The first four weeks of the new season have featured some excellent scores by both the Club 55 seniors and the youth bowlers at BrunswickNormandy.
In the Club 55 league, Windsor Eagan was the first weekly winner for most pins over average with a 231 game, 69 over. The second week George Reed threw a 213 game, 66 pins over average. Tony Petti, the third week, was 60 pins over average with his 214 game. The fourth week, Jack Rose had a 221 game that was a huge 77 pins over his 144 average.
Rose is retired from CSX and lives in Ellicott City with his wifeand fellow bowler, Mary Jane, who carries a 130 average. It wasn't CSX back in the 1950s, when Rose went to work for the company. Then itwas the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and Jack was living in Charleston,W.Va. It was a transfer to the Baltimore area by the railroad that brought Rose to Ellicott City.
"I've been bowling, off and on, since I was a kid," Rose said. "I'm kind of a down-and-in bowler; I don'ttry to crank the ball."
Works pretty good -- 77 pins over your average is awesome.
In the Division I and Division II youth league some fine scores are being rung up. Division I has bowlers from age 8-and-under to the preps, ages 9 to 11, while Division II has the junior varsity, ages 12 to 14, and the varsity, ages 15 to 21.
In Division I of the Brunswick/M&M's All-Star, Blaine Vendettuolio had a game48 pins over average for the first week. The second week, Bradley Raglin was 39 pins over average. Bruce Daley, the third week, was 57 pins over average.
In Division II, the first week, Seth Mann was 105pins over average. Second week, Mike Taylor threw a 141 pins over average, and on the third week, Brian Clopein was 85 pins over his average.
Brian lives in Baltimore with his mother, Dawn, and his stepfather, Carl. It was Carl who got Brian interested in bowling two years ago.
Carl bowls in the Thursday Night Mixed league at Normandy and carries a 164 average, with a high game of 238 and a high series of 584. Dawn is a recreational bowler who thinks that bowling is just great for the youngster.
"Bowling has had a positive effect on Brian," Dawn said, "It helps keep him off the streets and teaches him how to get along with other kids. Brian is interested in all sports, but bowling is the one sport that's easy for him to compete in all yearround."
His sister, Bethany, 6, has started bowling in the Pee Wee division and has an 89 average in the bumper league. Not bad for her first year of bowling.
Brian attends Southwestern Senior High, where he's in the ninth grade, and throws a 16-pound Hammer for a 128 average. He's had a high game of 214 and a high set of 502 bowling with the Oakley Team on Saturday mornings.
Duane Allen is neither a senior citizen nor a youth bowler. He is a 19-year veteran of the Fire Rescue Service of the Montgomery County Fire Department who does his bowling at Brunswick Normandy in the Tuesday Night Rookie league.
Last year Allen bowled in two leagues but this year cut out the Sunday league. It must have been the right move. His average has jumped from 163 to 175 and on Sept. 17, just after the start of the winter season, Allen threw games of 203, 224 and 247 for a fine 674 series; that's 68 pins over his previous high set of 606. And that 247 game was very close to his career high single game of 256.
"I'm not doing anything different," Allen said, "Except, maybe, concentrating more. Maybe the new system of bowling is helping."
Don't try to figure it out, just enjoy it. Big games and big sets are the payback for all the nights when a bowler does nothing but look at splits.
There's still time to bowl in the Brunswick Columbia Singles No-Tap Tournament at the Columbia center. Squad times are 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27. Entry fee is $20, handicap is 80 percent of 210 and if you get nine pins down on the first ball it counts as a strike.
If you ladies like the no-tap format, here's a monthly event for you. At 9:30 a.m. the second Tuesday of each month, the Monthly Ladies No-Tap and Brunch Tournament is held at Brunswick Columbia lanes. There's baby-sitting available, and the event costs $9.92 per bowler per week, which includes brunch and a guaranteed first-placeprize of $50.
Hey, I'd bowl in the event just for the brunch: french toast, hash browns, fresh fruit and cakes with a choice of coffee, tea or milk.