Steve Alexander of Mount Airy has been bowling duckpins for 12 of his 17 years, but never had been able to crack the 200-game barrier until Nov. 27 when he was pre-bowling for the Saturday youth league.
A senior at South Carroll High, Alexander bowls in the Saturday National Youth Duckpin Association leagues at Mount Airy Lanes where he carries a 120 average and has a career high set of 467.
The 200 did not come easily. His first game of the three-gamset was an "average" 127.
The middle game started without indication that a 200 game would be in range.
By the fifth frame he had posted 74 pins. But the next four frames were all strikes, and in the 10th frame Alexander was faced with a two-pin set-up, a spare that had to be made for the chance at the 200.
If he made the spare it would take an eight-count to secure the 200.
He popped the two-pin set-up for the spare and counted exactly eight on his fill ball for a 200 on the nose.
"I just had a pretty good night" he said.
Hitting midyear stride early
Larry Gregersen, who was born and raised in Carroll County and makes his home in Westminster, bowls in two leagues at Westminster Thunderhead, the Sunday Night Mixed and the Monday Triples.
He carries a 143 average.
"I started bowling when I was kid about 8 years old," Gregersen said. "I've loved the game ever since."
He is hitting his midyear stride. On Nov. 22, he pounded out a 194 game, and on Dec. 2, he put together games of 164, 152 and 172 for a 488 series.
But his career high game remains a 221 and his career high series, thrown at Taneytown Thunderhead, a 575, is the house record.
Having fun with big scores
Steve Sholkoff, a tenpin bowler who lives in Westminster with his wife, Kathy, a 141 average bowler, carries a 171 average in the one league, the Tuesday Recreation at Westminster Thunderhead, that he and Kathy bowl in together.
"We bowl just to have some fun," Sholkoff said, "a night out with friends, a time to socialize, but we try our best."
On Nov. 17, Steve's best paid off.
Starting slowly with a 151 game, he threw a second game of 21and finished with a 256 for a 622 series.
"Both the 256 and the 622 are the best I've had," he said. "wasn't doing anything differently, I just got lucky."
A triumphant return
Hayes Norris, returning to Carroll County in August after a four-year stay in North Carolina, wasted no time in joining two tenpin leagues, the Monday Commercial at Westminster Thunderhead and the Thursday Men's Classic at Taneytown.
He throws a 16-pound Hammer bowling ball for a 187 average, and on Nov. 22 in the Westminster Thunderhead center he posted games of 232, 230 and 183 for a 645 series.
"It could've been a better set," Norris said. "The lanes started breaking down and before I could make an adjustment, it was too late to salvage the game."
It would have taken only a 206 final game to beat his career high series of 667.
Hampstead stars of month
Hampstead Bowling Center has posted the Stars of the Month for the Saturday youth leagues:
* 10 a.m. Tenpinners -- Rickie Hawver with 95 pins over average; Katie Stonesifer led the girls with 51 pins over average.
* 10 a.m. Duckpinners -- Pee Wee leader was Jennifer Perry with nine pins over average; Jessica Tringali led the Bantams with 36 pins over average. Jamie O'Conner was leader of the Preps with 26 pins over average; the Major leader was Will Graf with 69 pins over average.
* 12:30 p.m. Duckpinners -- Pee Wee division, Greg Cunningham with 45 pins over average; Bantam division, Beth Mahla 26 pins over average; Prep division: Heather Placek 40 pins over average.
Chance at $2,000 prize
Thunderhead Lanes at Taneytown, Westminster and Gettysburg are presenting the fourth annual Tenpin Doubles Classic through Jan. 17 with the finals at Thunderhead Lanes in Taneytown on Jan. 30 and 31. First prize is $2,000.