Aberdeen, Edgewood prove that bowling is a part of Army arsenal

BOWLING

January 10, 1993|By DON VITEK

A little-known fact: Harford County is home to bowling centers that belong to the largest chain of bowling centers in the world.

That's right. And you, the taxpayers, own them. Actually, the U.S. Army does.

"There are 216 bowling centers worldwide owned and operated by the Army," said Bob Griffin, manager at Aberdeen Proving Ground and Edgewood Arsenal. APG has 20 lanes, and Edgewood has eight.

Dave Brewner, assistant manager, divides his time between the two centers, as does Judy Wheeler, league coordinator and youth director.

Bowling centers on Army installations are expected to produce a profit.

Griffin said: "In the actual day-to-day operation of the center, the average person wouldn't notice anything different. The Army is upgrading centers because they're revenue-producers and help support other activities."

Oddly, the managers are not Army personnel. They are employees of the U.S. government. Griffin is an employee of the Department of Defense, and Brewner is a General Service employee.

"I'm constantly trying to raise the standards of the centers I manage," Griffin said. "Training of personnel is a major concern of mine. And the Army is very big on that training. That includes maintenance people, the mechanics, the food service people, everyone."

Griffin, originally from the Baltimore area, returned to live in Glen Burnie four years ago when he become manager at Fort Meade's bowling center. In October he became manager of the Harford County centers and will be moving here shortly.

He has been a bowler for more than 20 years and bowls in the Monday Classic league at Country Club Lanes. His average is 206 and he has thrown eight 300 games. He has a high series of 796.

Brewner has been at APG since 1985. A native of Rhode Island, he lived in Florida for much of his life. Bowling for 17 years, Brewner carried a 217 average at Don Carter's bowling center in Homestead, Fla.

"I don't have enough time to bowl much anymore," Brewner said. "My average in the Thursday league at APG is in the 190s. When I was bowling regularly, I shot four 300 games and had an 816 series."

In October, Wheeler, who lives in Aberdeen, became the league coordinator and youth director at the centers. She continues as secretary of the Harford County Women's Bowling Association, an organization with more than 2,000 members. She has held the position for seven years.

Owner of a 273 high game and a 679 series, she was averaging in the 170s last year when she broke her foot.

"I had the foot in a cast for four months," Wheeler said. "And I'm going up to the line a little slower this year."

Bowling in four leagues -- Tuesday at Bel Air Bowl, morning and evening leagues on Thursday at Harford Lanes and Friday in a scratch league at Harford -- Wheeler appears to have recovered completely from the accident.

"Right now I'm averaging 192 in the scratch league," Wheeler said. "I'd really like to finish the season with that average. And since I've had the cast off, I've won two titles."

The first title was in May, when Wheeler won the Maryland State Women's Championship and the second was the Harford County Women's Bowling Association singles handicap title.

Tournament news

A singles tournament is planned for Feb. 21 at Brunswick Crown.

The Harford County 600 Club Adult/Youth Tournament will take place at Harford Lanes in Aberdeen on Jan. 31.

The 500 Club Fall Singles Tournament will be Jan. 17 at APG Lanes.

The Forest Hill Lanes Handicap Singles will be Jan. 23-24. For information, call (410) 838-4777.

The Valentines Scotch Doubles Handicap Tournament will be at Bel Air Bowl on Feb. 13-14. It will benefit the Cecil-Harford YABA scholarship fund.

Club for 500 bowlers

The Brunswick Ladies 500 Club is open to all Baltimore Women's Bowling Association women who have bowled a three-game scratch series of 500 or more in a sanctioned league or tournament.

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