Bowling in a summer league is a thought that I've never considered. Likewise practicing during the sports off-season has never entered my mind either. The summer months are for golfing, are they not?
That's why I find it interesting when I get out the rock in September and head to the lanes for the first time in some four months. I really don't know what to expect other than the bowling ball will feel so much heavier than a golf ball. As for what kind of score I'm likely to post, well you never know, but my expectations are never very high.
For some keglers the phrase that describes their efforts is an old, but good one. "Just like riding a bicycle" makes sense as they come out and throw one good shot after another. I marvel at them. I know some of them have not bowled all summer either, but the game comes back to them so easily, it's almost disgusting.
My main objective at the beginning of the bowling season is to stay upright and keep the ball on the lane. That sounds simple enough yet there is always a fear that you will stick on the approach and topple over or throw the ball in the gutter. This year I achieved just one of those goals on opening night.
I didn't go down, which was a relief to myself and those that might have to help haul me to my feet. I did however throw a first ball channel cat. Those embarrassing moments seem to be noticed by everyone. For the bowler who wanted to know if I was going to put anything in the paper about my faux pas: I should say not. Oops, I guess I just did!
You know, if riding a bicycle was so easy, why did I have trouble doing it as a kid? I remember having more than one crash while traveling via that two-wheeled contraption, including one that implanted a small stone in my leg. Maybe I took the training wheels off too soon. Perhaps I moved up from the tricycle too early.
Speaking of tricycles, I remember a story that I used to share with my government classes. It involved a business that sent its tax liability to the IRS in Monopoly money. The next day they sent a real check, but the business wanted to protest what they referred to as "wasteful" government spending. Though they listed several examples, it was the one about tricycles that I found the most amusing.
It seems the federal government spent several thousand dollars on a study to find out why kids fell off tricycles. The study (which I hope didn't take too long) found two reasons why these accidents happened. Are you ready for this? Reason No. 1 is that the kids lost their balance. Reason No. 2? They ran into something.
If only bowling was so simple. This week I did manage to stay upright and keep the ball out of the gutter, but otherwise you would think it was the first night of action, not the fourth. I began the night with a robust 161 and that turned out to be my high game.
Apparently I need training wheels for my bicycle. That, or a government grant to study the problem!
Several bowlers made it look as easy as riding a bike this week and we will start with the Big 8 League. John Sauers rolled a big 691 series to top the charts. Richard Terry had 641, Chris King 639, Brian Soals 633, Mark Baxter 624, Scott Plickert 611, Jeff Smith 609 and Jack Book 605. In the Sportsman League Jim Mason fired a 689, while Chris Johnson shot 663, Rich Yates, Jr. 637, Paul Gosche 620, Greg Tiell 612, Chris Rhodes 598, Dick Gabel 597 and Jim Ruess 592.
The 55 Plus League took to the lanes for the first time this week at the K of C Lanes and Dan Coppes apparently was riding his bike this summer as he fashioned a 595 series. Bob West shot 547, Rick Hanna 544, John Ferstler 532, Paul Gosche 528, Bob Reinhart 519, Bill Mizen 518, Jim Ruess 490, Paul Fey 479, Dick Gabel 468, Jim Ferstler 438, Bernie Tiell 432, Steve Schafer 416, Jim Donaldson 386 and Dave Everhart 383.
Robin Dickman paced the Alley Cats League with a 584. Carla Siebenaller shot 533, Virginia Vanover 499, Jamie Thom 490, Janet Houk 486 and Lorrie Williams 483. In the Imperial-Majorette League, Ben Hoyda shot 584, Steve Steinmetz Sr. 562, Rhonda Fitch 542, Steve Steinmetz Jr. 505, Linda Brookes 465 and Deb Nominee 458.
In Wednesday Morning League action, Tyson Shope had 673, Rich Yates Jr. 641, Greg Elchert 626, Paul Landers 616, Dave Jumper 609, Ken Lofton 598 and Ed Wilson 562. Tom Tiell topped the Rock 'N' Roll League with 676. Steve Barnes had 585, Bob Steele 581, Marie Meyer 505 and Rose Steele 486. In the Twilight League, Steve Barnes shot 613, Kevin Young 593, Matt Clay 579, Rhonda Fitch 493 and Robin Brownell 436.
Al Stephenson is The A-T's bowling columnist.
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