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Kenton Ridge grad Via wins PBA Regional tournament

Chris Via doesn’t have much need for a John Deere walk-behind lawn mower just yet, but he’ll prize it and the $4,000 winner’s check he received after winning his first PBA Regional title on Sunday at Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater.

Via, a Kenton Ridge graduate who’s now a senior at Notre Dame College, won the regional on his first try. It was his first time competing in such a tournament.

“It will definitely give me a lot more confidence than I had going into (my senior year),” he said. “I just wanted to make a good showing my first time out, and I definitely didn’t expect to win.”

Via finished fourth in the qualifying rounds to advance. He then beat E.J. Tackett 218-213 and Brian LeClair 192-180 to earn a championship match against Eugene McCune, a three-time winner on the PBA National Tour.

Via rolled a 230 in the final to beat McCune by 30 pins.

“The shot was really real hard,” Via said. “The scores were very low. I just kept making my spares. I just focus one game at a time. I didn’t try to look too far ahead or dwell on the task. I had to stay in the moment.”

Via will now focus on his senior season, which starts Sept. 21 in Lima. Via said he will probably bowl more regional events after college. He’s working on a degree in accounting.

“I do want to bowl some of the tournaments on tour,” he said. “I don’t want that to be my only job.”

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