Ray Adcock recently bowled a game that he will not soon forget.
Bowling in the Tuesday Men's Trio at Greenway Odenton, the 17-year-old Adcock came within one ball of reaching the coveted 300 game, stringing 11 strikes together.
"I wasn't too nervous until the 10th frame," Adcock said. "Then, after throwing the first two strikes, I was real nervous."
He did what lot of bowlers do in that situation. He took a little off the ball, and it came in high on the head-pin and left the baby split, the 3-10 for a 298 game.
Adcock lives in Glen Burnie with his parents, Pat and Dallas, and does his bowling at Greenway Odenton. And the Glen Burnie High School senior does a pretty good job of it.
Adcock has been bowling since he was 9, and carries a 209 average.
Since Ray's mother, Pat, works at the snack bar at Greenway Odenton, Ray does most of his practicing at that center.
"Miss Peggy [Tully, assistant manager at Greenway] is just great," Adcock said. "She's always ready to help the kids. And Bob Boeh is just great with coaching me."
Boeh, a Glen Burnie resident, is one of the top amateur bowlers in the Baltimore-Washington area, owning numerous 300 games and carrying a 220-plus average.
He spends a lot of time coaching youngsters at Greenway Odenton, and the results are easy to see -- a group of young bowlers who continue to improve.
When asked if he had thoughts of turning professional, Adcock had a fast answer.
"Not till I go to college. I'd like to attend Essex Community College because they have a bowling team; then, maybe turn professional."
Kendra Cameron of Gambrills, is a young bowler who is already following that path.
She's finishing her freshman year at Essex Community College, and there's no doubt that she will join the women of the Ladies Professional Bowlers Tour. She's that good now and, at 18, she continues to improve.
Fresh from victory in Chicago, Ill., where she led the Knights to a third-place finish behind champion Indiana State and Morehead State, Cameron let little time pass before she threw a 693 series at Crofton Bowling Centre.
In Chicago, Cameron won the women's individual championship in the 12-team All College and University Tournament in Chicago with a 205 average.
She also shot the high game (275), the high set (713) and the high average (219) in the Atlantic City Collegiate Individual Tournament, then turned around and took the singles shootout from the eighth-seeded position in the Peabody Classic in Binghamton, N.Y.
In the Men's and Women's Bowling Championships, she averaged 199 during the two-day event to become the first Essex Community College woman to capture the the All-Events title in the 17-year history of the championships.
"There have been some great scores shot here recently," said Esther Grinshaw, assistant manager at Crofton.
Grinshaw has been at the center since it opened in November 1978, and she's seen a lot of good bowlers come and go.
The Bowie resident carries an average in excess of 170 and has been bowling more than 20 years, so she knows good bowling when she sees it.
Cameron shot her 693 set on the very first night of the summer league, and Cathy Warboy followed with a fine 676 series; Michele Harding fired a 668 set.
Mark Mixon had an outstanding 279 game, and Rick Williams shot a 276, cornerstone for a 721 series.
The third annual Baltimore-Washington Firecracker Open will take place July 3-5 at Crofton Bowling Centre. First place is a guaranteed $3,000, and second place will be worth $1,500.
Fair Lanes Southwest has two weekly tournaments in action: the one-ball seven or better tournament every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and the two-ball nine or no-count tournament on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Information: 789-2400.
l,.5l The LPBT Regional Open will be at Greenway Bowl Odenton Aug. 7-9. Pro-Am squads will bowl with the professionals. Peggy Tully can use some volunteers to run the tournament; call 551-9163.
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.