It came down to the last ball of the night. Such is often the case in the world of sports. That last pitch, the final putt or the last-second heave from half court; it makes competing and watching the games that we play so very special.
Friday night's final team competition event in the 84thAnnual Men's City Bowling Tournament was about to conclude and the team title was on the line. Stepping up on the approach was Steve Steinmetz Sr. He is the anchor bowler for Steamer's Sports Bar from the Twilight League.
Steve has to know his team has a chance. He calmly buries his first shot in the tenth frame only to leave a solid 10 pin. It's been a long grueling week for The Wizard, as he doubles as the tournament director. He calmly converts the tough spare and prepares for his last ball.
Eight pins will put his team into a tie for first place. Nine pins will win it. Again he calmly (I'm guessing) walks to the line and releases the ball. It drills the one-three pocket and 10 pins go into the pit. Steamer's wins the team competition with a pinfall of 3,305; a scant two pins better than the runner up.
It was a fitting climax to a week that the Steinmetz family will long remember. The elder Steinmetz paired up with son Steve Jr. to win the doubles title earlier in the week. Now they get to add a team title to their dossier. And believe it or not, they weren't the only father-son combination on the winning team. Kevin Young and his son Daniel also were members of the winning team. The fifth member of the team is Brian Jakupca, and he will play a prominent role in the title chase as you soon will see.
Steve Steinmetz Jr. rolled a 247 game in the opener to get the team off on the right foot. His 675 series led the team. Kevin Young shot a 591 set while Daniel Young rolled a 478. Steve Steinmetz Sr. logged a solid 530, but the real hero may well have been Jakupca, who finished with a 626 series. His third game was awesome as he hit the pocket on every shot.
He finished Game 3 with a 268 score. Just think: If he shoots 265 his team would have been relegated to second place! It was a finish that will be talked about for years to come.
Taking the runner up spot was Pit Stop from the Rocket League with 3,303. Team members included John Klinshirn, Martin Klingshirn, Steve Barnes, Ed Conrad and Tyson Shope. D & D of the Big 8 League finished third, rolling a 3,238, Sonoco also from the Twilight League was fourth with 3,223 and Webster rounded out the top-five with 3,165.
Rich Yates Jr. posted a whopping 770 in the Friday morning session and finished the tournament as the All Events Actual champ with 2,007 pins. Singles champion Shawn Hoover won the All Events Handicap crown with a 2,005 total.
The first chance to collect tournament prizes will be at the Tiffin Men's Bowling Association meeting which will be held March 23 at the K of C Hall at 1 p.m.
The Tiffin Women's Bowling Association ended its 75thAnnual City Tournament Friday as well by wrapping up singles and doubles competition. Diane Hoover was the star on this night as she rolled 540 in doubles and followed with an identical score in singles. Talk about consistency.
Hoover finished second in singles with a 663 mark and teamed up with Robyn Wight to finish sixth in doubles with a 1,203 total. She also rolled the only 200 game on the night with a sparkling 221. Jamie Thom had the only other 500 series with a 506.
The final results of the singles competition found Cindy Sendelbach taking top honors with a 671. Hoover was second with 663, while Kim Fisher and Jamie Thom tied for third as each rolled a 641 series. Rounding out the top five was Terri Renninger with 636.
Kim Fisher and Bobbie Tidswell took the doubles title with 1,333. Pat Cook and Carla Siebenaller were second at 1,274, while Hayli Weimerskirch and Sue Stine placed third at 1,253, Heather Butler and Jan Houk fourth with 1,249 and Donna Schriner and Terri Renninger fifth with 1,226.
Diane Hoover's consistency showed up in all events as she won the actual title with 1,558. Robin Dickman was next with 1,537 followed by Carla Seibenaller 1,527, Jan Houk 1,521 and Pat Cook with 1,486. In the handicap division of all events the top five were Bobbie Tidswell 1,892, Cindy Sendelbach 1,876, Kim Fisher 1,859, Jamie Thom 1,799 and Heather Butler 1,793.
The women's association meeting to award prizes will be held at 7 p.m. March 19 at Heritage Lanes.
As the curtain drops on this year's action I look back at an entertaining week. Plenty of memorable scores were shot, on the good side and the "not what we were looking for" end. Here is a mini recap:
Scott Plickert was on target for a big 277 game. Robin Dickman was not happy with her tournament in eight of her nine games, but I watched that ninth one and what a game it was. She recorded nine strikes in 11 tries with only a baby split and a solid 10 pin standing between her and perfection. Brian Jakupka had the same effort in his 268 game. Nine of 11 is great shooting.
Of course it was not particularly unexpected to see Rustan Burks throw his perfect game. What might have been unexpected was his final game of team competition. I won't give you the actual score, but suffice to say it was more "me" like than "he" like.
As for yours truly, yes I did bowl in the singles and doubles portion of the tournament. I was relatively content with my effort as I shot 554 in singles and 574 in doubles. Of course 630 was my target score based on the average I had to use, but I had fun. Thanks to Ben, Tim, Dog, Scott and my doubles partner Greg Tiell for not making too much fun of me!
Thanks also go to Jeff, Pam, Tyson, Yaz, Alex and all the staff of Heritage Lanes for allowing us to run the tournament. I'd also like to thank Dick, Kizzy, John, Steve Sr. and Jr. for running a smooth event. A big thank-you goes out to Peg, Jan, Angie and Heather from the women's association for taking care of the ladies tournament. It's always nice to see them every year where we share stories and laughs.
As for me, it's time to go home, fluff the pillows and try to get a full night's sleep. The rest will come, but I will be dreaming about next year's tournament and all the fun that will surely come my way.
Al Stephenson is The A-T's bowling columnist.
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