There’s a sad message at the top of the “Tracking the Bowling News” website.
It reads: “Sept. 23 – Dear bowlers, tonight was the last update of the website. The website will now be left alone until MSNTV (Webtv) closes down their system at 11:59 on Sept. 30. Thanks to all the people that contributed information to the website and to all of the readers. Good luck to everyone and good bowling! John Sowell.”
Sowell’s website covers Southern California with an emphasis on the San Diego area. It’s chockfull of information ranging from top area scores to feature stories and interviews.
Sowell has spearheaded the website as a labor of love since 1998.
My ventwing.com column has appeared regularly on the website for about a year.
The closing of the website is a big loss for bowlers looking for all kinds of bowling information, such as upcoming tournaments. The website seemingly had everything for bowlers and it was updated daily.
Sowell, a Vista, Calif., resident, also happens to be an excellent bowler who has won four West Coast Senior Tour tournament titles. He won two WCST championships in the regular division in 2010 and won two more titles in the Super Senior division in 2012.
His last victory at the end of May 2012 was extremely exciting. The left-handed Sowell outdueled left-handed Kevin Gannon – the WCST’s leading money and tournament title winner – in a two-game, showdown championship match at Mission Hills Bowl. Sowell bowled a 217 and 221 to edge Gannon by two pins and win the $725 first-place prize.
Gannon was the favorite in the Mission Hills tournament, having just won the previous WCST tournament title. “It was quite an honor to beat him,” said Sowell, 60 at the time.
It also was an emotional victory for Sowell, who said he dedicated his title to his mother, Felipa, who had died two years ago to the day.
In the preliminary round, Sowell blasted a 279 game en route to qualifying second with a 235 average.
Footnote: I was one of the competitors at the 2012 Mission Hills tournament – the only time I’ve taken part in a bowling tournament. And how lucky was I that I was part of Sowell’s group. Not only did I make a great friend, but I realized just how classy this person was. Sowell gave me encouragement throughout my dreary performance and offered polite suggestions throughout my eight games in the preliminary round. I finished far back in last place in the tournament, but it didn’t matter. I had a great time (despite my tournament etiquette violations) and met a great person in John Sowell.