We are now well into the bowling season and I would think that filling the field for the Lima Bowling Association tournament at Southgate Lanes in Bluffton should not be that much of a challenge.
20th Century may well be home to me and clearly the birthplace of this column but there is something very special about Bluffton and “The Gate.”
In fact there is something about this tournament that is significant in my bowling life as well. It is one of the two titles that I have been a part of in the Lima Bowling Association. The other is the doubles event that will be held later this spring.
When you take into consideration that I have been part of a team that won this event — then there is absolutely, positively no reason in the world that anybody who is reading this and has a bowling average should not compete in this tournament.
Besides bowling in Bluffton is so much fun that you have to wonder if it is legal.
Call your own home house or call Southgate Lanes and see what you can do to get entered. Do it today because I bet you by Wednesday it will be filled if it is not already at capacity.
I had the honor of celebrating with Kari Miller and Brent Miller this past Sunday after their City Singles triumphs. In the crowd with us on that day were former champions Shelley Ambroza and Steve Kniola.
It was interesting to observe the absolute respect/reverence that they had for the tournament, what the victory meant to them and what it was like to wait for the victory and upon winning, wonder if you will ever make it to those heights again.
It was fascinating to listen to them talk about the title — what they would have given up or would even give up for another or even for a first City Singles title.
Brent’s brother David, easily one of the better bowlers in our area was in the room at the time and the remarks were not lost on him. Could next year be his year? Other brothers have won but never back to back.
Chris Sanford already gave thanks but let me acknowledge here the efforts of Beth Edwards, Jack Link and Rayleen Arthur who really hustled to keep things current for the fans in the house Sunday.
I have to give praise as well to Joel Schwartz who did an incredible job keeping all the folks on Facebook current with what was going on.
During the tournament Sunday, Schwartz shared that this was the first Sunday he had been back since his dad was in the final eight a few seasons ago. It became very clear that this fantastic young man who has such passion for the sport may never miss the final day again. He is a gift to the game.
As we close this event for this season, it is fitting that one of the best ever in the case of Kari and one of the best this year, in the case of Brent won this tournament, acknowledging the significance of the event in comparison to other honors that they had or may still win in the future. Like has been said they get it!
The Pioneer Classic
I did mention this in the high school column this past week but it merits mention here.
Westgate Lanes is the place to be Monday for Temple Christian’s Pioneer Classic. Action will be getting underway at 10 a.m.
The high school bowling scene has taken me to a lot of matches and tournaments during the last 12 years or so and the Pioneer Classic is one that rivals most any that I have attended. In fact my friends at the OHSAA may learn a little from this tournament crew in getting scores tallied between the qualifying rounds and match play in a timelier manner. Of course they may say that The Pioneer may need to develop more a flair for the dramatic.
There will be teams from throughout the state at this event to include your defending OHSAA state champion Wapakoneta Redskins. If your curious as to how a group of high school kids can have a team average over 990 and top the 1,050 mark as often as they do — take the time to come out and see on your own.
Wapak will not be the only great show in the house. The upstart Shawnee Indians are logged into roll as are Coldwater, Celina, Versailles, Ottawa-Glandorf and St. Henry. You will have a chance to see teams that will be competing at this year’s state tournament.
It will be a great time, especially for fans of the game. Hope my buddy Schwartz is there.