The best of the best

Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist

I’m back!

Well I took a week off to heal, stretch and hit a few golf balls and in that opening the Lima Bowling Association Board took the time to send out letters recognizing those who were amazing for not only this season but also the last couple of decades or so.

The honors dinner is not until September and thus we will have plenty of time to chat with each person on this list and get their views and opinions of the reason that they are being honored.

For the day, we will deal with how this writer will remember the performances of the group.

Usually I save the best for last … depending on how any of you may view what the best part of the list may be.

For today however I am going to lead with it!

Jim Thorbin will be honored as this season’s inductee into the Lima Bowlng Association Hall of Fame. Let’s add a little life to this column … close your eyes for a second and visualize me jumping up and down with joy.

I am really looking forward to having a chat with Jim but for now let me say that I think it is fantastic that an ultimate gamer is entering the hall of bowling fame. While a lot of individuals work incredibly hard on their games, it would be hard to find anybody who has worked much harder than Jim. Where at one time he could have been honored for what he brings to the lanes on league night, his game has developed to where he is being recognized for superior performance. He means a great deal to our game and is a great role model for our youth. I could not be happier. Way to go LBA and way to go Jim.

The LBA Bowlers of the Year (BOTY) will be honored on the same evening. In the case of Thorbin, we will eventually be chronicling what he has done for the past couple of decades or so. The BOTYs however come down to what was done this past season.

So many individuals had fantastic years with not only great isolated moments such as 300 games and 800 series as well as great league average marks. There were even Lima City Singles titles to be considered. In the current framework of determining BOTY these are not factors and with exception of the league average mention I kind of agree with that stance.

It comes down to tournament play and tournament play only.

As a result the best was determined on how they did in three events at intervals of this bowling season. They are to be praised for being ready to answer the call and bowl well at those times.

The A Division bowler of the Year Bryan Slaughter – who I am confident will win this again and the B Division for this season belongs to Nathan Cheney who I remember taking down Kari Miller in the singles tournament.

My frustration comes in that I am too old school … great years by Slaughter and Cheney without question but I loved those old days where the ladies shared the limelight. I know, I know – you are all one now.

I have always spoken of love and respect for the youth and this season will not be any different.

The 15 and up group bowlers of the year was led by Robert Parker and the simply awesome Abbey Ambroza.

These honors again were understandably based on tournament involvement and performance. The board did a great job in naming two youth who absolutely love the game and would wade through chopped glass to perform.

Ambroza was also a first team star in the WOHSBC this past season and will soon be named to one more all-star team.

Two future stars and a future star / kinda fill the next slots for the LBA … in the 10-14 age division.

Ethan Ramsdail is one great kid. How do I know this – because Paker Larimore told me so as did his grand-parents Tammy and Darrell Bryan. He will be fun to watch over the next several years – his grandparents as well.

There is not a doubt that stardom awaits Ann Marie Harmon as well.

The kinda goes to Olivia Miller … the future for this young lady is amazing if not in bowling, then in softball, the arts, records reading books, and all things academic. She is a repeat in this category and is not yet 12.

And oh yeah, she is a great cook as well.

The Little Star category is amazing as well … can you say Tugg and Lily Sifrit once again. They are two amazing youth who continue to dominate the division. I guess the time could come when other sports get in the way for this duo at Elida but if the school is wise they will assure that they always permit the two of them to spend time on the lanes. They are only going to get better.

It was a surprise for me to see Kody Perrine had never shot 800 before. He will be recognized for that honor at the banquet as will Ian Wittkamp, Tim Potts and Bryan Cotterman for their first 300 games.

I noticed this past weekend that Katie Manger of Wapak made the All Academic page … I am going to make it my personal plan to get info out on the bowlers in our area as well … Katie can represent the sport their quite well though I must say.

I teased earlier that Abbey Ambroza made one more all-star team this season. She is a member of my great eight!

Who are the other seven young ladies … check in next week and see.

You can be a help here, especially if you want to promote a boy … really stuck there as I cannot find eight boys to handle the top eight girls … If you can please email me at … note they must be a member of the LBA or roll for a Lima based high school tea

Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist

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