It has been stated in this space over and over again that this is one great bowling community … from the bowling bantams to the senior leagues. There is always something great to be written about.
So what that four of our better women bowlers — Shelley Ambroza, Kari Miller, Amy Newland and Donna Childs did not light them up in the Queens and good friend Steve Frueh logically was not eligible, they sure did some great work back here.
Steve Frueh who has had the misfortune of rooming with me on the road during many bowling events and has been my friend forever (how is that for total disclosure) finally broke through for his first 700 series, a 725 — which I think makes me the only bowler in Lima to never have one.
Frueh however did not compare to the incomparable Shelley Ambroza!
Shelley who had been so close on different occasions finally broke through the 800 plateau with an 802 set (803 if you ask Ms. Newland) on games of 278, 246 and 278. She finished the stunning evening off with a 212 when others may not have been able to even thinking of rolling game four.
Who you have to feel sorry for is Paul Volbert and Joel Schwartz. I believe that one of the last times that the deadly duo of Ambroza and Kari Miller rolled against this team it was devastation as well.
While Ambroza’s brilliance was off the grid Wednesday she was not the only pain for the two men. Miller was not a slacker on the evening either. She opened with a game of 213 and then followed with scores of 230, 278 for a 721 which would have been just plain amazing on most nights but on this night nobody was going to out-amazing Ambroza.
For those of you who are reading along accurately, you are correct, in game three this Hall of Fame duo each posted a 278 game — each had the front nine and each went 9/9 out … talk about sharing a brain.
Miller would close with a 222 in game four and the two totaled 1,957 — a great year for the Chevy and a great score by any two person team.
The scoring of this pair was not the only major story for the week!
The LBA completed its Association team tournament at Bluffton’s Southgate Lanes. Props to Jerry Johnson who got the results of the tournament to me in what seemed about five minutes later.
Initially I paid attention to the team members and then as I began to write this story the proverbial light bulb went off!
Could there be two sponsors or team names any more prominent in our area bowling world than the two winners of this year’s tournament.
Water Equipment claimed the handicap event and the World Famous Gators again took the actual honors.
On more than one occasion there has been a thought voiced that John Austin, the man behind Water Equipment should be in the Hall of Fame. There cannot be an individual who has financed more teams or leagues than Austin. It may be time.
Weston Hawk, who is putting together a very strong season, was an integral part of a very good team for this event. His best buddy, Michael Ball was there as well. Ada kept their influence in this event alive with Kyle Presley, Jay and Jef Woelber rounding out a very strong club who rolled a handicap aided 3,563 total.
The history of “The Gators” has always been one of fame and infamy. Two of the original members of that clan, John and Dan “Fats” Dailey were on hand for the title run but former members, affectionately referred to by such titles as Hawk, Scanny and Rocket (what a Samsonite commercial that would have been) among others, have been replaced by the Ottawa invasion of the mayor Dean Meyer and Randy and Jake Schroeder.
On this particular evening they were “paced” to the winners circle by four ladies who seem to feel that it was all about them — in fact that is their team name “It’s All About Us.”
We have heard the names earlier Ambroza, Miller, Newland and Childs and on this evening Kerry Kniola joined the fray. They would finish third in the handicap version ahead of the Gators by a single pin who finished fourth.
When asked for an explanation, Meyer always the politician responded, ‘They are simply better than us!”
One of the fun teams in this group was the team captained by Fred Anderson who had one of the more interesting nights on the lane last Friday. He exploded out of the gate with a 288 and then simply exploded when as he would say –“the lanes just suddenly changed.” That is OK Fred, a lot of bowlers have gone more than 100 pins the other way.
Anderson did have plenty of help in keeping the team level enough to finish second despite being “sentenced” to bowl on lanes three and four.
Larry Hicks and a good portion of the Devinny family, April, Nathan and Randy Jr. did all they could to give Fred a much needed boost and grab second place honors.
It is always great to visit Southgate Lanes. Dean just be gentle on what you name the sandwich.
Johnson was gracious as well. He advised me on more than one occasion of how much he appreciated the board members that pitched in and helped out. He also had words of praise for the staff of Southgate. “ I would like to personally thank the Staff at Southgate Lanes for all their help in a successful event. A special thanks to all the Association directors for their help for a trouble free event.”