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Posted: Apr 8, 2009  09:23

Kittell Takes First Place in Bowling Tournament


Lyle Kittell Warms Up His Bowling Arm At Aj's Lanes

Things did not go well for the scratch bowlers from Montana at the Strike Time Scratch Classic Bowling Tournament when Lyle Kittell, the only bowler from Idaho, walked in and stole the show.

Lyle explained there were 40 bowlers competing for the $500 first prize. On the first day of the two-day tournament, he placed fifth and moved on to the next day of the competition with only 16 of the original 40 bowlers.

On the second day of the competition, Lyle competed against the other 15 top bowlers. They bowled six more games, and from their scores, the top five bowlers were chosen to advance to the final round that afternoon.

“It was a little nerve wracking,” said Lyle, “but it was still fun.”

Since Lyle had qualified in first place, he had to wait while the other four bowlers competed against each other. Finally, the fifth-ranked bowler defeated the three other bowlers and was set to compete against Lyle for the championship.

“During the championship match, I bowled a 300 which was really exciting. I was concentrating on getting the right grip on my ball and trying to get a consistent roll,” he said.

Lyle averaged 237 for the 15 games he bowled at the tournament. He won the $500 cash prize, plus additional money for placing first, additional money for bowling a perfect game, and to top it all off, he won a gold ring.

Not a bad take for two days of bowling.

Lyle is a Bonners Ferry bowling success story. He started bowing at AJ’s Lanes as a youngster. His family moved to Lewiston when he was in eighth grade and he bowled in recreational leagues there. He bowled his first 300 game at the age of 18 in Lewiston. As he grew older, he kept bowling on recreation leagues, always averaging at least 200. He has bowled six 300 games in tournaments and league competitions, and has bowled four 800’s in his career.

Moving back to Bonners Ferry in 2003, Lyle said, “I hadn’t bowled for awhile, so I just wanted to see where I was at and see if I could compete with the scratch bowlers. I heard about the tournament from Kevin Stockton and decided to go to the tournament to see how I’d do.”

Lyle would like to compete professionally, but said he needs to practice more. He is already qualified to bowl professionally and is looking for sponsors to help with entry fees. He plans to compete in more tournaments around the region and is going to Las Vegas to the US Nationals as well as a tournament in Coeur d’Alene in May.

Because of his desire to bring bowling to the youth of Boundary County, Lyle started the Youth Bowling League and the High School Bowling League when AJ’s Lanes reopened last November. He said he has enjoyed practicing and bowling with the youth.

“There are a lot of good bowlers in Bonners Ferry. They keep me going and pump me up. It’s still fun – if I win,” he chuckled.


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