To the 2016-17 league bowling champions — I say — saaaaalute!!!!

The curtain has fallen on this year’s bowling season, except for the tournament being held the next two weeks at the K of C Lanes. That affair is always a hoot, so if you still feel like throwing the rock, you have that chance.

For most bowlers though, everything is over. For me, it has been one full year since I released my last shot. I retired from the sport and have often been asked if I miss it. The short answer is – of course! There are parts that I miss dearly, some things that I miss somewhat and a few things that I don’t miss at all.

I definitely miss the competition. That includes the team versus team aspect as well as the challenge of figuring out the lane conditions and trying to post a good score. Every athlete misses the competition.

More than that though, I miss seeing my teammates every week. I haven’t seen a couple of them for the full year. Others I see occasionally, but it’s not the same.

There are some things I do not miss. I don’t miss coming home with a sore knee or back. I don’t miss having to choose between bowling and other family affairs. I would say I don’t miss getting robbed when a perfect pocket hit does not carry, but that may not be all that truthful.

To get robbed one must release the ball properly. You must throw it with the proper speed. The ball must hit the pocket flush and then you have to see a pin standing in order to be robbed. You see where I am going with this, don’t you?

At any rate, it was fun to follow the respective scores throughout the bowling season. Some very good individual scores were recorded as always. Teams competed for league championships, and as is my tradition this column will serve as a tribute to them. Here is a list of league champions from the 2016-17 bowling season.

Mike Reser, Doug Snyder, Ken Ritzler, Tim Gassner and Alex Reamer won the Senior League at the K of C Lanes.

Webster captured the title in the Imperial-Majorette-Sportsman League. Team members included Kevin Yarger, Shawn Fitch, John Tyree, Kevin Fitch and Mark Hendricks.

In the Wednesday Morning League the championship went to Heritage Lanes. Team members include Samantha Wiley, Beth Jones, David Jones and Jason Koehler.

Jeff’s Troop took top honors in the Sunday Night Rock N Roll League. Bowlers on the winning team were Vickie Hess, Chris Wagner, Jeff Hess Tim Perkins and Richard Everhart.

In the ultracompetitive Big 8 League Chuck’s Budget Brakes took the crown. David Jones, Kyle Eckelberry, Chuck Rolle, Zach Gaietto, JoJo Ramsey and Jay Eckelberry hurled the rock for the champs.

The Rocket League champs for this season was Mountain Man Trading Post. Dave Coppus, Dave Hohman, Roger Coppus, Jerry Swander and Larry Manacke made up the winning team.

The Alley Cats League champions were sponsored by Heritage Family Center. Bowlers included Deb Cleveland, Nancy Hurley, Theresa Hurley, Kate Reser, Brenda Rosier, Kathy Zeis and Kathy Breyman.

The Youth League champions were the Reds and team members included Caden Elchert, Austin King, Brandon King and Sean Holland.

So there you have it. The 2016-17 league champions have been properly saluted. For those younger readers that may not have understood the “Saaaaalute” in the title of this column, perhaps I should explain.

There used to be a low brow comedy TV show years ago called Hee Haw. In one of the show’s segments the cast would be standing in a cornfield and a small town – somewhere in this country – would be announced along with its population which normally was less than a few hundred. The cast would then salute the town with a cheer of “saaaaalute.” There you go; a little context.

It really was a cool show despite the corny humor. Who couldn’t like Minnie Pearl or Grandpa Jones? Junior Samples used to do a skit where he would try to sell some old beat up car. He ended the segment by giving you a number to call if interested. Do you remember the phone number that he said as he kicked the bumper?

If you said BR 549, congratulations! You are obviously as old as I am.

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

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