Eleanor Kennedy, youth coach at Edgewood Lanes for the past seven years, just missed landing a spot on the 1992 TEAM USA squad. Bowlers from around the nation met in Atlanta, July 22-27, to compete for spots on the squad.
Those that make the team will represent the UnitedStates in international competition in 1992. The final team will consist of the top 24 bowlers in the nation.
Kennedy missed the cut by just three positions -- ranking 27th atAtlanta.
"Bowling in the TEAM USA tournament was a great experience," Kennedy said, "I just didn't realize how good so many of the young bowlers were. Many of the TEAM USA team will be made up of the best collegiate bowlers in the country."
Kennedy, who lives in Joppa with her husband, Harry, bowls in three leagues. On Wednesday nights she's at Edgewood Lanes; Thursday nights at Country Club Lanes; and on Sunday nights at Perry Hall Lanes.
She carries a 187 average andhas a high game of 268 with a high series of 729.
Harry bowls twonights a week; Thursday at Country Club and Sunday at Perry Hall.
With the tryout behind her, Kennedy is now looking forward
to getting back to coaching in the Edgewood youth league on Saturday mornings and working on a pet project: getting parents interested in the youth bowling.
"As coach, I'd like to see more parents become involved in the youth program," she says. "Too many of the parents simply don't take the time to become interested in the kids' bowling."
There's been a lot of discussion about the ABC New System of Bowling that will be in effect at all the Harford County lanes for the opening of the winter season.
The average bowler doesn't know just what to expect and may be a tad nervous about how the 3-units-of-oil on the lane will affect the scoring.
But experienced bowlers like Kennedy say not to worry.
"I really like the new system of bowling," she said. "The condition is great especially for a down-and-in shot which the majority of bowling use."
Children always dream about what what pursuits they'll find themselves in when they are adults.Some talk of being a fireman, a policeman, a sports figure, a teacher or what have you.
Some dreams come true.
Take Patrick Dare, who at age six talked of being a bowler. At 24, Dare is well on his way to being a good bowler and a pro shop operator.
He owns the Strikeline Pro Shop at the Forest Hill Lanes. He still dreams of being a pro bowler.
"I need more work on my game," he says. "When I feel that I'm ready I'll turn pro. My game still needs refining."
Dare'sfather, Dick, is the manager of Forest Hill Lanes.
Patrick says he never wanted to be anything but a bowler -- never thought about another career. It was that dedication to the game that led him into thepro shop.
"I have small hands," he said. "And I couldn't get anyone who could drill a ball for me that felt just the way I wanted. Youneed that good feel, that good release, if you're going to advance past a certain level in bowling. Since I couldn't get a decent fit from others, I started drilling balls myself."
For three years Patrick worked in pro shops. Since last year, he's been the owner/operator of his own shop.
Dare just missed throwing a 300 game.
"The 11th strike was a little lucky because I was too fast on the approach soin the last frame I slowed down. In fact, I slowed down too much andthe ball didn't hit in the pocket," he recalls.
That resulted in a seven count and a 297 game instead of the 300. But that 300 game isjust a matter of time, just like becoming a professional bowler.
There's isn't anything about the sport of bowling that Dare doesn't like, with just one exception: the lack of coaching for the average bowler.
"I wish that the PBA would do what the Professional Golfers Association has done -- make every pro a teacher. There's just not enough coaching being done and therefore many bowlers don't progress, or certainly, they don't progress as fast as they should."