Lima / USBC closes season

Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist

I have been saying for some time that I would not want to be in the shoes of the board members of the Lima Bowling Association, especially when it comes to the management of youth activities. This past weekend they successfully completed another season although hamstrung by competing school sports and activities as well as site scheduling conflicts and scholarship events.

While I have developed a certain respect, even a kinship of sorts with the OHSAA and different school districts and proprietors, it may be time for a joint conference to discuss what can be done to promote the sport from more of a united front.

The most critical is the stance of the Ohio High School Athletic Association to continue not to budge with regard to ‘Dual Play’. It would appear to me that they have the mechanism in play already. It seems that all the competing youth would have to do is sign a document declaring what their primary sport would be and not compete in junior bowling programming that would be in conflict with it. It could be worded similar to what schools use now when a youth is in more than one sport in season.

The Lima/USBC and other organizations throughout the state would be grateful. Proprietors would be grateful as well. The entities that built the game would not be placed in a bind as they watch youth leave their league and tournament play for extended periods of time.

The youth would be grateful and ultimately the parents would be grateful as their children could continue to develop long standing friendships as well as compete in scholarship events.

This past weekend at 20th Century Lanes the Lima / USBC Team tournament was held just a fortnight after the Jessica Sanford Singles event was held. In addition to these two events, a scholarship event was held in Coldwater under the watchful eye of Jared Moeder, and the RTS Scholarship tourney is slated at 20th Century Lanes under the management of Robert Smith and his great family this coming Sunday.

Sadly since there was nobody handy enough with a shoe horn, the All-Star Showcase will not be held this season. There simply was not enough time and energy to pull it off.

The team tournament was held over this past weekend. Thankfully success or failure in this event is measured not only by scores but by the number of smiling faces on the winning team. That is the one constant – one team with four smiling faces.

In this particular cases those smiling faces belonged to Frankie Burden, Laura Gay, Alyssa Rickett (from the world famous family tree of Alex and Anita Ball) and Kaylea Gronas. It was great to see these four young ladies that I see weekly take their first LBA / USBC title with a score of 2,941.

Kylie Larimore, a runner-up in the Jessica Sanford event teamed with Tyler Sherard and Zachary and Preston Hinkle to finish in second place with a score of 2900.

The third place squad was Seth Gilbert, Owen Steidl, Gabe Jamison and a past Jessica Sanford champion, Parker Larimore. Larimore was a warrior. He went down hard on a fall. There was a concern for his hand but like the champion that he is he pushed through for his team.

Praise is due to DJ Riepenhoff who rolled a 245, Cooper Mort who added a 235 and a special spud Tatum Twining who topped the young ladies with a 215.

Like I suggested above the weekend was loaded with school sports as well as a scholarship tournament or two. The big scholly event was held in Coldwater at Pla-Mor Lanes. Abbey Ambroza, of Shawnee and one of the stars of the Western Buckeye League came away with a $650 scholarship from the tourney in what was also a softball heavy weekend.

She defeated Faith Harding of Bryan in the finale. Ashtyn Huber from Celina finished third.

It was a fitting close to the bowling season of honor for Abbey – or was it … more on that thought in next week’s edition of this column. No need to ask Abbey as she has no real idea what I am thinking… lol.

Although it is a small sample size, there are some that have always felt that bowling should be a spring sport. While the idea has some merit there are still going to be some issues as evidenced this past weekend with all the conflicts.

Research continues with regard to who has rolled two 300 games in the same set. I now know that two were shamefully missed.

One … sorta was Brent Jones. We did mention Jones but it is scary to think that I was actually in the building when he subbed for another during the Challenge League at 20th last summer.

The other I totally whiffed although I have mentioned it on more that one occasion in this space. Jason Moneer who I have a ton of respect for also did the trick at Westgate one evening.

My apologies to the two of you …

Speaking of apologies, do not miss next week when I give out an ample supply of them.

Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist

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