Darreyl Dixon, Neldon Smith roll 700s
Larry Mason

Oct. 5, 2004 - Darreyl Dixon grabbed his third 700 series of the season, and Neldon Smith rolled his first to keep the new string of Classic Lanes 700s in tact through a fifth week. Following closely behind Dixon and Smith was Jesse Haggerty, who shot a career high 699 series.

When a bowling team captain decides the order in which his teammates will bowl, there is a method to the madness. One tries to put a steady bowler in the leadoff position, because the leadoff bowler's performance affects the performance of those to follow. Neldon Smith is the leadoff bowler for his Thursday night squad.

On Thursday evening, Neldon rolled his first 700 of the season, a 702. He rolled games of 208, 258 and 236, and certainly set the tone for the rest of his teammates. Smith raised his average to a 213, which moved him to 13th place on the high average list. His 702 series moved him to 19th place on the high series list. His highest game, a 267, places him 11th on the high game listing. He fills the role of a leadoff man very well. Neldon rolled 24 strikes and seven spares, and left two open frames, one a split. Smith converted three splits during the evening. Not too bad.

Dixon bowls on the same team as Neldon. Darreyl is the team's fourth position bowler. The fourth's bowler's roll is to lift and sustain his team's performance when the one-three bowlers are performing at a sub-par level. On Thursday, Darreyl was pumped up by Smith's performance, which resulted in his shooting a 730 series, the highest series of the week.

Dixon rolled games of 256 and 279 before running out of steam in game three and ending the night with a 195, which was 20 pins off of his average at the time. However, when the night was over, Dixon had raised his average to a 220, third best at the center, and just one pin behind second-place holders Bruce Michaelson and Keith Ethridge. Dixon's 730 series bumped him up to sixth place on the high series list, and his high game, a 279, occupies third place on the high game listing. Dixon rolled 27 strikes and five spares, and left three open frames, two of which were splits.

The result of having both of Thursday's 700s shot by members of the same team is that the group won all four competition points and raised their won-loss percentage to an even .500, up from last week's .400. Josh France, a relatively new league bowler, and his 527 series, just two pins short of being 100 pins over his series average, also assisted the team. Mike Gilliland's 631 series helped the squad a little, as well.

Haggerty has been bowling for about two years. At one point in his career, he severely hurt his right hand, his bowling hand. Rather than quitting or sitting out a large chunk of the season, Jesse set learning to bowl left handed, which he did very well. To say this is a determined young man is an understatement.

On Thursday night, Jesse came to within a single pin of rolling his first career 700. One errant ball in the seventh frame is all that kept him from shooting his first honor score. Jesse's second game was a 232, and when combined with his first game total, he had a 509 going into game three. He needed a 191 to get his 700. He struck in the first and third frames and on his last ball in the 10th frame. The rest of the eight frames consisted of four eight-count first balls, four nine-count first balls, all of which he spared. Had any one of those eight frames been one pin higher, Jesse would have had his 700. His third game was a 190.

Jesse is averaging 207 on Thursday and 203 on Tuesday. He ranks 12th on the high average list. His 699 moved him to 13th place on the high series list, and his 277 edged him into fifth place on the high game list. Jesse rolled 22 strikes, covered 11 spares, and left but one open frame, and it was a split. Jesse has become a very good bowler. He's always been a very good man.

Three other individuals rolled 690 series during the week. David Gholson, Michaelson, and Wes Campbell. On Thursday evening, Gholson rolled games of 224, 247 and 226 to book a 697. On Tuesday, David bagged a 653. Michaelson fired games of 242, 237 and 215 to register a 694 on Thursday. He might have done better, but he was somewhat distracted by the fact that the Air Force Academy lost to the men from Annapolis on Thursday, 24-21. On Sunday night, Campbell shot games of 206, 257 and 230 to finish the night with a 693.

Michaelson ranks second on the high average list with a 221, while Campbell ranks fourth with a 216. In fact, Campbell has a 216 average in all three of the leagues in which he bowls. Gholson is holding a 207 average on Thursday and ranks 12th on the high average list. Wes commands second place on the high series list with a 754, while Bruce is ninth at 717 and Gholson is 12th with his 701. Campbell has the center's second-highest honor score of the season, a 297, while Bruce holds 10th place with a 268 and Gholson ranks 15th with a 256.

Eric Berba began bowling at Classic Lanes in the summer. He decided to bowl with us this fall and is probably glad that he did. On Thursday, Eric rolled his first ABC-sanctioned 600 series when he shot games of 210, 169 and 221. Eric has been steadily improving his game. He practices a lot.

Two ladies shot 600s this past week, Tracie R. Chapa and Tammy Haley. Tracie was the high roller for this seven-day period, with a 634 series on Sunday, bagging games of 257, 222,and 175. Haley, who has been our top lady performer over the past several weeks, shot a 621 on Tuesday, with games of 215, 235 and 171. Haley is averaging 190. Chapa, 182.

Others who bowled well this past week are: Eloy Chapa (689), Joe Kirkpatrick (682), Ray Howser (679), Jason Parmer (666), Mike Fletcher (660), Dickie Harrison (658), Harold McClure (658 Thursday/636 Sunday), Russ Nuss (654), Tarry Davidson (651), Ace Wiginton (648), Vincent Smith (646), Jeff Haley (639), and Cliff Whitney (638).

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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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