If there were still a “Candlepin Bowling” TV show each Saturday on Channel 5, Jonathan Boudreau would be a household name by now.
Boudreau, who calls Central Park Lanes in East Boston “my second home,” added to his list of accomplishments in the sport by taking home the Massachusetts state singles championship at Boston Bowl in Dorchester.
Boudreau bested a field of 50 bowlers with a five-string score of 612, which is actually well below the phenomenal 129 average he carried this season. He posted his score on the first day of competition.
“There were record-low scores in the tournament,” related Boudreau. “Boston Bowl is a very tough house. I was somewhat surprised my score held up.”
It was Boudreau’s second state singles title and sixth state title overall. He last won the singles title in 2013 with a sizzling 1,435 total in a 10-string tournament.
Boudreau also won the 2018 men’s team state title with Lynn’s Dave Barber and Shawn McKinley. Barber was the state all-events champion.
The state title capped off a sensational 2017-18 season for Boudreau who was named “Bowler of the Year” in the Pro Series after winning tournaments at Metro Bowl in Peabody and Academy Lanes in Bradford. He beat fellow Lynn resident Nate Lees in the finals at Metro.
In the Friday Night Pro League, Boudreau teamed with Dave Barber, Shawn Baker, Shawn McKinley, and Jeff Surette to easily win the regular season division title. Boudreau had the league’s high average at 129 and had a high triple of 473.
Boudreau was asked if he considers himself the best bowler in the sport right now.
“In my opinion there is no real ‘best’ Ð there are not enough events anymore,” said Boudreau. “We have our tournaments every month, but different guys get hot at different times. I’m hot right now and I had a really good year, but guys like Surette and Barber and [Chris] Sargent always have really good years.”
Boudreau received $400 in prize money for his state singles championship. The winning bowlers on the old Channel 5 bowling show were receiving a weekly prize of $750 when the show went off the air in 1996. Bowlers received $1,000 for three strikes in a row and $50 for three marks in a row. There was a $10,000 Yellow Pages/True Value Championship live show at the end of each season.
“It would be awesome to still have the TV show Ð it would be a nice way to make some extra money,” said Boudreau. “A lot of people used to watch the show. I wish they would bring it back, but I don’t hear anything to that effect.”
Boudreau began bowling as a 3-year-old southpaw at Jim Barber’s Lucky Strikes Lanes. He credits Barber for being one of his earliest mentors.
I was sad to see Lucky Strike close its doors,” said Boudreau. “And I was surprised to see the Lynnway go out of business.”
His current home establishment is Central Park Lanes in East Boston. “That’s where I practice,” said Boudreau. “Chucky [Vozzella] runs a great bowling alley. It’s my second home Ð I’m there all the time. Chucky is an A-plus guy. He’s awesome.”
The son of Bernie and Janice Boudreau of Lynn, Jonathan is a 2017 graduate of Lesley University with degrees in Education and English. He is teaching summer school in Boston and will be a teacher’s aide in the Boston school system in September.