Nearly 90 years of bowling tournament action begins tomorrow

The third week of February means just one thing for this scribe. It’s city tournament time. I will be spending my evenings at Heritage Lanes to observe the action.

This year marks the 88th consecutive Tiffin Men’s Bowling Association tourney. Nearly 90 years. That’s remarkable! The Tiffin Women’s Bowling Association is not far behind as 2018 marks their 79th event.

This may well be the swan song for separate tournaments as the USBC has dictated that there will be only one association beginning next season. Then again there is a provision to continue separate tournaments if bowlers so desire. Time will tell if this is the last one, but mark my word, some extraordinary bowling feats are likely to take place this week.

We can harken back to 2013 for a sampling of what might happen. It was five years ago that Anne Laughlin was the star of the tournament. She won the singles title and was a member of the winning team. Not bad for the then 93-year-old!

Anne is no longer bowling, but her week will never be forgotten for those of us that witnessed it. Most of us won’t live to be 90, let alone to still be bowling. To have that kind of performance at that age was incredible.

Let’s take a look at performances from the last three years. In 2015 the week belonged to Ben Hoyda. He fired scores of 707, 833 and 815 to astonish those of us that can only imagine those totals.

In 2016 Pam Hoffert set a Heritage Lanes record for women bowlers, shooting a whopping 755 on her way to the singles title. She also teamed with Bonnie Chevalier to take the doubles crown.

Every year there seems to be someone who has a big night. There also seems to be a plethora of unusual things that take place. Last year’s tournament was no exception.

What do you suppose the odds are that a bowler can begin a game with six straight strikes and then in the seventh frame have the perfecto come crashing down by leaving the 9-10 split? In 2017 it happened not once, but twice. Jon Distel did it early in the week before Mike Shock duplicated the feat a couple of days later.

Seriously, you could take 1,000 shots at leaving just those two pins and never get it done. TWO guys throwing a six bagger and then leaving the 9-10!?! In the same week! I don’t think Las Vegas would give you odds on that one. Well, maybe Vegas …

Shockey wasn’t done with his heroics though. He managed to throw a ball between the 3-10 baby split and MISS both of them. Literally a perfect shot — except for the results. Uncommon, you say. Of course it is and of course that feat also was duplicated by Roger Coppus later in the week!

Here is a rundown of the defending champions from last year beginning with the women. Led by Pat Cook’s 543, Smut’s Pro Shop took the team title. Ann Graham, Wendy Krupp, Angie Bour and Jan Houk completed the roster. Angie Bour (708) won the singles crown and Linda Wise and Kyle Hoyda (1,350) walked away with the doubles title.

That Place won the men’s team title with the five members being Brian Soals, Ryan Chevalier, Tim Sturgill, Brian King and Carl Bishop. A 771 series by Bishop led the way. The singles champ was Ryan Chevalier with 802 and Ryan Hoffert and Roger Kramer took the doubles crown with a 1,533 total.

So who will star in this year’s tournament? You can look to the scores below to get an idea who might be hot heading into the week. Someone will wow me, of that I’m sure. That’s what makes the City Tournament so much fun.

You can keep up with the action beginning in Wednesday’s A-T.

Allen Eiry: Bob Reinhart 372 (189), Harry Smith 330, Larry Cobb 311, Dave Everhart 308, Sandy Smith 283 (160), Sally VanBuskirk 283, Jim Donaldson 281, Ed Wise 274, Viola Rumschlag 272, Paul Fey 270 and Jeanette Lynch 269.

Rocket: Tom Tiell 636, Jason Ball 577, John Klingshirn 575, Larry Manecke 572 and Ed Conrad 556.

55 Plus: Jim Ruess 578, Bill Mizen 533, Jerry Gillig 529, Jerry Coleman 525, Paul Gosche 496, Jim Ferstler 487, Bob Reinhart 461, Dave Everhart 444, John Ferstler 427, Jim Donaldson 420 and Paul Fey 408.

Lady Knights: Liz Nitecki 436, Marilyn Gangluff 436, Carol Burmeister 423, Deb Hoerig 413 and Madonna Gase 407.

Alley Cats: Justene Tarris 613, Crystal Butler 550, Rhonda Tiell 541, Monica Musgrave 533 and Wendy Krupp 522.

Wednesday Morning: Joe Brickner 656, Jeff Chance 648, Tyson Shope 644, Mark Phillips 642, Roger Kramer 642, Dustin Fitch 622,Dianne Smith 475 and Deb Phillips 405.

Senior: Bennett Paulus 597, Doug Snyder 585, Tim Gassner 558, Denny Reamer 541, Steve Tiell 528, Scott Kromer 524 and Ken Ritzler 512.

Imperial-Majorette-Sportsman: Mark Hendricks 761, Rich Yates Jr. 730, Shawn Fitch Jr. 695, Bill Fleming 677, Chris Johnson 663, Aaron Kidwell 641, James Lord 611, Brian Kidwell 608, Bob Hill 604, Deb Nominee 505, Phyllis 465 and Dodi Gaietto 420.

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

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