California Bowling Writers

April 2, 2008

by Steve James, BWAA Executive Director

Joan Romeo and Lyle Zikes will be honored June 24 at the Columbia/BPAA writers’ dinner in Orlando, Fla. Romeo received her accolades as the winner of the prestigious BWAA Meritorious Service Award while Zikes earned a place in the Bowling Writers Association of America Hall of Fame

Romeo of Van Nuys, Calif. will receive the award, which is presented to an individual or organization for outstanding long-term accomplishments in and for the sport of bowling.

Romeo, who has marketed and promoted bowling for more than 30 years, has been instrumental in publicizing pro-ams and working with and promoting numerous amateur and professional bowling organizations, including Team USA; the Federation Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ); the Ladies Pro Bowlers Tour; the Classic Tour, a professional women's group in California, and the California Bowling Writers, for which she currently serves as a southern director.

She has been involved with many bowling fund-raisers, including ones for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and for victims of the Los Angeles fires. She also has received the BWAA President's Award for her endeavors in raising money for its scholarship program and Hall of Fame.

Zikes sometimes gets confused with his Hall of Fame father because of their first names--Les and Lyle--and the fact they are both longtime members of the Professional Bowlers Association. Now there is another reason to get confused--Lyle will be inducted into the Bowling Writers Association of America's Hall of Fame during ceremonies June 24 in Orlando.

That will make Les and Lyle the second father-son USBC/BWAA Hall of Fame combination, the first as a bowler (Les) and second (Lyle) as a writer.

It's a cliche to say that someone is a jack-of-all-trades, but Lyle certainly is a jack-of-all-journalist trades. Two years before graduating from Northern Illinois University in 1978, Lyle had his first byline story printed in the Bowlers Journal. In 1979, he was named press director for the PBA. He toured with the pros writing stories about their accomplishments and sometimes on off days practicing with them.

His journalistic career took a different turn in 1982 when he returned to Akron as the PBA Director of Operations from 1986-89. Lyle's vast bowling background--the Zikes own a bowling center in Palatine, Ill.--made him a natural for writing prize-winning technical and human interest articles for all of the nation's bowling magazines over the past 25 years. One of the first was a major story on the technical developments in the manufacturing bowling balls for Bowling Magazine. He also was the bowling correspondent for the Chicago Daily Herald, the third largest daily newspaper in Illinois with most of its circulation in Chicago's North and West suburbs.