Oddities from the wacky world of bowling — tales from the lanes

The best bowling stories are true ones. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a bowling joke. In the last couple of weeks I have learned of some bowling feats or, rather, the lack thereof. Since these tales didn’t come from the Internet, I will assume they are true.

The first one comes from the Inter-City Tournament in Warren. A friend of mine participated in the singles and doubles portion of the tourney last Sunday and he gave me the information.

Seems two local Warren bowlers – though from a different house than the tournament was held in – each bowled a perfect second game in their doubles competition. One of the guys bowled a 250 first game while the other one shot 224. After the two perfectos, they reversed roles for Game 3.

The 250 shooter had 224 in Game 3 while the 224 shooter had 250. They each shot a 774 series, which should be the end of the odds-defying day. But get this: They are not even leading the tournament. A couple of local bowlers from Sycamore hold that distinction. I’ll let you know if they hold on for the crown.

I received an email after writing about another bowler at Inter-City. Perhaps you recall the bowler who shot 299 when his last ball appeared to knock down all the pins only to have the 10 pin, which was half way down, get stood back up by a pin that came out of the gutter. Another bowling friend of mine told of a somewhat similar experience.

According to his account, he threw a shot that hit directly on the head pin. As is commonplace with this hit, two pins were left standing – the 4 pin and the 6 pin. At least they were the only ones standing for a second. Before the rack came down a pin seemed to fall from nowhere, landing standing up in the 5 pin spot. What remained was a one-of-a-kind split.

The four-five-six split is one that I have never seen. I’m assuming it was not picked up as he would have surely told me about that. It does, however, cause one to wonder upon viewing the unusual spare alignment without seeing the first shot: Where did the ball go?

Finally, there is the curious case of Chad Cole. My wife and I have hired Chad to remodel our bathrooms and though his father and I have been friends for many years, I really didn’t get to know Chad until the last couple of weeks. The best way for me to describe Chad is to use the phrase “youthful exuberance.” Let me explain.

Chad rises at 4 a.m. daily. He is at the YMCA by 5-something lifting weights. He plays pickup basketball from 6-7 three days a week. By 8 a.m. he is at my house working to give our bathrooms a more modern look. After many hours of work, he goes home and still has the energy for family activities such as going bowling. Ah, youth. I vaguely remember thee!

Actually, he reminds me a lot of myself at his age, with the possible exception of the weight lifting and maybe shooting hoops before dawn. To be perfectly honest, my name and home improvement have never been used together in the same sentence. But hey, I do bowl!

As for Chad, there has never been a weight he can’t lift, or a rebound that he could not snatch off the glass. Any plumbing, painting or electrical problem will be tackled head on and despite only going to the lanes 5-to-6 times a year, he expects to shoot at least 160. I’m telling you, the term “exuberance” fits this man.

When it comes to performing athletically, Chad and I are a lot alike. I fully expect to bowl well each and every week, though my average would suggest my expectations are seldom fulfilled. When Chad told me a few days ago that he was going to take his wife, Jaime, and sister-in-law Pam as well as his kids to Heritage Lanes for a little bowling action, I was waiting for a report the next day.

Chad calmly explained that he will typically throw a hook ball, but when that is not working he resorts to a straight, hard shot. By hard, I mean fast, as he said he once threw a bowling ball slightly over 31 miles per hour! It would take me three throws to reach that speed. If I were a pin I believe I would just jump out of the way of one of those rocket shots.

Chad was a little less exuberant than usual when he informed me that he did not reach that 160 mark he expects to shoot. “What was worse,” he said with a painful grin, “I shot a lower score than both my wife and sister-in-law!”

Well, Chad, here is a little advice: First of all, the game is not as easy as some people make it look. It is fickle and will humble you. And for goodness sake, this will not be the last time your wife beats you at something. Deal with it!

So here’s what you need to know about Chad Cole: Need something heavy moved? He can do it. If you are looking for a power forward, he’s your man. If you have a home improvement project, give him a call. He does excellent work. Finally, if you are looking for a substitute bowler for your team, you might want to check on Jaime’s availability. Just saying

Here are this week’s league scores:

Rocket: Tim Sturgill 735, Tyson Shope 632, Steve Barnes 563, Rich Sigler 550, Ed Conrad 540 and Virginia Vanover 461.

55 Plus: Bill Mizen 658, Ken Gaietto 618, Bob Reinhart 611, Dick Gabel 584, Rick Hanna 548, Dave Everhart 533, Jim Ruess 528, Paul Gosche 527, John Ferstler 502, Ron Mellott 502, Jim Ferstler 455 and Jim Donaldson 435.

Sportsman: Rich Yates Jr. 662, Eric Smith 639, Jim Mason 637, Harry Smith 629, Ken Butturff, Jr. 603, Scott Hartsel 601 and Greg Tiell 591.

Alley Cats: Robin Dickman 607, Carla Siebenaller 511, Donna Schriner 511, Heather Butler 495 and Kathy Breidenbach 486.

Twilight: Brian Jakupca 699, Tim Sturgill 650, Kevin Fitch 631, Tom Tiell 622, Hank Wagner 618, Steve Barnes 618, Rhonda Fitch 507, Robin Brownell 449 and Michelle Wagner 407.

Imperial-Majorette: Ben Hoyda 708, Steve Steinmetz Jr. 681, Bob Eaton 663, Benji Hoyda 644,Deb Nominee 486, Mary Ruggiero 463 and Phyllis Hyde 462.

Big 8: Rich Yates Jr. 740, Brian Soals 708, Ben Hoyda 691, Greg Anspach 675, Scott Plickert 670, Jeff Smith 663, Matt Hoover 659, Dustin Soals 650, Mike Shock 649, Mark Baxter 645, Chuck Jones 641, Ken Bauman 638, Greg Tiell 614, Gary Golden 610, Dave Ross 607 and Jim Hershberger 600.

Senior: Bennett Paulus 635, Tim Gassner 615, Herb Sendelbach 611, Scott Kromer 584, Mike Reser 562 (possibly), Ken Ritzler 550, Doug Snyder 525 and Jerry Schlick 519.

Al Stephenson is the bowling columnist for The Advertiser-Tribune.

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