Champions of today…thinking out loud

Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist

The Holiday Doubles has generally been one of my favorite events of the Lima Bowling Association, even back in the days when it was as much about the hams and the turkeys and the bags of groceries as much as it was the winners.

Times have indeed changed. Some would contend that they have changed for the better with the LBA blending the prize fund in with what is always a very good time.

Westgate Lanes was the host this season and all that was missing was the annual invasion from the north, north of Ada anyway as a wedding kept the majority of that gang away. You have to love how that house sticks together!

Natalie Fisher and Josh Wittkamp took top honors when several bowling turkeys were thrown instead of being consumed. Jeff Zeigler and Kayla Whitaker finished in second and Kara Dienstberger and Randy DeVinney wrestled third place away from Rob and Jackie Mitchell. Beth Edwards/Rick Adkins, Amanda Phillips/Aaron Moyer, Joyce/Russ Sealscott,Kristi/Jesse Owsley and Tina Whitaker and Weston Hawk were also in the chase.

Junior Johnson gave considerable praise to the board of directors of the LBA and the Westgate staff for seeing that all things went smoothly.

The list above showed is another indicator that the sport and the game are alive in our community. It was an excellent blend of experienced players as well as individuals who will continue to make a dent on the game in the future. My pick, and the pick of several others, to pop out of this event is Dienstberger who reportedly is signed up for the Lima City Singles. She and sister in law, Laura Diestberger would also make a strong team for the upcoming LBA Doubles event.

An itch or two that I have to actually scratch…

Admittedly I have been very slow to come around to the importance of handicap based bowling events in our community. I do want to be very clear it is the exclusion of actual events that drives me absolutely crazy however.

I wonder what the impact is upon others. Do you miss the mano on mano or femano on femano battles of the past? Are you one who can still here Bob Moreo, Jack Johnson or Tobe Cardone saying you bring your best and I will bring mine and we will settle this?

I know that I am and we all know that there are others.

We are now a little under two weeks from the tournament of tournaments in our community, the Lima City Singles, the tournament that Tobe refined into the classic that it is today.

The tournament is virtually sold-out! The waiting list to get is under construction. The best of the best in our area will be competing for a crystal bowling pin and the satisfaction of knowing on there name will be on the permanent trophy.

The sport as designed will be alive in our area.

The City Singles will not be the only demonstration of actual bowling in our area in the month of December as 20th Century will pay plenty of homage to the lost art.

December 2nd, the Lima Senior High Spartan Invitational will be rolled. This tournament has grown rapidly under the watchful eye of Mike Kirian. It is bowled annually during the weekend of the OHSAA Kickoff Classic for teams not eligible for that event. If you love the high school game, this event cannot be missed.

On December 3rd, the middle school group of the WOHSBC will be at 20th as Lima Senior will host that conference division. Amazing how the youth continue to learn the importance of head to head play as scratch leagues are seemingly on the way out.

The City Singles takes over the house on the 9th and 10th.

The high school version of the WOHSBC returns on the 16th, the WBL had matches slated throughout the month and the adults get back into play with the Vic Sockrider NWOTBA travel league on the 17th.

With all the emphasis on this version of the sport, why oh why cannot we find a place for it in league and association play?

James ‘Soul’ Simpson is just a special kind of person!

You can hear it as he walks into the building, somebody is certain to yell our “Soul!”

Jim Simpson is loved in our bowling community. Recently he presented 20th Century with a print of Leo Mangum, the former proprietor of The L&L. Soul worked for Mangum as a pinsetter a decade or two ago. It was during that time that he developed his love for the game. A love that pails in comparison to the love that many have for him.

There was a cry out in social media that there needs to be a way to honor those like Soul who not only have a love for the game but have been a part of the game’s cornerstone in our community.

You will certainly not get any argument from me. What can we do to honor the man known as Soul?

A correction … will get you into the land of Doug Davidson! Certainly sorry for slighting my friend Doug by tagging one of my past columns with his wrong address.

We have some incredible places in our area such as Exxxxxtreme Reaction and RTS but if you are reading this closer to Versailles it would be a huge mistake to not stop in to see Doug at his store or contact him online.

Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist

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