New Faces At Odenton Bowl Center


Sport Should Get More Respect, Sayshiett

June 27, 1991|By Donald G. Vitek

Several new faces are at Bowl America Odenton. John Fowler is still the manager, but he has some new help to keep things humming at the center on the hill.

Jerry Hiett is the new assistant manager, and Mary Castricone is the new promotions director.

Hiett and his wife, Tammy, live in Odenton, and they're proud of the new addition to the family, 6-month-old Jerry Jr.

Hiett doesn't have as much time as he'd like to bowl, but when he was active, he carried a 165 average with a high game of 237 and a high set of 657.

He's been at the center for about six weeks, but he has a long history in management. He was with the Black Stallion Transport Co. for two years and before that was in retail management with a chain of jewelry stores.

"I'd like to see bowling get more respect," he said."I don't think it gets a fair shake. Bowling is a wonderful sport, but it doesn't get the media coverage it should."

Castricone agreed, "I wish more people would realize what a great sport bowling is. It's a great way to exercise and a great way to make new friends."

Castricone puts the leagues together, and she'd like anyone interestedin joining a league to call her.

She and her retired husband, Joe, live in Severna Park.

Castricone bowls Monday in the mixed league, where she's secretary of the Powder Puff Trio, and the Travel League, all at Bowl America Odenton.

She joined the organization just three months ago, but she's been a bowler for a long time. Between the ages of 12 and 24, she was a duckpin bowler. A few years later, shestarted bowling tenpins and she's never stopped.

She uses a Columbia U-Dot bowling ball with a conventional grip to carry a 180 average with a high game of 254 and a high series of 650.

John McElwee and Don Mackall are still around at Bowl America Odenton, and for a couple of young guys they are starting to be old-timers.

Mackall is one of the folks every bowler takes for granted -- until something goes wrong. Mackall, 19, has been with Bowl America almost four years. He started as a porter and advanced to lane maintenance.

He carries a 170 average with a high game of 269 and a series of 702. He's a graduate of Arundel High School.

"You just have to have a good attitude," said Mackall. "If you do, then bowling is a lot of fun. You have to take the bad breaks with the good."

Everybody complains about the condition of the lanes when they're not bowling well, but nobody thinks about the lanes' condition when the ball is banging into thepocket.

Somebody has to make sure that the lanes are kept up to par, and Mackall is the man who does that.

Lanes have to be stripped frequently, and they have to be done correctly. There's a touch to doing it right.

If that stripping operation isn't done correctly, you've got problems. But Mackall is a master. After all, he bowls at the center's Arundel Men's League on Tuesday night and subs whenever he can. It's got to be right.

John McElwee, 18, does his bowling at Bowl America Odenton and in Glen Burnie. But, right now he likes the Bowl America Glen Burnie lanes a little more than those at the center where he works.

And McElwee's been working at Bowl America Odenton since he was 14. He started as a porter, went to the control counter and now spends a lot of his time in the pro shop.

In the fall/winter league, he bowls Monday in the mixed league, Wednesday in the Pioneer men's league and Tuesday in the Crabs and Beer League.

McElwee carries a 180 average with a 16-pound Pearl Hammer bowling ball that was given to him more than four years ago by Larry Nalls, top amateur bowler in the Baltimore-Washington area. McElwee had a 280 highgame.

A graduate of Arundel High, he had a great night a few weeks ago in the Odd Ball Thursday night league at Bowl America Glen Burnie.

The first game, he popped a 279, came back with a 236 in the second game and knew that he needed only a 185 game to crack that 700-set barrier.

No problem, right? Wrong. In the last frame all he needed was a mark. He threw that old Pearl Hammer bowling ball right into the pocket, a good solid, cracking shot, and left the seven-ten split.

So, for now, McElwee's career high series is 697.


Kendra Cameron, who recently threw a 700 set at Crofton Center, will go to Indianapolis for the 1991 National Junior Bowling Championships July 17-21 at Woodland Bowl. This Coca Cola-sponsored event will award the winner in each division with a $5,000 scholarship.

Donald G. Vitek's Bowling column appears every Thursday in the Anne Arundel County Sun. Bowlers are urged to give Don a call with scores and tidbits at 247-0850.

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