Seven 700s raise Classic Lanes' total to 47
Larry Mason

Nov. 16, 2004 - Seven individuals broke through the 700 barrier this week, bringing the total of 700s thrown at Classic Lanes thus far this season to 47. In addition to these 47 series, the center's bowlers have recorded another 483 series of 600 or more. It appears that this season will be one of the more productive in recent years.

David Strain rolled a 761 series on Sunday evening to claim honors as the week's most prolific scorer. The series, comprised of games of 258, 234 and 269, was David's first ever at Classic Lanes, although he has rolled 700s in other venues in and around East Texas. Strain's series consisted of 24 strikes and nine spares, and he left no open frames. David's series moved him to third place on the high series list. Currently, he is averaging 202 in the Sunday mixed league and 196 in Thursday's men's commercial league. His Sunday average places him in 16th place on the high average list, and his highest game, a 278, places him in seventh place on the high game list, where he is joined by six other bowlers. This week's series is the highest series Strain has bowled during his career.

The saga of the 20-year-old bowling ball being used by Ray Howser continues. Howser, who now admits that the ball was pre-owned when he bought it 20 years ago, rolled his third 700 series of the season with it, on Thursday evening. Ray shot the week's second highest series, a 735, consisting of games of 246, 234 and 255. Howser tossed 23 strikes, 10 spares, and, just like Strain, left no frames unfilled. Ray is averaging 216 on Tuesday, 211 on Sunday and 210 on Thursday, which is a testimonial to his ability as a bowler. He only uses that "outdated ball," whether he is shooting a spare or throwing for a strike, so he must know something about the finer points of the game, namely, how to move his feet on the approach, and his target on the lane. Ray ranks seventh on the high series list with a 742, and his highest game, a 279, places him sixth on the high game list.

David Gholson, like Howser, rolled his third 700 series of the season on Thursday, with games of 233, 256 and 245. Gholson rolled 24 strikes and five spares, while leaving three frames unfilled this time around. Gholson is averaging 214 on Sunday, 209 on Thursday, and 204 on Tuesday. His Sunday average ranks seventh on the high average list. Unlike Howser, Gholson does not use "outdated equipment," but he only uses two bowling balls at any given time, one for spares, and one for strikes. David's highest series is a 734, which places him in seventh place on the high series list, and his highest game to date is his 256 from this week, which places him in 22nd place on the high game list.

Russ Nuss collected his second 700 series of the season on Thursday night, shooting a 713 comprised of games of 245, 245 and 223. His highest series, a 722, places him in 13th place on the high series list, and his average, a 211, holds down 11th place on the high average list. I don't know this for certain, but I believe Russ is another of those individuals who uses only one bowling ball during the course of the match, I could be wrong, though. I do know that he uses rental shoes provided by the center, which tends to downplay the importance of those $200 dollar shoes some bowlers have been known to buy. Russ tossed 24 strikes and 10 spares in the process of getting his 713, while he missed just one spare in the sixth frame of game two.

Wes Campbell and Michael Carter both rolled 711 this week, Wes on Sunday night and Michael on Tuesday. Wes rolled games of 198, 237 and 276 in registering his fourth 700 series of the season, while Carter shot three of the most consistent games of the week to get his first 700 of the year, 236, 237 and 238. Wes rolled 21 strikes, Michael, 23. Campbell covered 11 spares, Carter, seven. Wes failed to convert one spare, a split, while Michael failed to convert two single pin leaves. Wes claims the center's top average, a 220 from the Sunday's mixed league, while he boasts a 212 on Thursday and a 205 on Tuesday. Carter, meanwhile, is carrying a 206 on Thursday and 201 on Tuesday. The former places him in 12th place on the high average list. Campbell has a 297 honor score, which ranks second on the high game list behind Bruce Michaelson and Mike Gilliland's league-leading 300s. Carter's highest game this season is a 238. Campbell has a season high series of 754, which places him fourth on the high series list, while Carter's 711 pushed him into 17th place on the high series list.

Keith Ethridge tossed his second 700 series of the year on Sunday evening. He holds down fourth place on the high series list, however, by virtue of his having rolled a 754 series earlier in the season. In this his second try for 700, he rolled 22 strikes and eight spares, while leaving two open frames. Keith rolled games of 233, 256 and 211. Ethridge is averaging 214, ranking him 14th on the high average list. Keith's highest game this season is a 277, which places him in eighth place on the high game list.

Jeff Haley and wife Tammy come from Canton to participate in the Tuesday mixed league every week. Tammy has been our top woman bowler of the week on several occasions. On the other hand, Jeff has been struggling just a bit; at least he was until this week. No, he didn't collect a 700, but he came about as close as one can with getting there. Jeff rolled a 697 on Tuesday, rolling games of 279, 214 and 204. A single pin left standing in the eighth frame of game one is all that kept Jeff from rolling a perfect game. Haley rolled 26 strikes and six spares, while leaving four frames incomplete, but two of those were splits. Tuesday's series moved Jeff to 23rd place on the high series list, and his 279 game tied him with six other individuals for fifth place on the high game list. Tuesday's performance raised Jeff's average to 196.

Joe Kirkpatrick didn't shoot a 700 this week, but he did produce a series that provides a great lesson in the importance of stringing strikes together, as compared to shooting them in pairs, interspersed with spares. Joe shot a 632 on Sunday night, which was pretty much what his average series should have been. Joe shot games of 204, 213 and 214. He rolled 21 strikes and six spares in the process. His only open were splits, and there were only three of those. Joe threw about the same number of strikes and spares as Campbell did when he hit his 711 and Ethridge did to get his 700 series. Go figure.

Others who bowled well this week included: Mike Fletcher (681), Danny Burns (680), Jason Parmer (676), Dickie Harrison (673), Eloy Chapa and Billy Painter (670), Koy Cline (669), Gilliland (669 Thursday/618 Tuesday), David VanSickle (666 Thursday/662 Sunday), Cliff Whitney (660), Greg Pullen (654), Ronnie Wooten (653), Darreyl Dixon (649 Sunday/632 Thursday), Neldon Smith (646), Nick Painter (644), Doug Brann (639), Ricky Steele (635 Sunday/625 Thursday), and Bobby Brown (620).


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

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