Opposites attract similar scores Mack, Bowers hot at Normandy

BOWLING

September 19, 1993|By DON VITEK

On the first night of the Wednesday night Funtime Anytime league at Brunswick Normandy, two tenpin bowlers of different ability and throwing the ball from different sides threw remarkable series that were within eight pins of each other.

Percy Mack posted a 741 series, and Allen Bowers banged out a 733 set.

Mack, the Catonsville Community College bowling coach, bowls in two or three leagues every year and gets in a bunch of practice games. He has a career high set of 788. He's thrown five 300 games and five 299 games.

This year the Baltimore resident will bowl in two leagues, the Funtime league and the Friday Jenny's Big Bucks league at Fair Lanes Kings Point.

A physical education teacher for most of his life, four years each in Virginia and West Virginia and 29 years in Baltimore, Mack works to keep his game in top condition. That means he also takes advantage of the newest technical innovations in balls.

"I was using a Columbia Torq that night," Mack said. "The ball works pretty good for me."

That ball is one of the newest on the market, a reactive resin design that is being used by Marshall Holman, Tish Johnson, David Ozio and Teata Semiz, among other pro bowlers.

So powerful is the reaction of the resin bowling balls that when they first appeared on the bowling scene a few years ago, they were referred to as "cheater" balls.

Mack, a right-handed bowler, fired games of 249, 234 and 258 for his 741 series.

Bowers, of Ellicott City, and his son and partner, Nathan, were on the lane next to Mack that first night of the league.

"I just don't practice much," he said, "And I only bowl in one league."

Starting with duckpins when he was 6, he switched to tenpins as a teen-ager.

"Bowling has always been just a pleasant way to relax for me," Bowers said. "I've never taken the game too seriously. This summer I didn't even bother to bowl in a summer league."

What ball did he use for his 700-plus set?

"I still use my old Black Hammer," Bowers said. "It's the only ball I own."

The Black Hammer was the first Hammer ball produced by Faball. When it appeared over 10 years ago it revolutionized the game, but the new reactive resin bowling balls have pushed it off the pro tours.

Bowers' games were 246, 267 and 220. The 267 is his career-high single game, the 733 set is second to his 746 series. Last year in the league he rolled in, Bowers, a lefty, carried a 190 in the first half and 187 in the second.

Nathan Bowers added a 614 set to his dad's 733 and with the 102 handicap pins, The Southpaws posted a superb 1,450 team set.

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