Everyt bit as happy as Rhino and E.J.


Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist



“It means so much to win here,” were the words of national bowling star Rhino Page shortly after winning the PBA XTra Frame Kenn-Feld Classic this past weekend in Coldwater, Ohio.

Page may no longer be the phenom that he was a few years ago but he acknowledged what he felt about the crowd in Coldwater.

“I have been coming here for the past six years and really appreciate the knowledge and the support of the fans in this area. This area and this event are second to none when it comes to where we perform on tour.”

We will get back to Rhino in a minute but I want to say that I can identify some with Rhino.

I recently received a letter from the Lima USBC Association!

The opening read: Congratulations. You have been selected by the Lima USBC Hall of Fame Committee and the Board of Directors for induction to the Hall of Fame for Jessica Sanford Award.

As happy and honored as Rhino was last Sunday following his conquering of a very competitive field and an even tougher lane condition I may be even happier.

The remarks of Rhino and E.J. Tackett who the day before captured the PBA Storm Cup paralleled how I felt regarding the Hall of Fame honor.

Rhino was happy that his first victory in eight years happened in an area that he respected as much as he does our area. EJ said the same thing on Saturday evening as we sat and simply chatted about the family nature of the sport and the friendships that are cultivated through competition.

In each case the area and the more importantly the people that reside in it were very important to them. They were happy to be received so warmly and wanted to do what they could to repay the fans for how they have been treated.

I feel very much the same way … on steroids as the saying goes.

It has been an honor over the last 20 years to have the opportunity to write ‘great’ things about ‘great’ people. It has especially been a presence to support the youth, and the student athletes from UNOH, in our area through coaching, writing or simply a walk through the lanes.

All too often the youth in our community go without being noticed for what they do well and frequently this leads to involvement in some other type of activity to gain notice. It has been and will remain my goal to ‘catch them being good’ and acknowledging it in person or in print.

It has been an honor as well to praise the adults in our area. In many cases the thought behind it has been the same as with the youth in our area, to assure that praise is given where it has been earned. There certainly have been some rainstorms, tornadoes in fact, that have been danced through but I trust that this rainbow will be the end of it all.

I can not say it enough I am thankful for this honor more than anybody can imagine. To be honored in the name of a child, especially somebody as special as Jessica is more fantastic than I could have ever imagined.

A huge thank you goes out to Chris Sanford, Rayleen Arthur and obviously the Hall of Fame Committee and the Lima USBC Association for making this happen.

Thanks Mom and Dad in heaven, pretty neat huh. Kari Miller and Shelley Ambroza and so many many others here on earth … how cool is this, I finally get to sit at the big kids table with you.

Clearly my thanks goes to the Lima News for leaving me in the position to serve the bowling community.

When Rhino and I talked he spoke of how he felt in that final match that he would not be able to keep up with Chris Vie if he started to score. “I knew that Chris had a 230 game or so in him and I did not! I had to be able to play the lanes.”

When I think of the balance of this year’s group I feel the same way. I do not begin to have the game of Brett Lee who will be honored this year for Superior Performance. Rhino knew he had to find another way if he was going to win and he did. He went to his skill set and grabbed a title.

I will never be Brett Lee but for this evening I will be honored with him. Talk about amazing! What an incredible honor!!

I feel the same for Vicki and Fred Wolber who will be honored for meritorious service. This dynamic duo has resurrected a both a building, Norada Lanes, but also a community when it comes to bowling. Ada is alive with interest and the two of them have had a great deal to do with making that happen.

I have always teased that he is the mayor of Ada. Maybe it is time to put he or Vicki up for that honor.

The work that they have done reminded me of what E.J. said as he and the bowlers sat around the fire pit at Coldwater. We are like a family we really care for each other.

That sentiment reminds me not only of the PBA tour players, but also of what I have seen in Lima, Bluffton, Ada, Spencerville and the reaches of the West Ohio High School Bowling Conference.

Move over Rhino and EJ I am indeed even happier.

The professionals hit Wapak this coming weekend. Astro Lanes, like Pla-Mor is rapidly becoming another of a favorite spot for them to come and play. Sadly Tackett will be in England but Page was planning a trip as was local favorites Chris Loschetter and Ryan Ciminelli.

Wapak is a great time starting with the Pro-Am on Friday evening and into the qualifying rounds on Saturday. Come and enjoy.

See you at the lanes.

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Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist

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