‘I’d rather be bowling’


Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist



I just got in from a soccer match involving two of my grandchildren. Earlier in the weekend I had watched yet another grandchild excel on the lanes. Each of the three are middle school children.

The contrast between the two venues for me comes down to the curse that ironically bowling has refined while apparently we still have some work to do in soccer as well as other sports.

The parent fan … even the grandparent fan need that work.

Earlier this summer a soccer line official wanted to ring me up for calling him out on an out-of-bounds call. Little did I know that I had to sit quietly and accept what was in front of me. I learned my lesson and will never again criticize an official. I may even take the time to find out what their real title may be.

This evening’s behavior on the part of two parent fans was more egregious in my eyes.

In one case a voice boomed over all other voices to a middle school child that they had to be tougher. In the other a parent was yelling to his child or the team of his child for another score as they essentially ‘dribbled out the clock’ against a team that they had owned throughout the match. I would imagine that the coach had dialed things back some in a true sign of character.

In each case it had little bearing on the aftermath of the match, thanks to the coaches and other parents present but I wonder what how each youth were dealt with on the way home for not supplying enough muscle or the final dagger in a match well over.

Contrast that to bowling. You know bowling, a sport traditionally not credited with being a sport of ladies and gentlemen.

Last Sunday during the first youth tournament of the Lima Bowling Association I did not hear a single youth criticized as they participated. What I did hear often were youth being congratulated by other youth as well as the parents and grandparents of other youth for a great performance.

This past Saturday that praise continued at 20th Century Lanes as awards were given out to the doubles teams that were victorious during that tournament. As each team or individual took its turn coming to the ‘podium’ to receive their honor there were cheers throughout the ‘house.’

One of the first pairs to accept their honor were Lily and Tugg Sifrit ‘who had been there before’ much like the elite team that had dribbled out the clock against the undermanned team of my grandchildren. Well schooled by their parents they walked up and received their victory honors, thanking the LBA reps.

Isabella Riepenhoff was not present but she took girls high game honors in the division while Tugg took the medal for high game.

Lilly took the high series medal while Brenden Slaughter was the top series winner for the boys.

The next two individuals up for their honor were relative newbies to the game in our area, Tyler and Zach Kimmet. Now I always get the two of them mixed up but one of the two was on the elite soccer team this evening. He showed great sportsmanship this evening as well as on Saturday as he received his trophy for his bowling success. Positive parenting is clearly part of the reason, I am sure that he and his brother heard the applause as well from the other bowlers that they had defeated in play. They, like Tugg and Lily are two great kids who are only going to get better as they learn the nuances of the game.

Ariana Compton, who is going to do nothing except get better at this game in years to come, took high series in the division and her cousin Rachel Riepenhoff and Cooper Twining took the gold medals for game. Joe Brown was tops in series for the boys.

Adam Hunt and Noah Boothby were division winners.

If the Kimmet boys were going to get a bad time it was going to come from sister Kayley when they all got home and mom and dad were not looking.

Kayley and Alexis Werling were the first place winners in the C Division for those 15 years old and up.

Payton Newbury and Keaton Phillips finished second and Cameron Patrick and Camren Dalton finished third in the division.

Abbey Ambroza and Camren Dalton took top honors in series for the division while another name for you to circle, Madalena Knotts and Christian Nutt took game honors for the group.

The cheers did not go just to those who did well in tourney play.

Terry Blake rolled a 262 and the parents, the youth – to include those that were on the team his team defeated – cheered and gave him praise, a high five and a pat on the back.

The cheers rolled out as well for the youth who rolled a 62 with averages of 35.

In short bowlers have stood the test of time – they get it and thankfully so do the children and the grandchildren of bowlers in our community.

It is worth saying three times …

My wonderful mother once said to me that if it is worth saying, it is worth saying three times – she either said that or “if I am saying it for the third time than it must be important. She would say that my dear grandmother had often said one of those quotes to her.

With respect to those quotes I wish to again implore you that if you are the parent of middle school youth or youth not involved in high school bowling, please call a bowling establishment near you and sign your child up for the winter season. You and your child will be happy you made the call.

WBL Mixer - this coming Sunday at Astro Lanes

You have to love the coaches of the WBL … they miss each other and want to get together before the season gets to far along just to compare notes. They are perfectly okay with athletic directors and proprietors being present as well. Th

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Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist

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