Bowling is…

Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist

There have been different times that individuals have taken me to task when I have referenced bowling as a sport, most notably attorney at law Brad Kelly and Chris Gremling, the son of my good friend Barb.

In those cases I stood firm that when families are hanging out that it may well be a game but if the OHSAA recognizes it as a sport, then indeed it is sport.

Enter the observation of Jerry Johnson.

“Bowling is much more than a sport it is a community of people enjoying time together … it is family.”

The more Jerry and 20th leader Chris Sanford chatted I had to agree. The love that the two of them have for the game was clearly illustrated.

Johnson referenced the Hall of Fame remarks of Jim Thorbin as he referenced not only his family but the individuals that he has shared a great deal of his recent years with both in our city and on the road.”

The more he referenced Jim the more I remembered how the ‘bowling community’ rallied around he and his family when his wife faced a critical illness.

Johnson pointed to other situations when bowlers and non bowlers alike came out to support Bill Harman, Joel Schwartz and Cameron Patrick among others.

“When there is a need in the bowling family, bowlers step up,” he contended.

He continued, “My wife was amazed when we sat back one evening at the different things that Johnson and others know about different people in the bowling world. We know of illnesses and other physical issues and what people are going through at different times.”

Some have always been tempted to hold the opinion that bowlers can be nosy or gossips.

The three of us on that day had a totally different view and the duo of Jerry and Chris stated it almost simultaneously. “We are a family that has done a great deal of life together and have concern when things are not well with one another!”

Okay so they did not say all that at the same time, but the ‘We are Family’ piece of it was clear.

Johnson served our bowling community with pride as a member of the USBC Lima Bowling Association.

Many would contend that he has been of greater value since leaving the board as he has had more of an opportunity to spend even more time with the individuals that he served. He would likewise tell you that he has gained added insight to the love and passion that many have for our sport … err bowling family members.

Thanks Jr. for all you have done for so many of us.

UNOH and Lourdes University roll well at Muncie.

Different people have asked why the ink for Lourdes University which is based in Toledo. The answer is simple – the coach Torrie (Decker) Bartalone is a local product having rolled for Van Wert where her sister Lorrie is now a solid collegiate prospect.

The other is that four student athletes on the two Lourdes squads are Lima Ohio residents – Jordyn Stewart and Briana Twining for the young ladies and Skyler Briggs and Marcus McGee for the gentlemen of Lourdes.

Therefore they will be sharing the ink here just as they have to learn have to share the space on the lanes, which by some reports seems to be a work in progress.

The Cardinal Classic in Muncie Indiana was the most recent weekend home to the two teams with Wright State again nearly sweeping the four divisions, capturing the Varsity Men and Womens flights as well as the Womens JV’s. UNOH finished on top in the Mens JVs leading pretty much wire to wire.

The Ladies of Lourdes broke on top early and actually led the event into the middle of the third Saturday block. They struggled some in that block and ultimately still finished fifth overall which is still not bad for a team in its second collegiate event. They will continue to improve.

Sadly the ladies of UNOH continued to struggle to open the season finishing back in the pack. I do trust Coach David Miller will find the solution to the early season woes of the Lady Racers.

On the men’s side of things UNOH did not roll well in the early going on Saturday, not looking at all like a team that could be nationals bound. Coach Sosby did get the scoring element of the game straightened around and they shot up the leader board on Saturday afternoon and held ground on Sunday to finish second to the Raiders of Wright State.

The men of Lourdes finished in the middle of the pack in eighth place after taking on some of the UNOH shrapnel - still a great job for the new program.

I do wish that my good friend Johnson had been around for this one for sake of another we are family push as there was some shrapnel thrown about as they exploded up the leaderboard. I trust things will get better.

Speaking of family …

Randy Miller, the father of my son-in-law JJ Miller had a very critical medical issue this past Saturday. He is with us today because of the quick action of Allie Mort and Laura Burden. We thank each of you from the bottom of our Hammill-Miller hearts.

The bowling family is very important to all of us. May you be blessed.

See you around the lanes …

Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist

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