Everyone is a rookie sometime in their life. In baseball, the term is often used scornfully -- in other sports it just denotes a beginner.
At Brunswick Normandy Lanes, one Tuesday league is named the Rookies, and no one seems to know why the name was chosen.
Reda Wiles, league secretary for the past three years, is no rookie no matter how you figure it. Rookies don't bowl in tenpin leagues or in duckpin leagues like Wiles.
She has bowled duckpins for a long time and tenpins since 1986. Her tenpin average is 164 with a career high game of 257 and a high series of 581. In duckpins, Wiles carries a 113 average with a high game of 181 and a high series of 424.
"Duckpins are more of a challenge to me than tenpins, but I love both games," she said.
Last Sunday, Wiles and her son, Jay Stiffler, teamed up in the Mixed Doubles No-Tap Tournament at Brunswick Normandy to take second place in the handicap event with a 1502 score for the three games.
"Jay's the one who really won the event for us," said Wiles. "He threw a scratch 734 series. And every strike he threwwas an honest strike."
Duane Allen of Columbia, president of the Rookie league, has been bowling tenpins since the ninth grade; he's no rookie, either. Allen is an 18-year veteran of the Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service. He is anchor man for the Rookie league's Strike Zone team. Allen averages 163 and has a high game of 256. Last Tuesday in the Rookie league he threw his career high series, games of 171-224-211 for that tough 606 set.
"I still remember the old scoring system, when everything had to be hand-written," Allen said. "I miss it. Today, the computer does it all and it seems like bowling is less fun."
Karen Sapp of Glenwood, a member of the Three Strikes team in the Rookie league, also bowls in the Thursday morning league known as The Gems at Brunswick Columbia. She has bowled for 15 years.
Sapp has a high game of 254 and a high series of 630. Her average is172. Sapp has the ladies high scratch series of 601. Her team is in first place in the Thursday league at Columbia.
Verna Govia of Baltimore started bowling in 1985. In the Rookie league, she has the ladies high scratch game, 241, which is also her career high. Her high series is 519 and she carries a 145 average for the Lane Busters team.
Fellow Lane Buster James Pritchett of Baltimore has the league's high series of 592. He has a 244 high game and is averaging 147.
"I've found that bowling is a most competitive sport," Pritchett said."I love it."
Pritchett started bowling just last year -- finally I've found a rookie in the Rookie League. Now all I have to do is find out why it's called Rookie.