Sports 01-07-2015

Highest honors

for “The Hawk”

Halas inducted in Hall of Fame

  By Cary Shuman

By the time Richie “Hawk” Halas was a senior at Chelsea High School, he had already made appearances on Jim Britt’s “Winning Pins”  and Don Gillis’ “Candlepin Bowling” television shows.

Halas, who now bowls out of Central Park Lanes in East Boston, was just beginning a majestic career in the popular sport that drew consistently high ratings each week on Channel 5.

Halas rose to the top echelon of bowling, becoming a regular on television and a popular competitor and respected sportsman on the professional tour.

Halas was formally recognized as one of the all-time greats in October, earning induction in to the International Candlepin Bowling Hall of Fame at an awards banquet held at DiBurro’s Function Facility in Haverhill.

With his wife, Linda, and his daughters, Colby and Courtney, in attendance, Halas accepted the beautiful plaque that is given to each bowling legend at the banquet.

Halas was typically humble in his acceptance speech, telling the capacity crowd, “When I started bowling 55 years ago, I never envisioned that one day I would become a part of this esteemed Hall of Fame group. I am truly honored to be joining the candlepin bowling elite.”

He mentioned some of the other greats with whom he competed in the sport, including  Joe Donovan, Pete Ianuzzo, Fran Onorato, Charlie Jutras, Mike Morgan, and his brother, the late Tom Morgan.

Mike Morgan, one of Halas’s opponents on the Don Gillis show, said he was touched by the speech.

“That was awesome,” said Morgan. “I’m so grateful to Richie that he mentioned my brother, Tom, in his remarks.”

Halas also thanked Chucky Vozella, proprietor of Central Park Lanes in East Boston, for his efforts in “keeping the sport going strong.” Halas competes for the Central Park team in the Friday Night Pro League.

Halas saved his best for last, noting that
“I would not be standing here today accepting this award without the support, understanding, and love of my family, my wife, Linda, my two daughters, Colby and Courtney, and my mother, Phyllis. Thank you.

Jonathan Boudreau one of the up and coming stars in the sport who also bowls regularly at Central Park Lanes, said he considers Hawk Halas a role model for young bowlers like himself.

“I look up to Hawk Halas – he’s a great guy, a class act, and one of the better bowlers the game has ever seen,” said Boudreau. “I hope I can achieve all he has in this game and leave the lasting impression on others as he has in his incredible career as a professional bowler.”

Cary Shuman can be reached at [email protected].

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