her ladies team.

I said, “I don't know nothing about bowling,” and she said, “Oh, you go along and I will show you.” But it didn't really work out that well.

A few years later she de­cided to take a coaching clin­ic, to help improve her style. It was a difficult experience.  “They told me I was the poorest bowler in the whole bunch that was taking the course.”

An older fellow had sym­pathy, though, and told her she had potential. She and her husband had a dairy farm then, so she had strong hands that would set her above other women on the lanes.

After the course was over, he took her aside and coached her. He showed her how to pace out the right place to start her run, and how to develop a routine to ensure consistent rolling.

She proved his faith, joining the Master Bowlers Asso­ciation of Alberta in 1979. She's been to nationals with the association twice.

"At one time my average was as high as 280."

Van Soeren's had some in­juries since then that have affected her game, but can still break the 300 mark from time to time. As a diabetic she likes to keep bowling - and curling as well - to keep herself active and burn off calories. She says her doctor told her a single game is worth 176 calories.

The association requires its members to spend time coaching kids, but van Soeren puts in more time than the association requires. Staff at the Innisfail lanes confirm she's always got time for the kids.

“We have sometimes diffi­cult kids to work with, and I have no problem to slow them down or do anything else,” she says.

After 28 years of coaching she has no intention of let­ting up. There's no calculat­ing how many kids she's in­fluenced.

"There's quite a few kids here I coached their par­ents."

Dayton Cossey, 17, is one of them. Van Soeren recalls his mom Becky was one of her early students.

Cossey started out with a different coach, so van So­eren didn't coach him until he moved up a level. But in his first year with van Soeren his average score improved 50 points. He rolls a 201 now.

“She's a really good coach. She helped me a lot,” he says.

Dallas Griffin, 18, is in his final year of youth bowling, and van Soeren was there the

first time he picked up a bowling ball. He still goes back to her when his 212 av­erage is in jeopardy.

“Even if she's coaching someone else and I struggle I just talk to her.”

A reminder of the basic routines helps him retrieve his consistency.

“And it works,” he says. “She's a pretty good coach.”

Even the adults have ben­efited -- when they're will­ing. Van Soeren recalls one man who sent his wife over to ask questions, because he didn't want to take directions from a woman. The coach re­fused, saying the man would just have to ask for himself.

“About two months later, he was so bad, he finally come over,” she recalls. “I said, Sure, I will teach you, so long as you will listen and try to do what I tell you.  Now he's one of our better bowlers.”



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