A lot of nice things can be said about bowling, but one of the nicest is that everyone has a shot at being a hero sometime. Anyone can throw a big game or a big set. Or win a big tournament.
That's just what Darlene Meyers and Les Cockrell did. They won a big duckpins tournament, the Coors Light Chesapeake Handicap Mixed Doubles Tournamentlast weekend at Riviera Lanes in Pasadena.
With the additional prize money supplied by D&M, distributors of Coors beer in Anne Arundel County, first-place money was $1,000.
"I just never thought that we'd win it," Meyers said. "It's the first tournament that I've ever won. I knew I had a pretty good -- and Les had a great -- day, but I never gave a thought to winning it."
Meyers, from Millersville, bowls in the Wednesday Nighters at Severna Park Lanes, where she carries a 99 average. In the tournament, she threw 101, 107, 120 for a fine 328 series.
Cockrell of Annapolis bowlsin the Thursday Nite Social at Severna Park Lanes and has a 122 average. He's thrown a 192 game, and his career-high series is 464. In the tournament, he almost matched that high set. His games were 149, 144 and 167 for a 460 series. With their handicap, Meyers and Cockrell totaled 977.
Cockrell, 28, has been bowling about eight years and is a court recorder for the state. His reaction to their victory: "Surprised!"
Tim Klug, sales manager for D&M Distributors, not only was instrumental in putting together the tournament, but he and his sister-in-law, Cindy Klug, bowled as partners in the event.
They didn't cash, but Tim said it was his fault. Cindy, a 110-average bowler,had games of 132, 125 and 103 for 360 series. Tim carries a 120 average in the Tuesday Men's League at Riviera Lanes but had one of thosedays: His series totaled 337.
"Bill Hunt, president of the National Duckpin Council, did an excellent job with the tournament," Tim said. "I'm extremely happy that we had 91 teams come out for the event."
Hunt said, "Having Coors sponsor the tournament meant a lot. Oneout of five teams cashed."
That's what bowling is all about, a chance for anyone at any time to have a great day, to win, to be, at least for one day, the best. And it's not necessary to carry a huge average.
Jim Lewis, bowling in the Monday night Big Bucks Leagueat Fair Lanes Ritchie, had a night that will be hard to forget.
Lewis lives in Waldorf but bowls in leagues in Annandale, Va., and Brunswick Columbia Lanes as well as at Ritchie. He's employed part-time at Sports Plus Pro Shop and has a PBA card.
"I don't mind traveling to bowl in leagues that I like," he said. "I've some good friends in the Baltimore area, so when they asked me to bowl, I did."
Lewis, owner of eight 300 games, has won two PBA regional tournaments, oneat Havelock, N.C., in November 1990 and another in Richmond, Va., last February. He has bowled in 20 national PBA events but has yet to cash at that level.
His average is 209, so it's probably just a matter of time until he wins one of the PBA national titles. If he keepsbowling as he did in the Big Bucks league, it'll be a snap.
Lewisput together games of 265, 290 and 248 for a career high series of 803. That's two pins better than his previous 801 set.
And that 290could have been a 300 game. After a spare in the first frame, he went off the sheet with strikes.
Last Friday, two bowlers in theBeltway Classic at Fair Lanes Ritchie had a night for the books.
Doug Brock produced an 820 series, and Jim Hock Jr. scored an 809.
Amateur male tenpin bowlers will have the opportunity to qualify for spots in the Fair Lanes $150,000 PBA Open through five upcomingPro Spot Qualifiers, including one on Sunday, Jan. 12, at Fair LanesRitchie.
Winners of the event earn a spot in the Fair Lanes Open,which has a $250 entry value, plus an additional $300 cash prize.
The Fair Lanes $150,000 PBA Open will take place at Fair Lanes Woodlawn on Feb. 16-22.
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.