An upcoming season of bowling change


Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist



Wow.

The bowling season is rapidly drawing close and there has been and will be some changes in hand.

Regular readers of this column know that I love referencing Community Lanes in Minster as “The Lambeau Field of High School Bowling.” Well so much for that theory as Chris Vanmeter, brother of our good friend Brian Vanmeter of Astro Lanes is crossing the t’s and dotting the I’s of ownership for the lanes in that community. The community has passed the torch of leadership to Chris. What will we call it now?

Locally Andy and Wes Johnston have taken the step of necessity or at the very least are in the final stages of that step.

Synthetic lanes will be installed at Westgate Lanes in mid-September. Brunswick Pro Lanes will be in place early in the season. I am not really versed in the product more than what I have read but if every thing is as advertised spares become easier with the board lines, which many of us would have previously called range finders.

There is something for everybody in the package from beginners to intermediate to advanced skill levels. Reportedly it even will provide a dynamic glow surface for cosmic bowling.

Westgate will keep six of their wood lanes with the area from the other two to be utilized for virtual gaming.

The Xtra Frame PBA will return to Coldwater for the Kenn-Feld event and Rick Hartings is confident that you will see the essentially the same field that you saw last season, the last weekend of this month.

We are talking the top bowlers in a very popular sport, who have the tendency to make their selves very available to the fans, not only in the pro-am events but also in the tent area playing corn-hole, Jenga or eating some delicious pork in the annual hog roast.

One of the stars in the mix will be fan favorite EJ Tackett as well as Chris Loschetter, Kyle Troup and defending champion Rhino Page.

Speaking of Tackett, his father just sold the lanes Huntington, Indiana which rumor has it has already been plotted for a Starbucks. Tackett did not stay out of the game for long, having already purchased the lanes in Bluffton, Indiana. The name change for this house is a thing of beauty for a lot of bowlers of today. He named it after his two sons EJ and Zach. Yep you got it EZ Lanes!

The high school season is already a hot topic in some areas with the evolution of the Western Buckeye League and the decision of the MAC official to not go the same direction for a bowling conference for the teams in that area.

The WBL will play a nine game slate and have room for plenty of tournament and match action. What is interesting here is that there is not any immediate plan for Saturday action as we have seen in the WOHSBC over the last decade plus. I trust the management of the WBL a great deal and the proprietors involved but it is going to take a great deal of creativity to pull this one off.

The current plan is for the WOHSBC to have a different look. It will still be the home to the MAC teams that we referenced as well as the Parkway, LCC, Temple and Lima Senior High and the teams from the south, depending upon interest of those teams.

That is a good thing as there would be a lot of schedule scrambling without that opportunity.

We will keep you updated as the WBL figures things out and what happens with the WOHSBC, a historically great conference.

What we do know is that there is still a great deal of talent in our area and they should be able to find a way to make it work to the best interest of all.

If social media is accurate and I trust that it is, 20th Century will honor its tagline as the Home of the League Bowler. Fall league meetings will be in about two weeks … as I said the season is really close.

I do feel that every adult and child should explore league play. Deal the house that you love and find out if there is a fit for you.

Speaking of 20th Century, they will be the kickoff location this season for The Vic Sockrider Memorial Travel League. The first match is set for 11a.m on September 9th with teams competing from ten establishments in Nortwest Ohio.

JJ Miller will run things again this season. 20th will open things with Southgate Lanes next up on Sept. 23.

Like I said things are coming up real soon.

This promises to be perhaps the greatest season ever, we will keep you updated.

See you at the lanes.

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Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist

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