Herb Eyler and Andy Hood teamed up to win the $2,000 first prize earlier this month in the third annual Tenpin Doubles Classic.
After qualifying at the three Thunderhead Lanes in Gettysburg, Pa., Taneytown and Westminster, finalists rolled into Thunderhead Taneytown for the final weekend of bowling. Qualifying rounds had started last October.
Eyler and Hood knocked down 1,441 pins for first place.
Hood lives in Detour and bowls in the Thursday Men's Mixed League at Taneytown, where he's averaging 175. His high game is 278, high series 659.
That 659 was thrown in the tournament; that's known as picking your spots.
Born and raised in Carroll County, he operates J. A. Hood Electric and Landscaping and has been bowling for about 10 years. His wife, Bev, is expecting and has given up bowling for a while.
"I bowl because I enjoy it," Hood said. "Bowling is a sport that's funeither by yourself or with a partner or team. You can have fun but still be competitive."
His partner, Herb Eyler, lives in Littlestown, Pa., and bowls in three leagues at Taneytown: Monday Woodchoppers,Thursday Men's Classic and Friday Mixers. The Carroll County electrician has a 189 average, with a high game of 279 and a high set of 773, and has been bowling over 10 years.
And what a great outlook he has on life and bowling.
"If I had to quit bowling now, I'd miss the people I bowl with just as much as I'd miss the sport itself," he said.
Buddy Eckenrode of Thurmont and Shelton Colwell of Union Bridge took second place.
Joe Rineer's bowling tip: Mount Airy Lanes owner Joe Rineer's duckpin bowling tip concerns arm swing and grip.
The arm swing must be kept straight -- straight back, straightforward, the same as a clock's pendulum. This will keep your arm close to your body and avoid what the experienced bowlers call "suitcasing."
Try to forget that your arm is in motion; think of your hand as being by itself. Remember, the arm will follow the hand.
Visualize the hand as being detached from the arm. There should be no strain when the ball is thrown properly.
Your right foot (if you are right-handed), extended, should be on the floor when the ball is released. If your right foot is touching the floor when your right hand is extended toward the pins, your shoulders will be in line with the foul line and your position will be stable.
Some bowlers even drag their right toe a little to accomplish this. If that right foot is in the air at the point of release, you will be off-balance.
Stand in front of a mirror and swing your arm; is it straight back and straight forward?
Remember, if your right foot is not touching the floor,it's because you're not bending your left knee. This will cause
you to be half-standing at the point of release and you'll be off-target and lose valuable revolutions on the ball, since it will be loftedtoo far down the lane.
You must visualize your position at the line and the path of the ball.
Also, the grip is important and really quite simple.
You want want the grip to be with the fingers; theball should not be touching the palm of your hand. To accomplish this, pick up the ball in your left hand (if you are right-handed) and take the ball out of your left hand with your right hand.
Your fingers should be slightly apart and your thumb should be slightly to theright of center when you extend your arm in front of you with the back of the hand pointing toward the floor.
You should maintain the same position in the back swing, the forward swing and, most important, at the point of release. With the fingers under the ball at point of release, you will lift through the ball and generate the revolutions you need to mix the pins.