Gonce strikes for tourney win, 794 series at Fair Lanes Ritchie

BOWLING

November 01, 1992|By SON VITEK

Bill Gonce won the 700 Club Tournament at Fair Lanes Ritchie on Oct. 4, and four days later, in the Ritchie Beltway Classic, he rolled a 794 series.

"Would you believe our team lost two games that night?" he said.

The man they call Gonzo has been bowling since he was 6 and was two months short of his 17th birthday when he posted his first 700 set. That probably made him the youngest member of the 700 Club.

Averaging 213, Gonce has put up two 300 games and has a high series of 813. The UMBC graduate, who lives in Ellicott City, has a PBA card.

"I went out on the road for a while but I quit to return to college," Gonce said. "I'm planning in bowling in PBA regional events in the next few months."

He bowls in another league, on Tuesday at Ritchie, and subs in a Thursday league at Greenway Odenton.

A couple hours of perfection

Larry Martin shot his first 300 game a few months ago. A couple hours later in the same house, Fair Lanes Ritchie, on the same lanes, 23 and 24, he shot his second 300 game.

That was after he had posted five 297 games.

He's been bowling since he was 15 and has a high series of 780.

Apparently, the right-hander likes the Ritchie center. He bowls in two leagues there and on Oct. 6 in the Pioneer Men's League, he threw another 300 game.

Martin, of Glen Burnie, throws a 15-pound Excaliber that was fitted and drilled by Walt Cervenka.

After posting two 300 games within a few hours of each other, Martin thanked Leroy Burnham, the lane man at Fair Lanes Ritchie, for the excellent conditions.

Different lane conditions

Shaun Stealey, manager at Fair Lanes Annapolis, has a lane condition that's different from a lot of other centers.

"We oil to 25 feet and buff to 33, with three units of oil on the outside and 20-25 units in the middle," he said. "We have a lot of straight-down-the-middle bowlers, and they like it that way."

Stealey, born and raised in Maryland, lives in Dundalk and started bowling duckpins when he was a youth. He began bowling tenpins last year after he became manager at Annapolis Lanes. Before that, he was a food and beverage manager at Denny's.

Stealey averaged 170 last year at Fair Lanes Annapolis, with a high game of 265 and a high set of 668. He used a 16-pound ball, either a Phantom or Nitro, and tries to get in 30 to 35 practice games weekly.

"Coming from Denny's, food and beverages is right down my alley," he said. "But I try to keep fair but tough lane conditions for my bowlers."

Big scores for king pins

Brian Cox rolled a 217 game on Oct. 14, in the King Pin League at Severna Park Lanes.

On the same night, Lynn Lear had a 187 game -- the hard way. She put up spares in every frame.

Popping at Southdale

Things are starting to pop at Fair Lanes Southdale again.

"We had a 300 game and 298 just one week apart," manager Butch Swyane said. "The scores are definitely getting bigger."

Chuck Barclay, a USAF technical sergeant based at Fort Meade, stroked his first 300 game. Bowling in the Wednesday Mixed League on Oct. 7 at Southdale, he started slowly with games of 225 and 213, then started pounding the pocket for his first perfect game and his highest series, 738.

"Yeah, I was a little nervous," Barclay said. "But Mark Anderson [of Walt Cervenka's pro shop] had drilled me a new ball, a 16-pound Pro Rhino, and has been working on my game with me. It paid off."

Mike O'Dea of Pasadena has been bowling for "10-12 years, I guess" and carries a 196 average. Until Oct. 14, he had a high game of 289, but that night, subbing in the Wednesday Mixed League, he posted a 298 game.

"When I picked up the ball for the 12th time, I just told myself not to pull the ball," he said. "Sure enough, I yanked it and left the 6-10 pins."

And had to settle for the 298 game one week after Barclay, in the same league, shot a 300 game.

Tournament news

The National Amateur Bowlers, Inc. will be at Fair Lanes Annapolis on Nov. 14 and 15. First prize is a guaranteed $1,000. For information, call (410) 266-0700.

The NABI Thanksgiving Open will be at Crofton Bowling Centre on Nov. 26-29. The first-place prize will be $3,000. For information, call (410) 721-2401.

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