Jimmy Lawson didn't get started tenpin bowling as early as most of today's youngsters.
It not unusual to see tots 6 and 7 years old inthe many young leagues today.
By the time they're 17, many are veterans of the bowling wars.
Lawson didn't get started until he was that age. But now, after about 20 years, he's starting to get the hang of it. That, and he has more time to bowl, which always help the old average.
A Hampstead resident who works for the U.S. Postal Service, Lawson throws a 16-poundHammer bowling ball, both Red and Black, depending on the conditionsof the lanes.
He bowls Thursday nights at Hampstead Bowling Center and Sunday nights in a mixed league at Brunswick Normandy in HowardCounty. At Normandy, he's averaging 184, and at Hampstead he's got a188. Nice figures for most bowlers, but lately he's started popping some really big figures.
In June, in a summer league at Hampstead lanes, he threw a 274 game. Last spring in the Normandy winter league, he had a 287 game and a fine 693 set. That's very close to the coveted 700 series.
What he's doing differently?
"Not a thing," Lawson said. "I'm just bowling more. That extra bowling seems to be paying off with better scores."
It helps if you really like the game; Jimmy Lawson says, "I do love the game. I'll keep on bowling until I fall on my face.
"And it's a pleasure to bowl in a center like Hampstead, where everyone is so helpful," he adds. "It's a nice center with a lot of nice people running it."
That's all there is to it, folks; find a center that you like, bowl a few extra games, keep with it for a while and the scores will start coming up.
Is it theoldest bowling league in Carroll County? Could be.
If you've beenbowling for a while in Carroll County, you may remember the old seven-lane center in Hampstead called the Rendezvous.
You bowled on six lanes, and the seventh lane served as an instant parts replacement source for the other six. That's where the Tuesday Night Commercial league started -- a long time ago.
"I've been secretary since 1969," Joe Greenwood said. "I'll be starting my 22nd season. And the league was in action for a long time before that. I'd say that it must have started in the early '60s."
Greenwood retired from Westinghouse Corp., but he couldn't sit still. Now he works part-time at Black & Decker Corp. in Hampstead, is secretary for the Tuesday Night Commercial league and a member of the Milner's Garage team in that league.
Greenwood lives in Hampstead with his wife, Trula, and carries a 114average in what is thought to be the oldest duckpin league in Carroll County. He's popped a nice 174 game, and he been bowling for 24 years.
The 12-team league was bowling at the Rendezvous when Basil and Karen Wisner took over in 1981. When the Wisners moved to HampsteadBowling Center a few years later, the league moved with them.
Last year, the Milner's Garage team consisted of Greenwood, William Nott, Russell Hensley, Ronald Ringer and Bob Donohue. This year, Greenwood's son, Robert, who subbed last year, will be taking over the retiring Bob Donohue's spot.
Hensley carries a 126 average, Nott has 124average, Ringer carries a 125 and Donohue's average was 120. That 120 average will be replaced with Robert Greenwood's 123 average.
Soaverage-wise, it will be much the same team that last year took second --by one game -- in the league. You'd better believe they're looking to win it this year.
The Summer Youth Duckpin league finished at Thunderhead Lanes in Westminster the other week.
Team No. 4, with members Brian Archambault, Danny Moore, Steven Moore, Paul Egolf and Jarrod Egolf, took first place.
Kriston Burby and Abby Pyzik set the girls high set mark with 280, and Bill Miller's 352 series was high for the boys.
High girls game trophy went to Becki Ridgeway for her 95 game.
Darren Bowers and Bill Miller had high boys games of 135.
The girls high average mark was set by Tiffany Sersen with a 77.
The boys high average was captured by Dave Boczek with a 103.
Bridget Gaither won the girls most improved trophy. Her average went from 30 to 41.
Danny Moore's rise from 45 to 65 took theboys most improved trophy.
The bowler-of-the-season trophy for girls went to Bridget Gaither. During the season she had a series that was 80 pins over her average.
Paul Egolf won the boys bowler-of-the-season trophy.
As you can see, the girls and boys of Coach Weldon Bowers had another great summer.
The winter youth leagues are starting now, and Bowers says he can find a spot for any youngster who wants to bowl.