When I first noticed the man, he had strung together four straight strikes to begin game one. The scoreboard simply said 'Hank' as he took to the approach for the fifth frame. I had never seen him before so I asked my teammates who he was. They didn't know.
I looked over again and Hank had eight in a row. One word came to mind: ringer.
For those of you who are not familiar with the term, a ringer is someone who is brought in late in a season, who no one knows, including his teammates and, oh, by the way, he is really, really good.
As Hank heads to the approach for the 10th frame everyone is watching, including me. He fires the first, then the second. When he completes his perfect game with a no doubter, it is apparent that the term ringer was appropriate.
This was wrong. It shouldn't happen. Someone needed to say something, and that someone was going to have to be me. I walked down to his seat, went directly up to him and said the following: "Congratulations!"
Hey, I don't care if the guy is a PBA touring pro. If he can come out and throw 12 consecutive strikes in his first night in the league, then I am going to congratulate him on a job well done.
I returned to my seat and noticed that Hank was texting someone. When I talked to him later in the evening I found out he sent a message to his wife and four boys. That reminds me that I have to tell my wife to make sure she stays close to her phone on my bowling nights.
You know, just in case.
Hank Jasso followed up his 300 with a still impressive 216 and a more "me-like" 179 for a 695 series. Turns out he was not an unknown commodity at all. Team captain Brian Soals has known Hank for a long time. He bowls in the same league with him on Fridays at Seneca Lanes and has partnered with him for tournaments throughout the area. Brian has had trouble fielding a team this year as injuries and work schedules have left his team depleted at times.
Brian sent a text message to Hank Tuesday night asking him if he wanted to bowl Wednesday. Apparently Hank wanted to.
I talked to Hank afterward and found him to be an engaging fellow. A graduate of Lakota High School, Hank has been bowling for years. The perfect game was the seventh of his career. He has an 800 series to his credit which he bowled at Varsity Lanes in Bowling Green. He followed that up with a 792 series in Findlay the next night. Maybe ringer is accurate.
Between them, Hank and Brian have some 17 perfect games, but get this, neither is the hottest bowler on their team. Kyle Echelberry may just get that distinction. He bowled a 297 game and a 740 series two weeks ago. This week he leaves a 10-pin on his first ball in the seventh frame of his second game or there would have been two perfect games to chirp about. His 279 enabled him to finish with a 719 series. I'm beginning to think that this team has three ringers.
As I was chatting with the three guys, I was informed that they bowl my team this coming week. They were putting it on me pretty good. The team blowing away the competition in the second half plans on beating up on my team which ran away with the first half. There is a difference in the teams though. While they are winning with perfect games and 700 series, my team won with smoke and mirrors.
So what will this week's contest bring? I'm not one to use old tired cliches, but I look at it this way. This could be a Katie bar the door, knock down drag out fight to the finish. At the end of the day we could be the team that gets our bell rung. We may also be sitting in the catbird's seat, as our opponents may be the one for whom the bell tolls!
Gary Golden led several 700 plus shooters this week as he fired a 761 to lead the Sunday Night Rock N Roll League. Steve Barnes shot 676, Brian Kidwell 649, Mark Phillips 643, Bob Steele 626, Tom Tiell 612, Ashley Gibson 457 and Janice Young 446. In the Big 8 League Scott Washburn rolled a 709, Scott Plickert 679, Greg Tiell 670, Rich Yates Jr. 654, Rich Campbell 653, Bob Wilson 625, Chuck Jones 619, Brett Babcock 617, Mike Shock 617, Tom Tiell 617, Matt Hoover 607 and Mark Ratliff 605. Tim Sturgill shot 705, Tyson Shope 595, Jack Kramer 557, John Funk 554, Steve Sturgill 549, Dottie Funk 467 and Phyllis Swander 457 in the Rocket League.
Ben Hoyda led the Imperial-Majorette League with 729. Steve Steinmetz Jr. had 672, Brian Jakupca 614, Jeff Peer 605, Dianne Smith 569, Rhonda Fitch 502, Linda Brookes 494, and Madeline Smith 487. In the Sportsman League Chris Johnson shot 694, Rich Yates Jr. 687, Ron Yentzer 682, Kyle Musa 655, Chris Rhodes 634, Jim Mason 632, Rich Yates Sr. 625 and Phil Neikirk 606. Robin Dickman shot 620, Nita Doran 523, Carla Siebenaller 492, Lorrie Williams 487, Pat Cook 484 and Heather Butler 483 in the Alley Cats League. Scores from the Twilight League included Tim Sturgill 663, Jeff Morrow 649, Tim Lundy 637, Matt Clay 624, Bill Biddle 612, Tom Tiell 607, Rhonda Fitch 559, Robin Brownell 410 and Rhonda Lewis 389.
At the K of C Lanes, Jim Rainey topped the Tuesday Night League with 609. Ken Gaietto shot 603, Jim Lord 598, Kevin Orians 597, Steve Steinmetz Jr. 593, Chris Johnson 588 and Darl Elchert 583. In the Senior League Herb Sendelbach had 544, Tim Gassner 536, Joe Zirger 531, Dan Gaietto 530 and Dan Roessner 506. Carol Burmeister shot 427, Val Krombach 424 and Nerita Streacker 404 in the Lady Knights League. Jim Ruess led the way in the 55 Plus League with 578. Bill Mizen posted 540, John Ferstler 529, Rick Hanna 507, Dave Murray 504, Paul Gosche 488, Bob Reinhart 487, Jim Ferstler 482, Dan Coppes 477, Mike Ditslear 459, Bob West 459, Jim Donaldson 453, Steve Schafer 434 and Dave Everhart 406.
Al Stephenson is the A-T Bowling Columnist.
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