Muscular dystrophy league at Southdale lanes still going strong after 28 years


February 07, 1993|By DON VITEK

If you think bowling is a tough game, then try doing it when you can't walk to the line, when you're just standing flatfooted, or when you're sitting in a chair or holding onto the back of chair to balance yourself as you release the ball.

Try bowling when you have muscular dystrophy, a hereditary disease characterized by progressive wasting of muscles.

But some with MS will not let the disease stop them. Let me introduce you to the Hopeful Wheelers.

You can find the Hopeful Wheelers league bowling every Friday at Fair Lanes Southdale. Since the league started 28 years ago, four of the original members -- Vi Alcorn, Margaret Doetzer, Genia Elmore and Carol Kiseleski -- still bowl in it.

"We're extremely proud of the Hopeful Wheelers," said Shirl Stollof, coordinator of the Southern Branch of the National Muscular Dystrophy organization at Millersville. "And we're extremely proud of the work that Pam Raeke, the league secretary, has done."

Raeke lives in Glen Burnie with her husband, Ken, and was found to have MS in 1980; four years later she began to bowl with the Hopeful Wheelers.

"At that time I could bowl standing up and I averaged 115. Now that I have to sit in a chair my average has dropped into the 90s," she said.

Of the 20 bowlers in the league, some sit in straight-backed chairs, some use wheelchairs, some hold onto the back of a chair at the foul line and some manage to walk to the line.

Averages range from 69 to 140, and recently Alcorn shot a game over 200.

"We'll welcome anyone who wants to bowl with us. Most of the bowlers come from Anne Arundel, Calvert, St Mary's, Charles and three Eastern Shore counties," Raeke said. "Of course, we can always use more volunteers.

"Some of the bowlers must have help in picking up the ball and in some cases, where the metal ramp is used, must have help in positioning the ramp. Right now we have about 16 volunteers."

Once a month students from Severn Middle School descend on the center and do everything that's necessary to help the Hopeful Wheelers.

The only concession the Hopeful Wheelers make to the disease is to bowl a two-game series instead of the traditional three-game sets.

From the diamond to the lanes

If you call him Kevin Charles he might not answer. If you holler "K. C.," then Kevin Charles Murphy will know just who you want.

"Well, some people call me Kevin, but I'm more used to K. C.", he said. "And it's different being interviewed about bowling; usually I'm interviewed about baseball."

The reason for that is K. C. was the second baseman for the Northeast High School team that was ranked No. 1 in the nation in his first season and was the state champ in his junior year.

This year the 19-year-old Pasadena resident will be playing baseball for Anne Arundel Community College while he pursues a degree in sports medicine.

But you also will find him on the lanes at Riviera Bowl on Wednesday nights . . . and subbing on Saturday.

"It's great to have a youth bowler return to the center as an adult bowler and to bowl great," said Glenna Grimes, manager of Riviera Bowl, "And he's got a great duckpin coach in his dad, Jim."

Murphy agreed. "I guess you could say I use Dad as a role model. He's always after me to concentrate on the mental part of the game and he's right. The mental part of duckpins is the most difficult for me."

Still, he is averaging 122 in his first season as an adult bowler.

And he has thrown a 183 game and a 445 series.

Cameron rates high honors

The Young American Bowling Alliance has released the Collegiate Honor Roll standings.

Kendra Cameron of Gambrills, now bowling for Essex Community College, is ranked third in the women's 700 series with 713.

She holds third position with 288 in high single games, two pins behind both Tammy Banhidy of Michigan State University and Cathy Dorin of West Texas State.

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