Bios - West Virginia Irish Road Bowling Association - Ratings
Wild and Wonderful West Virginia Irish Road Bowling Tour
Right: Travis & Jerod, Happy to get out, Weston State Hospital / Founders of Irish Road Bowling in West Virginia
Updated September 8, 2009 In the past we have tried to rate the players, now that is too difficult as there are several good players in the WVIRBA, so hereafter we will depend on Bol~Chumann na hEireann grades only.
Travis Craig from Ireland, WV is one of the founders of Irish road bowling in West Virginia, playing in the first ever match with Don’s Daredevils, with Don Stewart and his sons, Shawn and Eric, and Jerod Putnam. Travis is the highest-rated bowler in West Virginia, winning the Novice 1 championship in the 2009 North American finals on the last shot over the line.
Travis first competed in the 2004 and 2005 North American Region Championships, leading his 2004 score against Brendan Fleming of Boston after ½ mile before a “leprechaun in the corner” ended his chance at a trip to Ireland. In 2008, Travis finally broke through the North American Region Finals, with 17 shots both days on the Wampatuck State Park road near Boston to take the Novice 2 championship. As West Virginia's first All Ireland competitor, and an unknown across the ocean, Travis was not at all intimidated. He set a very high standard in the semi-finals, throwing brilliantly, straight and true, and leading veteran Ulster bowler Darren Donnelly by more than a bowl of odds near the finish line. Alas, a "leprechaun in the corner" at the bridge ended that dream, but Travis' great showing has put the West Virginia IRBA on the map in international competition.
Ken McClintic is the 2008 WVIRBA State Champion. Ken is Superintendent of Holly River State Park, and started Irish Road Bowling in the WV state park system, with scores on seven roads in some of the most scenic locations in WV. In early October, Holly River State Park hosts its Fall Challenge, one of the largest and best road bowling events in West Virginia in an exceptionally beautiful valley. A WVU grad and huge Mountaineer fan, Ken’s son Travis was a member of the Mountaineer football team, and daughter Elise a member of WV Wesleyan women’s basketball team. Ken represented WVIRBA in the 2009 North American Region finals, Novice 2.
Mark Whitt is one of four founding members of Glade Creek United. During 2006 North American Region Finals, Mark "went to school in a pick-up score" with Brendan Fleming & Barry Curran. In 2007 Mark qualified 3rd in WV state semi finals, 2nd in championship. In 2008 qualified 1st WV state semi- finals, 2nd in WV state championship, and went to semi-finals in North American Region championships in Boston. In 2009 1st in WV semi-finals qualifier at Pipestem, he set new course record 1 mile in 12 shots. Mark represented WVIRBA in the 2009 North American Region finals, Novice 2.
Mark Wilt is President of the WVIRBA, and a founder of IRB at the Preston County Buckwheat Festival, our most northern event not far from Pittsburgh. Mark is fast improving, in the July 2009 WVIRBA state championship semi-final, he shot long and accurate, leading Mark Whitt through 1/2 mile before being overtaken near the finish, in one of the weekend's best matches. Mark is Novice 2.
of Ireland, WV, one of the founders of Irish road bowling in West Virginia,
played in the first ever match in 1995 with Don’s (Stewart) Daredevils which became the Ireland Road Bowlers. Jerod competed in Boston in the 2004 and 2005 North American Region Championships Novice 2, leading in his first match in Boston after ½ mile, until the “lofting leprechaun in the corner” caught him. In 2006 Jerod was state champion, using his speed to win the WV Singles Championship Finals in Ireland, WV. Jerod represented WVIRBA in the 2009 North American Region finals, Novice 1.
Rich Meece of Glade Creek United finished first in the 2009 Strawberry Festival qualifier for the WVIRBA state finals. Rich is becoming more accurate in controlling his power, which he has always had. Rich along with Jerod and Travis forms the WVIRBA competition committee.
Travis McClintic is new to IRB, first trying it at Stonewall Resort in Nov. 2007. A WVU student, he is organizing the sport in Morgantown at Coopers Rock State Park. Travis was Runner-Up in the 2009 North American Region Finals, Junior C, to Fergal Carr of New York, defeating former All Ireland champion Roger O'Riordan of Boston. In his first North American Finals, Travis took on the challenge of facing the speed and power of the top Boston and New York bowlers. However, taking on speed and power is nothing new for Travis, as he currently trains as a professional bull-rider, and rides often in local rodeos.
Samantha Mann of Glade Creek United is the 2009 WVIRBA Women's State Champion. Sam has a great run-up and throws very hard. Sam and Shannon Gear have played two of the best scores ever in WV in the 2008 and 2009 women's state finals. In 2008, both women throwing long and straight, Shannon won by one bowl of odds near the finish line. In 2009, they bowled changing the lead back and forth, almost dead even at the last shot, with Sam winning by eight feet over the finish line. We would like to see Sam or Shannon bowl against Ireland's best women.
Shannon Gear Putnam of Ireland, WV, has been a member of the seldom defeated Ireland Road Bowlers for several years, playing against very good all men’s teams and still winning, a tribute to Shannon’s athleticism. Shannon was the sole WV winner in Boston in 2004, in a highly competitive doubles score with Con O' Callaghan over Magella McCabe and Adrian Lappin. Shannon was the 2006 and 2008 WVIRBA Women’s State Champion. This year, Shannon and Jerod are returning to the roads with new twins Taylor and Benjermin.
Men Vintage Division 60+
1. John Nelson, Lake Floyd Weston
2. Father Jeremiah McSweeney, St. Patrick's Parish, Weston, WV
3. Denton King, Ireland, WV
4. Ken Sypolt, Kingwood
5. Ray Sampson, Harrisburg, Pa.
6. Milt Dotterweich, Fayetteville
7. Burt Hunter, Buckhannon
8. Michael McCartney, Ireland
9. David McCartney, Ireland
10. Dick Billick, Wheeling
- Shannon Gear, Ireland Road Bowlers, Ireland, WV
- Samantha Mann, Glade Creek United, Beckley, WV
- Judy Mize, Washington, DC
- Pam Cronin, Clarksburg, WV
- Brooke Swisher, Ireland, WV
- Marsha Jordan, Holly River, Hackers Creek, WV
- Amy Hall, Buckhannon, WV
- Beverley Putnam, Ireland
- Lisa George, Turkey Run Road, Buckhannon
- Sharon Bee, West Union
- Penny Spaur, Ireland
- Connie Bailey, Ireland
- Beckie Posey, Ireland
- Jocelyn Spaur, Ireland
Ladies Long Shot Champions
Nov. 7, 2004, Shannon Gear, Elkins, WV
Nov. 6, 2005 Pam Cronin, Buckhannon, WV
Nov. 5, 2006 Judy Mize, Washington, DC
Nov. 4, 2007