On Sunday, Sept. 30, the "700 Club" had its Top 10 Single Elimination Tournament at Brunswick Normandy Lanes. As the name indicates, the bowlers who took part in the tournament have each bowled 700 series. And as that indicates, they're all pretty fair bowlers.
If you follow bowling at all, you'll recognize many of the names in this tournament -- names like Don Patterson, the Greater Baltimore Bowling Association's Bowler of the Year in 1980; Irv Roswell, the 1990 GBBA Bowler of the Year; Ed Lanehart, currently averaging more than 220; Terry Logan of the Senior Pro Tour; Bob Boeh, with 14 300 games and too many tournament wins to bother listing; and Larry Nalls, with a 230 average and 845 set.
You get the picture. They're top-notch bowlers, and all under one roof.
All together there were 66 700 Club members on hand for the tournament.
The semi-finals lined up this way: Bob Boeh faced John Switala. Boeh's a Glen Burnie, Anne Arundel County, resident, has a 221 average, throws a Cobra ball and has been bowling since 1974. Switala, from Pasadena, Anne Arundel County, bowls at Fair Lanes Ritchie, Greenway Bowl and Bowl America. He's had an 804 series and carries a 205 average. Boeh took this first match, which then pitted him against Greg Smith, who had defeated Brian Snyder in a tight match, 192-191.
Smith then defeated Roy Louis Lemerise in a low-scoring match, 188-185; Lemerise had shot an 862 set in the first squad to gain entry in the semi-finals. Irv Roswell had a 947 series to gain the other semi-finalist spot.
"I just had one of those games that I should have won and didn't," Lemerise said. He's had two 300 games and carries a 205 average at Capital Plaza lanes; he lives in Columbia with his wife, Danby, and three children.
On the other lanes, the remaining four bowlers -- Larry Nalls Jr.
against Marc Panayis and Ken Unserecht against Dave Mandelson -- were battling it out for the other semi-final spot.
Nalls, former manager of Bowl America Odenton, is attending Essex Community College and carries a 230 average. His high series is an 845 and he is a collegiate All-American. Marc Panayis, 26, is averaging a 228, does most of his bowling at Country Club Lanes in Baltimore and has an 810 series. Nalls threw a 269 to defeat Panayis' 213. That put Nalls in a position to bowl against Ken Unserecht, who has defeated Dave Mandelson 232-195.
Ken averages 205 with a Red Hammer ball and makes his home in Glen Burnie. His high series is 831 and he has been bowling since 1968. Dave Mandelson, 28, lives in Ellicott City, bowls at Normandy Lanes on Wednesdays and Fridays and has been bowling since he was 14. In 1980 he was on the Howard Community College team that took first place in the College Invitational Tournament. He's carrying a 199 average with a Hammer bowling ball.
In the Nalls-Unserecht match, once again, the games were not overpowering. Nalls had a 199, which was enough to defeat Unserecht, who said simply, "I had a bad game."
Now Nalls faced Roswell; the winner here would bowl against Greg Smith for first place. Roswell's 254 would take the game from Nalls.
On lanes 15 and 16 we had the kind of match that's just great for the spectators but takes a lot out of the bowlers. Irv Roswell opened with six strikes; Smith threw five strikes and spared in the sixth frame. The score was 169-158 after the sixth.
Roswell spared in the seventh and eighth frames and had a strike in the foundation frame. Smith threw a double in the seventh and eighth frames, and spared in the ninth, which set up a close score of 227-226, in Roswell's favor, going into the last frame.
In the tenth, Roswell faced a split, couldn't convert it and Smith threw a strike, for a final score of 247-234.
Greg Smith has been bowling "seriously" only since 1984. Greg uses a Columbia bowling ball and lives in Baltimore City. He gives a lot of credit for his improved game to Dave Williams of Strepp's Pro Shop, who drilled his ball, and Patrick Dare of Country Club Lanes, who gave him a lot of bowling tips.
"I'd like the world to know that Baltimore is serious about bowling," was Greg's answer when asked his thoughts on bowling in general. That seems to be a pretty accurate description of young Greg Smith.
Since the column about Ed Lanehart appeared in this space, I've had a lot of questions asked about the man who drilled his bowling ball, Walt Cervenka. Next week I'll answer all those questions.
The National Duckpin Bowling Congress has appointed former duckpin player Harry A. Smith of Timonium, Baltimore County, as its executive director. Smith, 62, with a bachelor's degree in accounting from Johns Hopkins University, will succeed Manual Whitman, who resigned serval months ago.
The NDBC office is located in Linthicum, Anne Arundel County.