Vegas must have been special

Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist

I just got back from a great day at two of the bowling establishments in our area but in truth I wish I was writing this from a plane flying in from Vegas where Bob Edwards is the new king of the Forty-frame Game. He took national honors this past weekend in what has become a huge new event in the bowling world.

As I was not on the plane flying home with Bob and wife Sharon, we will have to wait another day or two to get his full report on the event. In the meantime congratulations to Bob on this great accomplishment.

Where I was today however was at Astro Lanes in Wapakoneta and Southgate Lanes in Bluffton.

The ‘Gate’ once again hosted the Lima 600 Club tournament with 19 ladies taking to the lanes to vie for the honors. Kerry Kniola (handicap) and Donna Childs (actua) were this year’s winners of the event. I was there strictly as a fan on this day and much like Vegas and Bob Edwards there are more details to come from Sue Wilson and I will share more with you next week.

One of the more interesting elements was to sit with legendary coach Louie Boughan and see the game at least in part through his eyes. It was a great afternoon, two fathers watching their kids play. Donna, as mentioned took the gold but on this day she crossed with Kniola as well as Kari Miller and Amy Newland. Each of the four scored over 650 actual on the day with the Childs leading the way with a 704 and Kniola having a 687.

Beth Edwards would have made dad proud if he was in attendance and not on a plane as she rolled a 680 plus three game set as well.

The incredible Amy Albert had a great day/weekend as well. She had a strong performance in the event less than 24 hours after claiming the Kenton 600 Club event on Saturday. The legends just continue to roll on in our area.

The trip to Astro Lanes to round out Sunday was for a meeting of WBL coaches and a handful of proprietors that will oversee the venues, in this case the bowling establishments where this great league will be performing this season.

We billed in on this page as a good old fashioned mixer last week and a mixer it was. In most cases it was the same great faces as last season as the coaches got together to chat and review rules and who was going to be fielding varsity and or junior varsity squads this season.

Astro proprietor and veteran coach Brian Vanmeter chaired the meeting and primarily reviewed elements of the WBL constitution and the rules of play that have been determined by the athletic directors. Each of the teams and the proprietors present left with at least one copy of that document.

The primary areas of concern that were discussed centered on the need for uniformity this season as the student athletes go from house to house. The gate for each event was set at $5 for adults and $3 for students with children under six free.

There was also a unified decision on what lane patterns should be used after a very open conversation that the coaches did not want to discourage any new bowlers with anything difficult.

The decision was made that Beaten Path, White Roller 2 and Abbey Road would be used in monthly intervals to prep the youth for what they will see come sectional and district time.

Clearly the bosses of the WBL have set a great base for play this season and we have great coaches and proprietors that will see to it that the youth are shown the respect that they will earn.

Now in the category of I wish I had been there to see it – Part 2 – and this would not have had to be a plane ride to Vegas.

One would have been Saturday night in Kenton when the Kenton iconic legend captured 600 gold over her bestie Melanie Hastings. Congrats to both of you and hope to see you at the City Singles where we can drink a Pepsi and celebrate.

The other would have been a return trip on Saturday to 20th Century where I would have seen two of my very favorite young people Cecilia and her cousin James Riepenhoff win the LBA USBC Holiday Doubles. I cannot even imagine how much broader the smile of Cecilia was on Saturday, appreciating how much she loves to compete with family for the gold.

The high school season did start this past weekend with a Bath taking a trip to St Marys and discovering that the Roughriders are still the very strong program that they were last season.

If you want to catch the vibe of just how good some of the schools are in our area, 20th Century will be the place to be this weekend as the Spartan Classis will be held with many of the better schools in our area in competition. Would love to see you there …. But then again I will be at a very specia Ohio State Michigan party.

See you at the lanes.

Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist

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