Thunderhead Lanes in Taneytown had its Bowler of the Year Tournamentlast weekend.
The contestants were drawn from the Fall/Winter Bowler of the Week ranks.
And just who becomes Bowler of the Week?
The folks you bowl with every week. People like Jim Hill, Barb Black, Wes Grimes, Sharon Schildt, Janice Newman and Shirley Snyder.
Hill, born in New York and living for 15 years in Taylorsville, carries a 199 average with a high game of 279 and a high set of 722. A self-employed carpenter, Hill bowls in the Tuesday Bucks and Does League and the Friday Mixer atTaneytown. Wednesday he bowls in the Scratch Triples at County Lanesin Westminster. Hill hadn't bowled for several years until he started again six years ago.
"If I could, I'd bowl every day," Hill said. "In fact, when I turn 55, I hope to go on the Senior Tour."
Hillhas a great tip for anyone trying to get out of a slump: just practice a little more, try to concentrate a little better.
Barb Black, a duckpin bowler, bowls for a change of pace. She works at English American Tailoring Co. and lives in Union Bridge with her husband, Charles, a forklift operator at Random House, her daughter, Heather, 9, and son, Charles, 7.
Black's first love is softball. She's the catcher for the Random House women's softball team, but she has been bowling for about 19 years. She carries a 115 average in the Friday nightPussy Cats League at Thunderhead Taneytown and has a high set of 449with a high game of 172.
"I never cared for tenpins, but duckpinsis a lot of fun," Black said. "Bowling for me is a change of pace, and I really enjoy it."
She is an instructor in the 10-and-under Union Bridge Recreational Council softball program and coaches her daughter, Heather, who plays second base for the Stingers. Her son, Charles, plays shortstop for the baseball Braves of the same council.
Sharon Schildt, born and raised in Carroll County, lives in Taneytown with her husband, Robert, and son, Chad. Schildt has been bowling tenpins for five years and carried a 159 average.
Her high game is a nifty 255, and she has a strong series high of 614. She works in the quotes and contracts department of Whittaker Medical in Frederick County.
Sharon was bowler of the month twice during the last Fall/Winter bowling season.
"Bowling gets me away from the pressure of thejob," she said.
How does she handle a slump?
"I try to keep a positive attitude, just keep doing it the best I can."
Janice Newman is in the first year of bowling after a long layoff. Both Janice and her husband, Robert, have 130 averages and bowl at Taneytown.
Janice has a high game of 181 with a high set of 583. The Newmans own and operate the Satyr Hill Texaco station in Baltimore County. The children -- Chelsea, 7, and Amanda, 5 -- soon will be bowling.
"It'srelaxing, it's fun," Newman said. "It's great to be able try out different bowling centers."
Last Sunday, Newman had a lot of fun; in the Bowler of the Year tournament she threw games of 127-159-138 for a 424 set. That's 33 pins over average and good enough to take secondplace.
Shirley Snyder did just a little better; she had games of 199-200-191 to take the lovely clock trophy and the first-place moneyin the tournament.
Snyder carries a 151 average, has a high game of 226 and a 590 series. She's been bowling for about 25 years. Her husband, Willionson, who everybody calls Bill, plans to bowl next fallafter a long layoff.
Shirley, born and raised in Carroll County, lives in Keymar and bowls in the Wednesday Pin Busters League at Taneytown.
"Everyone should bowl," Snyder said. "It's a great way to relax and just have fun."
There's a new face at the control counter of Thunderhead Taneytown.
Kay Cook started working in the center May 29. She lives in Hampstead and has been bowling tenpins for only one year, but in the Thursday King of the Mountain tournament atTaneytown, she finished sixth with a handicapped 594 series.
Kay started off using a friend's bowling ball, throwing it straight and hoping for the best. Lucky for Cook, one of the best ball drillers in the area works at Taneytown. Danny Haines redrilled the bowling ball and now Kay's delivery is much smoother.
The next step is a new ball and development of a hook shot. Then, it'll be just a matter of time before the 200 games and the 600 sets begin.
Today you can stopin at Thunderhead Westminster and catch their Bowler of the Year tournament. See you there.