It is customary for this writer to peruse bowling stories from across the nation. I constantly search for bowlers like myself. You know the type. The average Joe who loves the sport, toiling at the lanes week in and week out, hoping for something extraordinary to happen.
Though I continue to wait for that special night, I did run across a couple of keglers who seemed very much like me. Let me fill you in on their stories. Then you can decide if these folks are like me, or perhaps slightly different.
Our first bowler is Hanna Diem, a 9-year-old from Seminole, Fla. Now except for the gender thing and a slight age difference, Hanna seems very much like me. For example, until last month she had a career high game of 224 and her best series was 564. Numbers I can relate to, though I have had trouble reaching either pinnacle lately.
Last month young Miss Diem was bowling with her mother Heidi in an Adult/Youth league. She rolled a pretty fancy 204 in her first game. She followed that with a career best 226 effort.
Heidi knew exactly what her daughter needed to shoot her first ever 600 series. Well, if you are waiting for me to tell you that Hanna achieved that lofty goal, you'll have to keep on waiting. Hanna did not shoot 600 on this evening. She vaulted right over that number. You see, she became the youngest person ever to record a perfect 300 in that third and final game of the night.
At 9 years, 6 months and 19 days of age, she broke the record previously held by Chaz Dennis of Columbus, who in 2006 shot a perfecto at the age of 10 years, 2 months. I'd like to tell you that when I was Hanna's age I came close to bowling perfection. To tell you the truth however, I was probably still eating dirt at that age.
Perhaps the second bowler is more like this bowling scribe. John Dudak is now well into his 50s. He claims that work and family kept him from his dream of joining the PBA Tour. Those two factors, as well as a third, also kept me from the tour. Of course the third factor for me is a lack of ability and may have played a slightly bigger role than the other two as far as my professional aspirations have been concerned.
Such is not the case with Dudak though. He has 19 sanctioned 300 games as well as nine 800 series to his credit. He has joined the Senior Tour and is doing quite nicely. Back and knee injuries have limited his tournaments and now we are back to having something in common. In case you weren't quite sure about how Dudak resembles me, I was thinking of being old and fighting health issues.
Just so you can make an educated guess as to whether he is similar to me or not, let me tell you about his plethora of bowling balls. He claims to have 20 balls in his front closet and another 30 in his basement. When he goes to a tournament, he generally takes between 12 and 15 bowling balls.
I checked my supply. I have my current ball in my front closet. In my basement I found my two previously used ones as well as one that belonged to my mother and another that my dad bowled with. Let's see, 50 to 5.
Unless John Dudak can find a purple one with nicks in it, maybe there are not that many similarities between us. If, however, he can find one like that, then I can say "I told you so - just like me!"
Ben Hoyda topped the list of local bowling scores as he shot a 715 series to lead the Imperial-Majorette League. Kevin Young rolled a 609, Tracy Gerber 608, Deb Nominee 479, Phyllis Riley 448 and Phyllis Hyde 435. In the Twilight League Hank Wagner had 684, Tim Sturgill 639, Kevin Fitch 627, Steve Barnes 618, Tom Tiell 617, Steve Steinmetz 603, Rhonda Fitch 587 and Robin Brownell 477. Robin Dickman shot 530, Carla Siebenaller 506, Pat Cook 500, Diane Hoover 475 and Linda Wise 457 in the Alley Cats League.
Wednesday Morning League scores included Steve Norman 705, Ed Wilson 622, Tyson Shope 603, Harry Smith 601, Ken Lofton 600, David Jumper 593, Dianne Smith 488, Cheryl Radin-Norman 452 and Sharon Dowdell 448. Chris Johnson shot 699 to top the Sportsman League. Rich Yates Jr. had 602, Scott Hartsel 625, Jason Zirkle 612, Rich Yates Sr. 598 and Ken Butturff Jr. 588. A shout goes out to Zirkle as this was his first ever 600 series.
Action at the K of C Lanes saw Justin Hoepf lead the Tuesday Night League with 628. Aaron Sherman had 601, Mark Orians 589, Ben Williams 563, Chris Johnson 563, Jim Rainey 555, Aaron Jones 550 and Doug Snyder 545. In the Senior League Bennett Paulus shot 565, Doug Snyder 520, Denny Reamer 513 and Ken Ritzler 510. Marilyn Gangluff shot 418, Nerita Streacker 404, Marge Wilhelm 379 and Lela Gaietto 377 in the Lady Knights League. Scores from the 55 Plus League included Jim Ruess 659, Ken Gaietto 607, Bob West 579, Rick Hanna 567, Bob Reinhart 551, Dick Gabel 517, Paul Gosche 503, Bill Mizen 493, Dan Coppes 491, Jim Ferstler 467, Dave Everhart 456, Ron Mellott 432, John Ferstler 421, Paul Fey 415 and Jim Donaldson 413.
Al Stephenson is The Advertiser-Tribune's bowling columnist.
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