Emotional moments

Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist

It was not all that long ago that I was having some struggles with EBI … not that they were bad people – in fact quite the opposite by all accounts. Let me say that I understand merger and acquisitions data as much or as little as most people. It was at that time that Ebonite kind of disappeared from the bowling vernacular replaced by EBI.

There will always be great memories of the Ebonite brand. I will always have the moments of shared experiences with the Moreo family as well as the days Carmen Salvino helped bring the brand to our city, as well as the days with my good friend The Bopper, Bob Miller. I can even remember a great conversation or two with one of my favorite PBA stars, Jason Couch who repped for Ebonite. Gratefully none of those memories will be lost.

Dick Mowery first sent me the notice of the Brunswick takeover and I have read a ton since on social media. Sadly 171 individuals lost their jobs albeit with a package that will carry them through the holidays.

The first report indicated that Brunswick bought the plant and closed it. While we do not know everything in the purchase agreement, all current indications are that Ebonite actually closed the plant and all Brunswick really purchased was the intellectual/technical aspects of the company. Time will tell!

Now Brunswick please design a Jack Hammer series, never was sure why that never caught on and as fickle as we bowlers may be all will be forgiven. At the very least maybe Brunswick can replace my old Trackmaster.

The high school season is now underway. Lima Senior High made the trip to Celina this past weekend and the OHSAA Kickoff classic is this coming weekend in Columbus.

Ahhh more emotion as this activity leads to a decrease in the junior league play in our area.

The more I watched the competition in Celina on Friday night the more it became apparent to me that increased competition is not as important as an increase in the repetitions for the young bowler. One of the best ways to gain this increase in repetitions is junior bowling programs. With work they can get better.

In January several schools in our area will be represented by middle school bowling programs. Now is the time for you to step forward and get your child or student athlete involved in a junior bowling program at one of the different lanes in our community. The programs at the different facilities are designed to teach your child the fundamentals of the game. It is not in their best interests to learn the core techniques at the competitive level. The coaches will have a better opportunity to turn your child into solid bowlers.

I have never been a fan of sports conflicting in the season of another sport and bowling is another example of that risk. That said proprietors are very flexible willing to take a step back and avoid such conflicts. I mean I know it cannot

possibly be legal to mandate that youth bowl in junior programs in order that they bowl on the school teams but there is a lot to be said for middle and high school coaches to strongly encourage such involvement. Two things happen – there are people at the lanes to help your student athlete and more importantly you as a coach of an individual sport would also have the opportunity to help in the development of better bowling habits before you begin the process of the season. Major praise to Justin and Shelly Slygh who are getting things in line for the Bath middle school program each Saturday at 20th Century Lanes. They will be well prepared for the season.

Speaking of junior bowling and especially the Lima USBC Association, hats off for doing what you could to get tournament play underway to honor the constraints of the OHSAA.

The season for the youth began last weekend with the LBA USBC Holiday Doubles. Personally I think it was great that so many youth turned out to honor our veterans on their holiday.

There was some great bowling by some future stars of the sport/game in our area in all 16 individuals earned trophies for their performances. The scores indicated are with handicap – to make the event fair for all involved.

The A Division youth [Bantams] were Mark ‘Mak’ Knotts and Taylor White with a score of 1332. ‘Little Man’ Ricky Phillips and Tug Sifrit -1288 – finished second

Going up an age level to the major leaguers – the B Division was taken by two youth from Westgate – Ethan Ramsdail and Landen Crates who rolled a strong 1476 for top honors followed by two more Westgate lads, Brendan Slaughter and Adam Hunt with 1443. Two young beauties from 20th Century Rachel and Isabella Riepenhoff took third in the division with a 1418.

The C Division, the home of some of our better high school bowlers was captured by a young lady we have heard a lot about, Abbey Ambroza and another Shawnee Indian that we will hear more about this season, Emma Holden who is still very new to the game and already a champion with a team score of 1470

Ambroza not only rolled a 712 series but also picked up the 7-10 split in the event.

Cousins Tatum and Cooper Twining from the phenomenal Twining clan and Lima City Schools finished second with a 1443 and Ryan Sheidler and Olivia Sias rolled 1388 for third in the division.

Great start and a great season ahead


Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist

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