Kris Prather Selected as No. 1 Pick in 2019 PBA League Draft

by Jerry Schneider, Professional Bowlers Association 0

PORTLAND, Maine (April 8, 2019) ­– Kris Prather was the first of 17 PBA members drafted Monday at Bayside Bowl as the eight PBA League teams filled out their rosters for the 2019 PBA League Elias Cup competition which returns to Bayside Bowl in July.

The PBA League draft – which was streamed live on FloBowling – began with Portland Lumberjacks manager Tim Mack, selecting Prather from a list of 15 first-round draft-eligible players.

Prather won the PBA Scorpion Championship in March at World Series of Bowling X for his first Go Bowling! PBA Tour title after compiling seven top five finishes over the past two seasons.

“It’s kind of a validation of how your peers see you as a player but I don’t want that to go to my head,” said Prather. “I’m fortunate to be on this team because I think there’s some great chemistry and mix of personalities that will make this a lot of fun which hopefully will translate into some positive results.”

Each team protected three players from the previous season heading into the draft except the Brooklyn Styles which protected two players.

The draft was conducted in reverse order of how teams finished in 2018, beginning with the No. 8 Portland Lumberjacks, followed by L.A. X, Brooklyn Styles, New York City Kingpins, Motown Muscle, Dallas Strikers, Philadelphia Hitmen, and defending champion Go Bowling! Silver Lake Atom-Splitters. The serpentine draft order then required the Atom Splitters to make the first pick in the second round.

Following Prather, Jason Belmonte, selecting for L.A. X team manager Andrew Cain, chose 2015 and 2018 Elias Cup winner and two-time 2019 tour winner Dick Allen with the second pick and Brooklyn Styles Manager Johnny Petraglia selected six-time tour winner and 2017 Elias Cup winner Rhino Page with the third pick. Other first round picks were Marshall Kent, selecting for New York City Kingpins manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard picking Kyle Sherman; EJ Tackett, selecting for Motown Muscle manager Del Ballard, picking AJ Chapman; Dallas Strikers player-manager Norm Duke choosing 2018 PBA Player of the Year Andrew Anderson; Philadelphia Hitmen manager Jason Couch, selecting 2016 Elias Cup winner Shawn Maldonado and defending Elias Cup champion Silver Lake Atom Splitters manager Mark Baker selecting DJ Archer.

With six additional players eligible for selection in the second round, the Atom Splitters chose 2018 Elias Cup winner AJ Johnson, followed by Philadelphia Hitmen selecting Canadian Patrick Girard; Dallas Strikers, Brad Miller; Motown Muscle, USBC Masters runner-up Mykell Holliman; New York City Kingpins, Darren Tang; Brooklyn Styles, three-time tour winner Andres Gomez; L.A X, Anthony Lavery-Spahr and Portland Lumberjacks, Canadian Mitch Hupe’.

With only two players protected, Brooklyn Styles Manager Johnny Petraglia chose two-time tour winner Brad Angelo to fill out his team’s roster.

With the conclusion of the draft managers will now have the opportunity to make player trades until the April 15 deadline.

PBA League players will return to Bayside Bowl for the 2019 PBA League Elias Cup competition on July 16, 17 and 18. All rounds will air live on FOX Sports’ FS1 in prime time.

During the draft livestream PBA Commissioner Tom Clark announced that the League would expand by two teams beginning in 2020. Details will be announced at a later date.

2019 PBA LEAGUE TEAM ROSTERS (Players in bold were protected from 2018 rosters)
● Portland Lumberjacks (manager Tim Mack): Ryan Ciminelli, Wes Malott, Kyle Troup, Kris Prather, Mitch Hupe’.
● L.A. X (manager Andrew Cain): Jason Belmonte, Stuart Williams, Jakob Butturff, Dick Allen, Anthony Lavery-Spahr
● Brooklyn Styles (manager Johnny Petraglia): Walter Ray Williams Jr., Sean Rash, Rhino Page, Andres Gomez, Brad Angelo.
● New York City KingPins (manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard): Pete Weber, Marshall Kent, BJ Moore, Kyle Sherman, Darren Tang.
● Motown Muscle (manager Del Ballard Jr.): EJ Tackett, Anthony Simonsen, Josh Blanchard, AJ Chapman, Mykell Holliman.
● Dallas Strikers: Player-manager Norm Duke, Tommy Jones, Bill O’Neill, Andrew Anderson, Brad Miller.
● Philadelphia Hitmen (manager Jason Couch): Dom Barrett, Tom Smallwood, Matt Sanders, Shawn Maldonado, Patrick Girard.
● Go Bowling! Silver Lake Atom Splitters (manager Mark Baker): Chris Barnes, Jesper Svensson, Tom Daugherty, DJ Archer, AJ Johnson.

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