The applause was faint. At first I didn't understand, but then I saw the reason. I guess it is less exciting when you do it all the time. Nonetheless, I was impressed - and I almost didn't get to see it.
For those of you who didn't know, I spent last week in Florida. The purpose was to relax and play some golf. We managed to tee it up five times. It was easy to head to the links when the daily weather forecast suggested sunny skies with near record high temperatures around 83!
Since I like to think that my Florida golf trip is a sort of "working" vacation, I always try to find a bowling story when we head to The Villages. As the week neared completion though, a story didn't appear to be forthcoming. After playing four days in a row we decided to take Friday off. Instead we went exploring, finding a number of golf shops as well as a couple of new restaurants we hadn't tried before.
When we returned to the hotel shortly after 7 p.m. it appeared the week of "rest" had caught up to me. My two pals decided to head down to the Spanish Springs town square for a nightcap. I opted for watching a little TV and taking a nap before bedtime. Age may have been a factor in my decision.
Fifteen minutes later my cell phone rang and one of my buddies told me where they were and pointed out who else was there. We had heard Dunning Shaw sing on a couple of previous occasions. If you are familiar with Steve Perry from Journey, you have a pretty good idea of the sound Shaw produces. Sleep could wait. I was off to McCall's Tavern.
When Dunning Shaw was done entertaining us, we headed next door to Spanish Springs Lanes. A mixed league was halfway through its third game and we went in search of someone who was throwing strikes. We found that person on lanes 7 and 8.
Her name was Carol Teel and she was the anchor bowler on a four-person team. There were 32 teams to choose from as the house was full, but when we noticed that Ms. Teel had six straight strikes to start her third game, we parked it right behind her pair of lanes.
One of the cool things about this bowling establishment is the fact that they have a video board that lists the top scores for the evening. We noticed that Carol Teel had shot 230 in her first game. She followed that up with a 258 and now was perfect through six in game three. We chose to stay and see where this was going to lead.
Her form was simple enough. A five-step approach followed by a nice arm swing. The ball arced into the pocket and the pins went flying. Two of her shots went a little high leaving four pins while we watched. Converting that single pin in the seventh and again in the 10th were the only blemishes in an otherwise perfect effort as she again rolled 258. Her series score for the evening was a robust 746.
Another feature of the Spanish Springs Lanes is that they announce outstanding scores. When they announced Teel's game scores followed by the total - faint applause was heard (thought I was never going to get back to that didn't you).
I'm thinking that a series of that magnitude should have sparked a lot more enthusiasm from her fellow bowlers. I couldn't understand why there wasn't a loud ovation upon hearing the numbers she posted. I looked again at the video board and it became clear why the reaction was a "yeah, yeah" what's the big deal.
The video board also posted Ms. Teel's average. For the season she was "averaging" 229. Yes, 229! That adds up to a 687 each and every week if she simply shoots her average. When you shoot in the upper 600's week in and week out, a 746 series apparently isn't all that impressive.
Maybe not to the folks at Spanish Springs Lanes, but to me the numbers are awesome. I would be ecstatic with a 746. Actually it would be a career high for me. To think that someone can shoot that and people hardly take notice is incredible. Her average is some six marks a game better than mine. Yikes.
As I left the bowling alley I couldn't help but wonder if Carol Teel plays golf. I considered asking her, but then thought better of the idea. After all, who wants to be embarrassed twice in one night!
So did any local bowlers shoot a score as high as the one Carol Teel posted? Not quite, but some outstanding scores were recorded this week. We'll start with action from the K of C Lanes.
Chris Johnson started slowly with a 172 game, but came back with games of 280 and 279 for a huge 731 series in the Tuesday Night League. Kevin Orians shot 638, James Lord 579, Steve Depinet 577, Ron Ransom 576, Rick Smith 573, Bill Lord 567, Ken Gaietto 560 and Scott Ferguson 556. In the Senior League Doug Snyder shot 640, Cliff Jeffrey 537, Ken Ritzler 528, Tim Gassner 523 and Herb Sendelbach 502. Carol Burmeister shot 436, Deb Hoerig 430, Val Krombach 423, Neita Streacker 423, Debra Gase 420 and Madonna Gase 404 in the Lady Knights League. Scores from the 55 Plus League included Denny Scherger 590, Paul Gosche 561, Jim Ruess 560, Bill Mizen 532, Dick Gabel 519, Jim Ferstler 501, Dan Coppes 492, Bob West 471, John Ferstler 447, Dave Everhart 429, Bob Reinhart 410, Paul Fey 378 and Jim Donaldson 354.
John Funk shot 682 to lead the Rocket League. Tyson Shope had 660, Tim Sturgill 640, Steve Norman 640, Steve Barnes 633, Paul Landers 596 and Virginia Vanover 492. In the Imperial League Steve Steinmetz Jr. shot 667, Kevin Fitch 609, Kevin Young 577, Rhonda Fitch 474, Phyllis Hyde 453, and Linda Brookes 441. Scores from the Sunday Night Rock N Roll League included Ken Bauman 700, Steve Barnes 698, Mark Phillips 628, John Funk 625, Bob Steele 609, Gary Golden 608, Janice Young 481 and Ashley Gibson 461. Robin Dickman shot 617, Carla Siebenaller 559, Janet Houk 538, Heather Butler 504 and Jani Hartzell 476 in the Alley Cats League.
In the Sportsman League Rustan Burks shot 663, Jim Mason 653, Rich Yates Sr. 648, Ken Butturff Jr. 648, Greg Tiell 640, Tom Wilkinson 633, Rich Yates Jr. 616 and Chris Rhodes 606. Twilight League scores included Tom Tiell 664, Rhonda Fitch 610, Kevin Young 589, Marcus Hall 583, Robin Brownell 472 and Michelle Wagner 408.
Aaron Sherman had the pins rocking in the Wednesday Morning League to the tune of 728. Mark Huffman shot 693, Tyson Shope 662, Steve Norman 608, Bob Conger 592 and Paul Landers 562. In the Big 8 League Chris King fired a 704, Aaron Sherman 694, Brian Soals 664, Chuck Jones 644, P. J. Landers 636, Jack Book 633, John Sauers 622, Tom Tiell 618, Mark Baxter 615, Scott Plickert 615, Jim Hershberger 613, Greg Tiell 602, Mike Babcock 601 and Ken Bauman 600.
Al Stephenson is The A-T's bowling columnist.
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