The Maryland Tenpin Bowling Council's Invitational Tournament April 7 at Brunswick Perry Hall Lanes lived up to its anticipated excitement as 36 of the state's highest-averaged youth bowlers displayed theirtalents -- including some great talent from Harford.
Among them was Aberdeen's Monyalo Webster, better known as "Money." He started with a 244 game and never looked back.
His first three-game block was a fine 692 and his second three-game block was 583; it placed him in the first seed for the step-ladderfinals.
Matt Novatny of Crofton, fifth-seeded, defeated fourth-place Jason Stanton of Pasadena, 210-209; Matt then defeated Roger Barnes of Edgewood, 207-204. Kenny Konopacki of Baltimore was his next opponent; that game ended in a tie at 182. Matt won the two-frame, sudden-death roll off, 38-26.
The final game between Money and Matt saw both youths roll excellent games but Money's was just a little better. Result: A victory for Money, 235-213.
In the girls division, Aberdeen's Rachel Cassady took third; Angie Brown of Taneytown was thewinner.
Here's a closer look at the Harford bowlers in the tournament:
* "Money" Webster, 17, attends Aberdeen High School and is apart-time mechanic at Harford Lanes. He bowls in the Harford Junior Classic league and the Saturday High School league at Harford Lanes and in the Fair Lanes Travel league in the Baltimore area.
He carries a 185 average with a high game of 289 and a high set of 756, all impressive stats for a young bowler, or any amateur. Money has been a member of the Harford Lanes All-Star team threeyears in a row -- captain for two of those years. On Dec. 2, 1990 at Turner's Dual Lanes inHagerstown, Money won the scratch division of the Maryland Tenpin Council's 10th Annual Championship Tournament with a total of 1267 for the six-game block.
The award was a $1,000 scholarship, which Money plans to use when he attends the University of Maryland.
"I loveto bowl and one day I hope to make it to the Professional Bowlers Tour," said Money.
* Rachel Cassady, 16, is in the 11th grade at Aberdeen High and carries a 162 average in the Wednesday Scratch league at Harford Lanes.
She lives with her parents, Hazel and Jim Cassady, and pitches softball for the Aberdeen Eagles.
She has a high game of 265 and a high set of 670, impressive figures. In the recent tournament, she had a six-game total of 1087.
* Roger Barnes, 16, has a 210 average with a 741 series and, unsanctioned, a 300 game.
The 11th-grader at Edgewood High, bowls in the Saturday youth league at Country Club Lanes in Baltimore. In the February Baltimore City tournament, he placed second in scratch singles with a 699 set.
You can also find him playing first base for the Edgewood Rams baseball team.
* Missy Leonard, 15, who finished 8th with a 990 series in last Sunday's tenpin tourney, lives in Bel Air and bowls in the Saturdaymorning youth league at Forest Hill Lanes. She averages 156 and has a high game of 233.
She's a utility player for the C. Milton Wright High Mustangs softball team.
Still a newcomer to bowling, Missy is steadily improving her game.
"I like bowling because you don't have to be a super athlete," said Missy.
* J.W. Walker, 15, who placed 10th in Sunday's tourney, has a 211 average with a 278 high gameand 720 series.
The Havre de Grace High 10th-grader bowls at Harford Lanes in the Saturday morning youth league and pitches for the Senior Little Leaguers.
"I'd like to see bowling become a letter sport in high school in Harford County," Waller said.
He's not alone.In fact, a committee of local citizens has recommended that bowling be an interscholastic high school letter sport in Harford.
The proposal notes that over 700 children are enrolled in organized bowling competition in Harford County and that all four commercial bowling centers in Harford support the idea. While cost estimates have not beendetermined, the committee feels that it would be minimal.
More proof that the youngsters of Harford County are into bowling?
In theCoca Cola Regional Tournament last month, Rocelle Brown, 14, of Aberdeen High, took first in the girls scratch grades 9 to 12 division. She took first place with a three-game set of 607.
And Jason Barnard, 16, a 10th-grader at Havre de Grace High, threw a 556 set in the grades 9 to 12 scratch division to take first place in that same tournament.
Both youngsters will go to Cumberland at the end of this month to compete in the state finals of the Coca Cola tournament.
Other bowling notables:
Last Sunday at Forest Hill Lanes, Ed Barnard, Jason's father, won the 700 Club Member and Guest Doubles Tournament with a 1260 total. Jim Richardson and guest Mark Wasner were secondwith 1238 and Tim Criss, with guest Phil Blakeley, took third with a1172 series.
Bel Air Bowl was one of seven bowling centers participating in the annual Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Maryland Bowl-a-thon.
This year the event was called the "Super Alley Rally." Fair Lanes Towson, Fair Lanes Timonium, Fair Lanes Ritchie, Brunswick Normandy, and Fair Lanes Rolling Road and Shake & Bakke Family Fun Center were the other six centers participating in the fund-raising event.
More than 700 people took part in the bowl-a-thon, raising $50,000, said Winnie Sheehan, spokeswoman for Big Brothers and Big Sistersof Central Maryland.