Retiree Fleming still puts in three days a week at duckpins

BOWLING

January 16, 1994|By DON VITEK

Will Fleming of Mount Airy is retired now after 38 years of transporting milk into the rolling hills of central Maryland. But he hasn't retired from duckpin bowling.

"I started bowling ducks in 1945," said Fleming, who is known best as Mr. Will. "Last year I bowled in four leagues, but this year I've cut back to just three."

All three leagues -- the Monday Industrial, and the Tuesday and Friday leagues -- are at Mount Airy Lanes.

Last season, on April 21, just two days after his 80th birthday, Fleming posted a 207 at the Mount Airy center, a career high to go with his high series of 486. He's still averaging in the 120s.

Last month he walked into the Mount Airy center and fired a 406 set. Is this a big deal? You bet.

On Oct. 19, after spending seven days in Frederick Hospital after being operated on for an aneurysm, Fleming walked out of the facility and returned home. Just six weeks later, his doctor said, "OK, you can bowl again."

The second week after returning to the lanes, he posted the 406 set.

A career night

Greg Neil of Westminster bowls in two leagues, Wednesday night at Thunderhead Westminster and the "Never On Sunday" league at Country Club Lanes in Baltimore.

On Jan. 2, Neil, a 195-average tenpin bowler, had a career night.

Using a 15-pound Phantom, Neil shot an opening game of 258, then banged out seven strikes in the first seven frames and had a chance for the 300 game.

"I had to settle for a spare in the eighth," he said, "But still, I finished with a 259."

In the third game, Neil laid the ball into the pocket 12 times for 12 strikes and his first 300 game.

"After the last pin fell, somebody on the concourse shouted, 'Hey, that's an 800 [817] set!' and that's the first time I even thought about it," Neil said. "I was concentrating on every ball because I really wanted that 300, but I just wasn't thinking about the set."

Just give him a month

Last season Buddy Eckenrode of Westminster averaged 198, but his average is up to 228. He bowls in three leagues, Mondays at Fair Lanes Kings Point in Randallstown and the Wednesday Scratch and the Friday Goodtimers at County Lanes.

In December he posted a 297 game at Kings Point. On Jan. 7, at County Lanes, he was even better.

In the first game of the three-game series in the Friday Goodtimers, he posted his first career 300 game, then he added a 268 and a 256 for a 824 set.

Tournament for youths

On Saturday, County Lanes in Westminster will play host to the first Carroll County Youth Singles Tournament. It will begin at 1 p.m., and the three-game event will be decided on pins-over-average.

Information: (410) 876-8430.

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