Burkholder's Five. Is that a catchy name, or what?
Doug Burkholder just laughed when he was questioned about the generic name of his team: "Well, we never really named the team, so when we entered the Greater Baltimore Bowling Association tournament that's what they wrotedown, Burkholder's Five."
That GBBA tournament last month at Bowl America Glen Burnie in Anne Arundel County is one of the area's most prestigious tenpin bowling events, drawing competitors from all parts of Maryland.
The Burkholder's Five lineup is a roster of top Carroll County bowlers: captain Doug Burkholder, Tracy Greene, Rich Humbert, Greg Neil and Danny Haines.
Meet the new GBBA scratch champions, Burkholder's Five.
They fired a total of 3,151 to unseat the Smooth Five, defending champions.
"The Smooth Five has won the GBBA annual tournament for four or five years in row," said Bill Mead, tournament director. "And itlooked like they were going to repeat until the Carroll County team started firing strikes."
It may have been an upset, but it was nota fluke. The team, which bowls together at at County Lanes in Westminster, has
the averages to face any amateur team in the area.
Doug Burkholder lives in New Windsor and has been bowling most of his life. The Carroll native carries a 195 average and has a high set of 766 and owns a 300 game.
Burkholder, who is basically a stroker, throws an AMF Cobra bowling ball in five leagues every week.
Just last November Doug came close again to a 300 game, firing a 299 at County Lanes.
Tracy Greene lives in Winfield, bowls in three leagues,all at County Lanes: the Thursday Men's Classic, the Wednesday Scratch and the Interstate Travel League.
The man they call "Shoot" (when he messes up, you'll hear him say, "Shoot") has been bowling sincehe was 9 and carries a 190 average. He's shot a 746 set and four 297games. Four?
"I get awful nervous when I'm getting ready to throwthat last ball for the 300 game," Greene said.
Not to worry, it'sjust a matter of time until the shipping supervisor at London Fog gets that elusive 300 game. Sooner or later, that 16-pound Phantom bowling ball will take out all 10 pins in the final frame.
Rich Humbert, a woodworker from Taneytown, bowls in the Wednesday Scratch and the travel league at County Lanes, and he's got his 300 game. Actually he's got two, plus a 750 set.
Humbert uses a 16-pound Hammer ball to maintain a 197 average. He started bowling when he was teen-ager.
"I've bowled with Doug for several years," Humbert said. "It was just natural for me to bowl in the city tournament with him and the other guys."
Greg Neil splits his bowling between the Wednesday Scratch League at County Lanes and the Never on Sunday League at Country Club Lanes in Baltimore County. The Springfield State Hospital employee lives in Westminster with his wife, Janet, who's also a pretty fair bowler, too; she carries a 183 average.
Neil's holding a 195 average with a high set of 724 and a high game of 278. Bowling about 16 years, the man they call "Soft Lift" for his easy down-and-in style, started his bowling career in duckpins.
Danny Haines, a Carroll native and one-time farmer who is now ball driller, mechanic and jack-of-all-trades at Thunderhead Lanes in Taneytown, is still fighting carpel tunnel syndrome in his bowling hand.
"Sometimes I don't feel it," Haines said. "Other times, it just hurts. But I don't want surgery if I can avoid it."
Danny has made one concession to the CTS -- he uses a 14-pound ball, a Phantom.
"I'm concentrating more," Haines said. "That's probably the main reason that my average climbed from the 170's last year to its current 186. Concentration is so important."