On second thought…

Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist

Long time readers of this space thoroughly understand or should understand by now, lol, that among the greatest values of the game/sport of bowling is that individuals can compete together if they are 8-years old or 88-years old, and as importantly you do not have to be athletic or have an athletic body to compete.

In fact the words of David Gremling still ring in my ears, “any game that you can eat pizza and play at the same time has no business being a sport.” David just wait until we talk about e-sports but that is a topic for another day.

The view of this writer has not changed and clearly the points remain valid as to why more families need to take up this game that could turn into a sports and scholarship opportunity for your children.

It was fun watching a parent recently work with his children on the nuisances of this great game. He had purchased two lanes to be used for he and his children on a summer afternoon but his lane actually went unused for a great deal of that time as more of the allotted time was spent on this knees with his young children teaching them what had to be done. The added value – one of the children was well under eight years of age. It will be fun to watch her goal. We will call him Wes and indeed he was there to work on his game, instead showing that the love of his children was well in place.

When I think of Wes I think of those parents that just turn the kids youth with minimal supervision and he was a great contrast.

Other parents were in on that Saturday as well Mason and TaSean by name. It was great to watch how their boys were fixated upon their every move. Watching Jackson and Ty attempt to copy their moves on the lanes was great to see. Yep bowling is a sport that can unify families.

It is the second part of the old stance that may merit a challenge.

I will still hold that you do not have to be athletic but there is some truth to be taken from the facts that if you have athletic experience, that it can breed success in bowling as well. It may come down to understanding the importance of adhering to what the coach has to say in sports that are of a higher profile than the sport that I love, that many of us love.

This weekend brought this concept even more strongly into my view.

On Friday I spent some time at the old ball yard – okay Swale Park in Findlay – watching Abbey Ambroza and Madison Doseck play fast pitch softball. I went to the game intriqued to watch Abbey, our reigning junior bowler of the year, pitch and gain the added value of again seeing the incredible skills of Maddie. Clearly these two have added avenues to compete and to represent family, community and their schools and even in this case NWO as members of the NWO Lady Buckeyes. They are good, very good, and blessings to great parents and hopefully forging relationships with strong colleges in the future. In each case bowling helped these two very coach-able youth.

The value of our sport stretched further on Sunday as I watched up close and personal as Amy Albert, clearly one of the better bowlers in our area played golf. She is so technically strong – certainly it has a bowling spin to it where she may be one of the better technicians in our area. She could play golf in a tunnel. She will do nothing but get better just as she has in the world of bowling.

I guess what is being said here is that I will stay firm that you do not have to be athletic to be a good bowler but the discipline that it takes can be gleaned in other sports – examples are very present in the youth ranks with names like Morgan and Tatum Twining coming to mind as well as many members of Riepenhoff family tree. Thankfully there is still room for the non-athletic members of many other families to make their mark to include the Hammill tree.

There is yet another venue coming E-Sports that led to some time spent with one of my favorite athletic directors, correct that, former AD, Frank Kill, still very much a part of the Lima Central Catholic community.

We met to discuss a variety of high school topics and issues to include E-Sports and its impact upon the youth in our area.

The man is on fire for this new role at the school. “I am so excited for the opportunity to get back into the classroom. I want to teach and continue coaching.”

Kill, who serves as a mentor in Kairos journey of the seniors, will be leaving the administrative world of sports to teach Religion/Theology at the school. He is clearly on fire with the notion and the students and ultimately families the community will benefit.

He will be about what he is really all-about and that is forming Godly relationships with others. The more we spoke the more he stressed the importance of bringing people together, and not finding ways to separate individuals from one another.

One of the youth that he mentored on one of the Kairos Walks was one of the better young lady bowlers ever in our area, Cecilia Riepenhoff. The impact of his influence will be measured in future years.

Cecilia shared, “He was a great mentor. I remember being very nervous about my role in the retreat and how I would be received by my classmates. Coach Kill helped remind me why I was qualified for my part in the retreat and expressed his confidence that my classmates would see that as well.”

Could not have been said any better.

Congrats Frank on a good run as AD and our prayers and support as you enter your true vocation as you care for the youth, the future leaders of our community.


Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist

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