Howser, Kirkpatrick register 700s, sustain string
By Larry Mason

June 22, 2004 -- Ray Howser and Joe Kirkpatrick each collected a 700 series this week to continue Classic Lanes' uninterrupted string of 700s, a streak that is now in the beginning of its fifth year. For Howser, it was his first 700 of the summer, while it was Kirkpatrick's second.

Howser came to the center on Sunday night to substitute for the injured Larry Siegert, and substitute he did. Ray tossed games of 277, 256 and 186 to complete the evening with a 719 series. Howser's 277 first game moved him into a fifth-place tie with Jason Keller on the high game list, and his 719 series moved him to fifth place on the high series list.

Ray is currently averaging 213 in the Sunday mixed league, which places him sixth on the high average list. Howser rolled a total of 23 strikes, eight spares and had but one open frame, and it was a split.

Joe Kirkpatrick tossed his second 700 series of the summer, this one a 712, in Tuesday's mixed league play. Kirkpatrick rolled games of 211, 222 and 279. In his third game, Joe came within one pin of shooting another honor score. You may recall that he shot a 298 honor game last week. This time around, Joe struck in frames one through five, spared an eight-pin leave in the sixth frame, then strung together six more strikes.

Kirkpatrick ranks first on the high game list with his 298 honor score, is seventh on the high average list with his 212, and holds third place on the high series list with a 737. In gathering his 712 series, Joe rolled 27 strikes, six spares and had three open frames, two of those splits. On Thursday, Kirkpatrick rolled a 636 series.

Jason Parmer appears to be regaining his "A" game form after about a six-month slump that saw his average drop below the 200 level in two of his leagues. On Sunday, Jason rolled a 623 series, and on Tuesday he rolled a 698. In the case of the latter, Parmer rolled games of 280, 196 and 222. In his first game, Jason left a single 10 pin in the second frame, spared it and then went on to rolled 10 strikes in succession.

Just like Kirkpatrick, Jason rolled 11 strikes and one spare, but he beat Joe by a single pin, 280 to 279. The difference: Parmer had a long string of 10 strikes in frames three through 10 in his 280, while Joe could only muster six strikes in a row in his 279 game. Where a spare occurs in the course of a game is important, as one can see.

Parmer's 698 series consisted of 22 strikes, 10 spares and only one open frame. Jason now ranks 10th on the high average list, where he is joined by Harold McClure, and his 698 series moved him to sixth place on the high series list. Parmer's highest game of the summer season, so far, is his 280, which ranks second on the high game list behind leader Joe Kirkpatrick.

Wes Campbell collected his highest series of the summer on Sunday evening, shooting a 692 series comprised of games of 236, 234 and 222. Wes shot his series on his 63rd birthday. Campbell now is averaging 210, which ranks ninth on the high average list, and his 692 series places him 10th on the high series list, where he joins David Strain. Wes has a high game of 236, which ranks 21st on the high game list, where he joins Bobby Brown and Terry Kozeluh. Don't expect to see Wes this far down the list for very long. He just host his seventh career perfect game back in April.

Cliff Whitney had a string of four straight 700s coming into Thursday's play, but a fifth 700 wasn't in the cards. Whitney came close, however. He did manage to roll a 680 series made up of games of 254, 238 and 188. One more strike or one more spare and he would have had his fifth consecutive 700. Even so, Whitney rolled 22 strikes, seven spares and had three open frames, one of which was a split. The three occurred in the sixth, eighth and ninth frames of game three. Cliff still leads the center in average with a 239, ranks first in high series with a 782, and holds third place on the high game list with a 279, tying him with Dickie Harrison.

David Gholson started Thursday night averaging 215, and was in sixth place on the high average chart. After Thursday's play, Dave was averaging 218 and had moved into fourth place. Gholson fired games of 232, 244 and 202 in his first three games for a series total of 678. His fourth game was a 219, giving him a four-game series total of 897 on the night and a 224 average. David has a high game of 263, which holds down eighth place on the high game list, and his highest series, 678, ranks 13th on the high series list.

One of our lady bowlers passed the word via the grapevine that I seemed to be ignoring the ladies this summer, so I thought I'd better correct my oversight. Our top lady bowler so far this summer is Amy Sharp. Amy is averaging 196, topping all the women, has a high game of 246, second among the women, and has a top series of 634.

Deana Hale is first on the ladies' high game list with a 255. A large number of our ladies do not bowl in the summer and others take extended vacations. Still others are making preparations to compete in the "nationals" in Kansas City. The result of all of this is that our ladies' numbers are significantly lower in summer leagues when compared to the fall/winter leagues.

Speaking of our summer leagues, at least 20 individuals who were previously just recreational bowlers are now being introduced to the sport of bowling through our summer leagues program.

One of these is Joe Freeman, who on his very first night of league competition established a 200 average. His average has gone down somewhat since that first night, but it's still a respectable 167. Chris Pearsall is averaging 143 and is steadily improving. The Jansen twins, Jeremy and Jason, were teen bowlers in the center's youth program some years ago, but this is their first real venture into competitive league play. They are averaging 132 and 153, respectively. All of these folks bowl in our Thursday's men's league.

Our Sunday league has a significant number of new league bowlers. Brenda Flanagan and Rhonda Wilcox have been pleasant surprises among our ladies. Brenda is averaging 133, and Rhonda 132.

Jill Barber is yet another surprise. She started last Sunday's play with a 113 average and then commenced to bowl games of 166, 119 and 181. Her average for the night was a 155. Her teammate, Manuel Barela, started the night with a 126 average, but he rolled games of 137, 171 and 147, giving him an average of 151 for the night. The team took all four games from its opponent.

The "New Kids," a family team consisting of Chris Williams, Richard Doty and David and Barbara Ingram seem to be thriving on the competition that league play provides. Chris averages 154, Richard 169, David 132 and Barbara 115. They won all four of their games.

Karen Jetton came into league play two weeks ago, having had two hours of instruction in the afternoon. That night, she bowled in league play for the very first time. Her team won three games, and she finished the night with a 79 average. This past Sunday, she bowled a 117, 134 and a 77, enabling her team to win three games again. It would appear that she likes competition, too.

One bowler who is with us this summer has bowled in leagues before, but she deserves some recognition anyway. She is Mary Steele. She averages 140, and usually shoots at or near her average. That's very good, but I mention her here not because of her bowling prowess, but rather for the fun she brings to the game. She relishes competition, and she's a pleasure to bowl with or against.

Angie Booth started her bowling career doing everything wrong. Now, after a couple of practice sessions, she is averaging 82, up from 59, and on Sunday night she tossed games of 104, 116 and 97. She was instrumental in her team's winning three games, and they bowled against Ray Howser and his 719. Of course, Terry Kozeluh's 621 helped them a little bit, too.

Others who bowled well this week included Dickie Harrison (670), Greg Pullen (673), Mike Gilliand (659 Thursday/652 Tuesday), Harold McClure (659), Ace Wiginton (655), Neldon Smith (647), Mark Smith (646), David Strain (637) and Nathan Crist (623).

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

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