Whitney, Dixon shoot 700s, and more
By Larry Mason

June 8, 2004 -- The summer slate of league action got underway in earnest this week, with all three of the scheduled leagues taking to the lanes. The Thursday cadre of bowlers must have liked the four-game, three-man team format, if scores are any indication.

Cliff Whitney and Darreyl Dixon not only shot 700 series in their first three games, but also registered 1,000s at the end of four games. Unfortunately, there is no award for rolling a 1,000-plus series. The 700s continue Classic Lanes' uninterrupted string, now in year five.

In the summer, the Thursday men's league consists of teams of three members who bowl four games, rather than the traditional three we normally write about. On the first three of these four games count for series recognition by the ABC folks; however, each individual game is judged on its own merit for honor score awards such as 298, 299 or 300, regardless of whether the honor game occurred in the first, second, third or fourth game of the night.

Last summer, there was one 1,000 series registered. It was a 1,004 by Mike Gilliland. There were another 16 series in the 900 to 999 range. Thursday night, there were two 1,000s, one 900 and 10 800s, two of which were 890s. The guys are off to a good start for the summer.

Thursday night, Whitney shot a ;782 in his first three games, rolling a 265, 258 and 259. He completed the night shooting a 242, giving him a whopping 1,024 for four games. He averaged 260 for the first three games and 256 for the four. On Tuesday, Cliff rolled a paltry 674, eking out a mediocre 224 average for the evening. Of course, we're just kidding. At the moment, Cliff ranks first on the high averaged chart with his 256, is first on the high series list with his 782, and hold fifth position on the high game list with his 267.

While Whitney was working his magic down on lanes 7 and 8, Dixon was putting on his own clinic on lanes 11 and 12. Darreyl shot a 759 series for his first three games, shooting a 278, a 218 and a 263. he completed his four game series by shooting a 248, which game him a 1,007 for the night. He averaged 253 for the first three games and 251 for four. Dixon ranks second on the high average list with his 251, is second on the high series list at 759, and holds second place on the high game list with his 278, one pin behind high game leader, Dickie Harrison.

As Dixon was fast to point out, it isn't very often one shoots a 1,007 series and has to settle for second place.

Jason Keller has been missing from this column for a couple of seasons, but he made sure everybody recognized the fact that he's back and ready to compete. Jason shot a 277 in his first game, followed by a 181 and a 235 to finish his three-game set with a 693 series and a 231 average. His fourth game was a 223, giving him a 916 series for four games and a 299 average for the night. Jason now ranks third on the high average list, fourth on the high series list and third on the high game list.

David Strain fired a 692 series on Sunday night, shooting games of 210, 243 and 219. Strain is currently averaging 208, placing him 10th on the high average chart. His 692 holds fifth position on the high series list, and his 249 claims 12th place on the high game list.

Joe Freeman didn't shoot a 1,000 series or a 900 series on Thursday, but he did shoot a four-game series of 802 with games of 193, 212, 193 and 205. That may not sound like a big deal to some of you, but when one adds to the mix the fact that he has never bowled in a sanctioned league before in his lifetime, then his 200 average looks pretty impressive. He ranks 15th on the high average chart.

Greg Pullen is starting his second season in league play. He has set a goal of reaching a 200 average this year. If he continues doing what he did Thursday, he ought to make it. Greg shot games of 208, 205, 218 and 216 for an 847 series and a 211 average. Now, all that remains is to sustain it.

Bobby Brown graduated last year from SSHS. He was one of a large cadre of high schoolers who bowled in Class Lane's High School Varsity Bowling program of last year. On Thursday night, Bobby bowled in his first-ever ABC sanctioned men's league. His very first game was a 236, and he averaged 190 for the evening. You can expect to hear more from this young man as the summer season progresses.

Others who bowled well this week include Dickie Harrison (685), Darrell Green (682), Duane Anspon (676), Larry Stovall and Neldon Smith (668), Nathan Crist and Larry Siegert (666), Mark Smith (659), Mike Gilliland (651), and Richard Thompson (639).

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Larry Mason writes a weekly column on the bowling leagues at Classic Lanes. His column appears on Tuesday.

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