8th-grader Blair makes it a practice to practice Coaching help from father aids improvement, too


November 01, 1992|By DON VITEK

Practice is the only doorway open to better averages, better games and better series. Ask Bobby Blair.

Blair, who lives in Catonsville, bowls in the Young American Bowlers Alliance Saturday morning league at Brunswick Normandy and carries a 141 average.

The Catonsville Middle School eighth-grader is 13 and has been bowling for about three years. Interested in baseball and soccer as well as bowling, Bobby is starting to pound the pins.

On Oct. 17, using a 14-pound Laser bowling ball, he threw his career-high game (207) and his high series (556), which gave him 133 pins over his average and made him Bowler of the Week.

"I got a chance for some practice," Bobby said. "Practice and some help from my dad [Wayne]. Between the practice and my dad's coaching, I'm throwing the ball a lot better."

That's a great tip for any bowler. Throw some practice games and ask someone to coach you.

Way above average

Shawn Tom, 12, started bowling last year.

"I got Shawn started bowling," Laura, his mother, said. "I think it's a great sport, especially for youngsters like Shawn. He can be as competitive as he wants to be but there's no pressure on him."

The Ellicott City resident is a sixth-grader at Dunloggin Middle School, and both his parents are bowlers. Laura has a 160 average and his dad, Armand, carries 180-plus.

On Oct. 17, his average was only 102, but on that day Shawn threw a career-high game of 173 and put together a series that was 71 pins over average to become Bowler of the Week in Division II of the Saturday morning Normandy youth league.

Bradleys dominate Club 55

Two unrelated Bradleys dominated the Club 55 league at Brunswick Columbia in weeks five and six of the young season.

Ardell Bradley lives in Columbia and bowls with the Columbia Gems and the Bluebirds at Normandy, as well as in the Club 55 league.

Ardell is averaging 156 with a 12-pound bowling ball. Bowling since 1974, she has a philosophy that many senior bowlers hold: "I just enjoy bowling. I'm not very competitive and in bowling you don't have to be."

That non-competitive nature didn't keep her from being the Bowler of the Week when she posted scores that put her 68 pins over average for week six.

Bill Bradley, week five's Bowler of the Week with 86 pins over average, wants everyone in the league to know that he quits. Not bowling -- that's unthinkable -- but as president of the Club 55 league.

"I've been president from the beginning," he said. "But after seven years it's time for me to step down."

Bill lives in Columbia and has been bowling for over 30 years.

With a 137 average and a high game (206) and set (556), Bill wasn't doing anything different the day he went way over his average.

"I guess maybe I was a little more relaxed than usual," he said. "But I was using the same bowling ball, a 13-pound Columbia 300 and bowling the same way I always do."

Brunswick Normandy events

Here's what's happening at Brunswick Normandy.

Every Monday there's a Senior Special. For $6, there's a chance to win money on any ball you thrown. You just have to be lucky enough to have the right color pin standing there when you bowl. It starts at 12:30 p.m. and is open to everyone over 55.

On Thursday nights at 9:15, there's a Do It Better League in progress. Learn to make spares and learn advance techniques or just learn the fundamentals.

On Nov. 20 and 21, the Amateur Bowlers Tour will be at Normandy. For more information, call (410) 465-0355.

Brunswick Columbia bowling center has a Christmas Club league starting on Jan. 9, and bowling for 48 weeks. Every bowler will receive at least $240 in time for shopping next Christmas.

The second Thursday of the month is the Ladies No Tap Tournament, which is $8 per person with weekly payoffs. And remember, nine on the first ball counts as a strike.

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