JEREMY RODKEY IS bowling his way toward an international tournament. Randy Hobbs, also a Taneytown teen-ager, is parlaying his love for the sport into scholarship money.
Jeremy, who recently won first place in a statewide competition, will leave this weekend for the Coca-Cola International Youth American Bowling Alliance competition in Winter Haven, Fla. Competitors will arrive from all over the world.
Jeremy, 14, said he first had to qualify at a local bowling center, in this case, Thunderhead Bowling Centre in Taneytown. He then competed in the Coca-Cola Regional Youth American Bowling Alliance in Randallstown. His win propelled him to the Coca-Cola state competition in Ellicott City. He won first place there.
"I'm nervous," Jeremy said of the Florida competition. "Anyone would be. This is my first year bowling. I was really surprised at my wins. I didn't think I was that good."
Jeremy said he began bowling when his mother, Karen Rodkey, started working at the bowling alley. There, he met Randy, 17, and the two began bowling in the same league.
"I bowl for the fun of it, to be with my friends," he added.
Though he has been bowling only a short time, Jeremy's average score is between 190 and 200.
"Most people my age bowl an average 160 to 170," he said.
Karen Rodkey is proud of her son.
"I'm real excited about him going," she said.
Randy is using his bowling skills to earn scholarship money. He is a 2002 graduate of Francis Scott Key High School and plans to attend Catonsville Community College in the fall. He recently bowled a perfect 300 game.
He also earned a $600 scholarship from the state for knocking down 600 pins and a $1,000 Young American Bowling Alliance scholarship.
Randy has been bowling since an early age. He started bowling duckpins at age 5 and moved to tenpins 10 years later.
Mark Kraus, part-owner of Thunderhead, said he was pleased with the accomplishments of both boys.
He said they are accomplished bowlers and could move to adult leagues.
"But once they move up to adult leagues, they can't compete as a youth anymore," he said. "Once they earn winnings in competition, they lose their amateur status, like in any sport."
Kraus said bowling is a good competitive sport for kids.
"It gives them something to do and keeps them out of trouble," he said.
Farmers' market opens
Taneytown Farmers' Market is back.
"Last year's market was good for our first year," said Brenda Sebastian, who bakes breads for the market. "I did real well with the breads. There were a few slow weeks but we had customers come back."
Sebastian said three bread makers will join her this year.
"Not one of us have the same kinds of breads," she said.
Patrons can look for Debbie Foster's muffins, Jane Leahy's crescent rolls and spice mixes and Vonnie Dickinson's gingerbread cookies, cut flowers, plants and herbs.
Sebastian said organic vegetables and fruits would be available.
The market, which opened Saturday, probably would run until fall. "Last year we did it until the middle of October," she said.
The market runs from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday at the Taneytown municipal parking lot behind the firehouse.
Taneytown Senior Center is holding a game night, including board and card games, starting at 6 today. Dinner will be served at 5 p.m.
The center also will sponsor the Super 60's Choir at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. The cost is $3.34.
Information: Jackie Boisvert, 410-756-4557.
Vacation Bible School
Taneytown Baptist Church will hold a Vacation Bible School from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. July 22-26 at the church at 4150 Sells Mill Road.
The theme will be Amazon Outfitters.
More Bible school
Bethel Assembly of God will feature "Going for Gold" for its Vacation Bible School from 9 a.m. to noon July 22-26 at the church at 2075 Fish & Game Road in Littlestown, Pa.
The school is open to all children ages 3 to 12.
Jean Marie Beall's Northwest neighborhood column appears each Thursday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.