A special week for local bowling begins tomorrow at Heritage

It must be about that time. I’m starting to get excited, kind of like a kid at Christmas. Though I have a hard time remembering what I did last night, I do recall thinking as a child that Christmas morning would never arrive. The anticipation was great and time moved so slowly.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. Maybe what is going to start tomorrow cannot really be compared to Christmas, but it is a week I look forward to. The annual city bowling tournament is on tap this week and it will be enjoyable. So many strange, unlikely and humorous things happen during this event. This year I have more nervous energy than usual. You’ll soon see why.

Before the 74th Women’s and the 83rd Men’s City Bowling Tournament takes place this week, I would like to recap last year’s action. It seems that every year, one bowler stands out and last year was no exception. On the women’s side, if there was such a thing as the Most Valuable Bowler, it would have had to go to Heather Butler. For the men, Frank Martinez would have gotten a lot of votes.

All Butler did was to be a member of the winning team, partner up with her mom for a doubles title and finish second in singles. All in all, she had a pretty impressive week on the lanes.

The team champion was Stiney’s Three Oaks consisting of Donna Schriner, Kim Weaver, Vicki Noller, Terry Renninger and Butler. They shot a 3,212 total Butler and Janet Houk topped the doubles charts as they rolled a 1,244. Robyn Wight had a 693 to win the singles crown with Butler’s 650 good enough for runner-up honors. The all-events actual winner was Robin Dickman while Deb Cleveland took the top award for the handicap division.

In the Men’s Tournament, Martinez took the singles title with a 715. He also teamed up with Justin Hoepf to capture the doubles championship as the pair shot 1,347. The team champ was Bascom Elevator as they fashioned a 3,184 total. Team members included Dave Coppus, Dave Hohman, Roger Coppus, Jerry Swander and Dave Depinet. Steve Steinmetz Jr. walked away as the winner in actual all-events while Chris Fowler was the handicap all-events champ.

So will we see these people at the top of the leaderboards this year? It could happen as there is some quality bowlers among those just mentioned. There is an even better chance of seeing a few new names this year. It seems that every year a surprise entrant steps up and performs well.

One such possibility would be a bowler who is returning after a two year hiatus. The rumors are true. This bowling columnist will be bowling in the singles and doubles competition. Just who, you ask, would be willing to take me on as a doubles partner? That would be one Greg Tiell.

In an apparent moment of weakness, Tielly agreed to bowl with me. When he said yes, several thoughts about him ran through my head. Phrases such as a glutton for punishment, a fool and his money

I will give my best effort, though it seems my “best” isn’t as good as it once was. My biggest fear is that I will bowl well in singles only to dump my doubles partner. I would rather bowl poorly in each event than have that happen. What are the chances of bowling well in both singles and doubles? I suppose it could happen. It’s also possible that pigs will learn to fly, the Indians and Cubs will meet in the World Series and I will eat broccoli while smiling. The odds would favor the pigs over the veggies; let’s not even talk baseball.

One thing is certain, the tournament will be fun for all. If you are not doing anything this week, come out to Heritage and watch the keglers in action. You can watch some good bowlers or you could watch me. Either way the price is the same. It’s free.

Bowlers tuned up for the tournament with some spirited league action. Let’s take a look to see who’s hot. Chris Johnson fired a 739 in the Sportsman League. My doubles partner Greg Tiell shot 619, which may not be good enough to drag me on to the money winners list. Rich Yates Jr. had 615, Scott Hartsel 611, Ken Butturff Jr. 608, Dick Gabel 604, Jim Ruess 603 and Chris Rhodes 602. Alley Cats League scores included a 644 for last year’s all-events champion Robin Dickman. Carla Seibenaller posted a 565, Jamie Thom 520, Sue Stine 505 and Deb Cleveland 504. The Sunday Night Rock N Roll League had Bob Steele shooting 696, Mark Phillips 689, Ken Bauman 666, Gary Golden 617, Tom Tiell 603, Janice Young 482 and Rose Steele 452.

Kerry Wertz Sr. shot 541, Mike Babcock 533, Brian Shook 500, Hunda Shook 428, Heidi Kerschner 424, Marilyn Morlock 416 and Shannon Morlock 404 in the Grange League. Twilight League scores included Kevin Young 650, Steve Barnes 641, Hank Wagner 629, Kevin Fitch 629, Dan Bolen 618, Matt Clay 603, Rhonda Fitch 587 and Robin Brownell 498. Tim Sturgill shot 618, Davy Jones 615, Steve Norman 590, Beth Jones 589, Tyson Shope 580, Dottie Funk 565 and Virginia Vanover 417 in the Rocket League.

Jim Ruess shot 607, Paul Gosche 583, Bill Mizen 556, John Ferstler 519, Dick Gabel 511, Bob Reinhart 504, Jim Ferstler 499, Bob West 497, Jim Donaldson 473, Dave Everhart 449 and Paul Fey 340 in the 55 Plus League. In the Imperial-Majorette League, Steve Steinmetz Jr. shot 679, Kevin Young 593, Ben Hoyda 583, Rhonda Fitch 515, Deb Nominee 474 and Phyllis Riley 446. Finally, leave it to my golfing buddy the legendary Harry Smith to ruin my “old age” excuse for lousy bowling. Harry fired a 699 in the Wednesday Morning League. Steve Norman shot 655, Don Hannam Jr. 654, Dave Jumper 645, Rich Yates Jr. 635, Darl Elchert 625, Tyson Shope 613 and Cheryl Radin-Norman 381.

Al Stephenson is The A-T’s bowling columnist.

Read his blog at: