LOCKPORT — Four people synonymous with Lockport's proud history of bowling excellence, leadership and meritorious service, have been elected to the prestigious Lockport Bowling Association Hall of Fame.
Rick Abbott, Dennis Illig, Judy Richardson and Anthony “Tony” Santini will be inducted into the Hall at a special banquet scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Lockport Town & Country Club. The evening will begin with a cash bar, dinner at 7 p.m. and induction ceremonies at 8 p.m.
Santini started bowling at the age of five, where his stellar bowling career spanned over 50 years in the Lockport and Rochester Bowling Associations.
Tony's father, Joe Santini Sr., is 1998 LBA Hall of Famer. Tony's amazing bowling accomplishments included bowling four 800 series with an 836 high set, 20 perfect (300) games, 25 299 games, and 20 298 games. His highest average to date is an astounding 233 per game.
He has won four LBA scratch championships, three team championships (1978, '81, '83).
In 1998, Santini won the city tournament's scratch all-events title with a 2,111 pin total. He has competed in 20 LBS City Tournaments, 22 USBC tournaments and two state tournaments.
Santini has also appeared on television six times. three on the official “Beat the Champ” winning in 1982 by one pin over Ange Ceminelli after striking out in the 10th and final frame.
He lived in Rochester for nine years (1989-98) where he also bowled two 800 series and six 300 games. He also appeared on Rochester's “Beat the Champ” television program twice.
Tony and his wife, Anna Maria, reside in Lockport. They have six children between them — Joseph, Gianna, Julia, Matt, Hans and Timothy. They also have one grandchild, Vince.
Born in Denver, Abbott moved to Lockport as an infant and started bowling at the age of five in a career that has lasted more than 60 years.
Abbott earned a city tournament title in 1963 with an 1,800 total in the handicap all-events. As a freshman at DeSales Catholic High School in Lockport, Abbott ws invited to bowl on the varsity team.
As an adult, Abbott has averaged 200-plus for 25-plus years. He has two 800 series (823 high), six perfect games and multiple 299 and 298 games. His highest average is a stellar 227. Abbott has participated in 27 USBC tournaments including 15 city tournaments and two state tourneys. HIs team won the 2013 LBA scratch event and has placed second several times.
Abbott has also served in all capacities in bowling as a league officer, while earning several high-average and first-place awards over the years.
He has served as the director of the Lockport Bowling Association board (1980-85) and is the proud father of four adult children, Heather, Corilyn, Devon and Connor.
When he's not bowling, Abbott spends his time serving as the Fifth Ward alderman and Common Council president. He also serves as on the Lockport Police Board.
Illig began his bowling career at the age of 10 in the youth leagues at Allie Brandt Lanes. By the late 1960s, he was was bowling in the adult leagues in a career that has lasted more than 60 years in both the Lockport and Tonawanda bowling associations.
His resume includes three 800 series, including a recent 847 career high, along with 18 perfect games, 23 299 games and 30 298 games. His highest average to date is a scintillating 227 and he has also bowled two clean 30 series.
Illig has competed in a variety of local and state tournaments in Lockport, Tonawanda and Rochester.
In 2006-07 he was names Senior Bowler of the Year in the TBA. He now coaches junior league bowling at Manor II Lanes where he has worked for 20 years and now serves as assistant manager. He still carries a 217 average to date.
A TBA director for five years, Illig and his wife, Robin, reside in North Tonawanda. They are proud of their two children, Charles and Kelly.
Mrs. Richardson was born in Ottumwa, Iowa, graduating from United Township High School with top honors in Moline, Ill. She also completed an accounting course for Bryant & STratton with high honors.
She started bowling at the age of 21, competing in and running leagues in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. She moved to Western New York in the early 1970s and began bowling at South Transit Lanes, Allie Brandt's, Transit Lanes, Suburban, Kenmore, Knights of Columbus and Kendzie's.
By the mid-1970s, Richardson was working at Transit Lanes, where she became a certified bowling coach/instructor.
In 1977 Mrs. Richardson began working at STL and worked there until the business was sold.
During her time at STL, she organized and ran many leagues, tournaments and promotions. She has worked in all positions at the lanes, with the exception of ball drilling. She worked one year at Brad Angelo Lanes before retiring in 2013.
Judy and her husband, Bill Richardson, reside in Lockport. Judy has two daughters, Kim Eberhardt and Kelly Barr (a 2010 inductee) and has two grandchildren, Bridget and Nick Masiello.
Mrs. Richardson received the LBA's Distinguished Service Award in 1999-2000 from a grateful organization for all of her hard work.
For more information on the LBA Hall of Fame Banquet, contact chairman Tim Incardona at 471-6906.