September brings on the game

By Jim Metcalfe - Guest Columnist

I love September.

Fall is near, baseball is nearing the playoffs, fantasy football drafts are happening and … oh yeah the game itself as well. Best of all, Jakob Butturf, the PBA and the Pla-Mor Lanes Harting family, staff and friends, have ushered the sport we love back into season.

League meetings have been held at the lanes in the area and while each have openings on different nights it would appear that the numbers are up for this season and league play.

Before we enter September, one more salute to the Hartings family and the best bowling fans on earth, those who spend time at Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater. If you do not choose to believe me simply take the words of Butturf and the numerous PBA stars that have rolled at the mecca of bowling.

Butturf was a gracious winner, and the Tempe resident is looking forward to next season. The most telling part of our conversation had to be when he discussed how his fellow bowlers talk of the challenge of Coldwater and the desire they have to win at that locale. The PBA will return and the hopes are that Xtra Frame will also. It was fascinating to see television cameras set up at the eight pair of lanes at the house.

There will not be cameras set up during league play in our city, a good thing for many but the bowlers of our community would find value in doing three things.

The first would be to gather your friends for a night or afternoon trip to the lanes simply to have a good time perhaps even enjoy the fine bowling alley cuisine that you will find there. At the very least give the game a chance

The next thought would be if you already know you like the game, then join a league. As mentioned there is a good chance that a like opening exists in a bowling establishment near you. The lane conditions may be difficult from time to time and you may not bowl like what you see on television but if you give the game and as importantly your teammates a chance you will have a great time.

The third element is even a little less complex. When you are join a league, either an adult or our fabulous youth leagues in the area, make plans to roll in the tournaments of your local association. As PBA50 member Harry Sullins once said it is the reason you pay your dues.

There is not any reason for bowlers not to bowl, the guidelines of the Lima Bowling Association have made it possible for anybody to win. I have even been part of two titles. What can I say?

The opening two tournaments –

The first LBA event will be the youth team tournament on Oct. 6 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. as well as Oct. 7 at noon. It would be great to fill the house with youth bowlers from our area.

It is an opportunity to get your doubles partner on that day and begin to get ready for the doubles tournament at Southgate Lanes Nov. 3-4 in Bluffton.

The LBA Team tournament for adults will be rolled in Bluffton Oct. 19 -21. They have made room at the house where all bowlers should bowl at least once and I would love to see it packed with a waiting list. There are certainly enough teams that roll in this area that such should not be an issue.

The biggest September highlight is the 2018 Bowling Awards banquet of the Lima USBC on Sept. 22. Deadline for reservations is Sept. 15.

It will once again be held at the Eagles Lodge #370 and the Eagles and the LBA really know how to hold a party.

We will go deeper into this event in next week’s column as we reflect a little more on this years Hall of Fame honoree, Jim Thorbin. Thorbin is a deserving honoree and I am looking forward to his remarks at the event.

The dinner will also honor those who rolled their first 300 game or 800 series as well as Adult and Youth bowlers of the year.

If all the above is not enough, The Vic Sockrider NWO Travel League is slated to begin this coming Sunday at 20th Century at 11am. The league gives a great opportunity for our area to see the best of the best from Northwest Ohio roll in competition representing different bowling houses of the area. Get to church and come out and enjoy the competition and enjoy some fine bowling alley cuisine as I have heard mentioned.

We are now two weeks away from the first collegiate tournament! In this particular case it is The Racer Classic and this year it will be held at two different bowling locations.

The varsity and junior varsity men will compete at Westgate Lanes and the young ladies will be battling at 20th Century. We will provide more information next week to include who is competing in the expanded field for this season.

All this and there are synthetics coming to Westgate. What a month.

By Jim Metcalfe

Guest Columnist

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