Men's Handicap league keeps old-fashioned feel at Hampstead


February 28, 1993|By DON VITEK

Old-fashioned leagues, patterned after the leagues of 40 and 50 years ago, are still around.

They have five regular teammates plus one or two subs -- subs that usually don't get too much playing time because the other bowlers don't miss many league nights. Every team in the league with a local sponsor -- a lunch room, a gas station, a fuel company, a bank.

Some guys have been in the leagues for 10 and 20 years. Everyone knows everyone, everyone knows everyone's families, his jobs, his hobbies.

They're the backbone of bowling, the old-fashioned leagues.

One of those leagues bowls duckpins in Hampstead on Wednesday nights at the Hampstead Bowling Center -- the Wednesday Night Men's Handicap.

"It's a nice joyful league," said Ginny Blackowicz, league coordinator at Hampstead. "They have a great time."

One of the teams that make up the 12-team league consists of friends who have bowled together for years: Emory and Jarrod Asper, Rich Kent, Dennis Hale, Keith Hann and Carroll Neudecker. This is the first year that the team has been sponsored by New York J&P Pizza.

"We all kind of grew up together," Neudecker said. "We've been bowling as a team for a long while."

Kent said, "I guess we've been bowling together since dirt was invented."

"We started bowling duckpins at the old lanes, the Rendezvous," Hann said. "It only had seven lanes but we had a lot of good times there."

Emory Asper carries a 124 average with a 189 high game and 460 high series; his son, Jarrod, in his sub role, carries a 123.

"We've been in and out of first all year," Asper said. "The secret for a winning team is simple, you have to have guys who can hold the wood and can handle the 10th frame."

Kent, brother-in-law of Hann, lives in Manchester and carries a 115 average. His high game is 150-plus, high series is 410.

"Our league isn't a heavy-money league. It's a lot of guys having a lot of fun. On our team, we take winning or losing in stride. This is probably the oldest team in the league; I know we're the heaviest and the loudest," he said.

Hann, another Carroll County native, lives in Hampstead and has a 124 average and a high game of 189 and a high series of 496.

Both of those highs came on the same night, and he could have had a 200 game and a 500 series except he blew a spare.

Hann said, "The league's just great and so is the team. If we win, fine, if we lose, that's OK, too."

Neudecker, a Snydersburg resident, bowls in the Monday night church league as well as with the New York J&P Pizza team. A 118-average bowler, he has a high game of 195 and a high set of 487.

4 "Duckpin bowling is just a lot of fun," he said.

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