Dixon, Howser, Fletcher, Campbell book 700s
Larry Mason

Oct. 19, 2004 - Darreyl Dixon led the 700 series chase this week with his fourth 700 of the season, a 746. Dixon series was followed by Ray Howser's 742, Mike Fletcher's 741 and Wes Campbell's 702. With the addition of these four 700s, the center's total for the season has grown to 29.

In addition to these twenty-nine 700s, the center's bowlers have logged 324 series of 600 or better, have accounted for one perfect game, one plaque winning honor score of 297, and 1,075 games of 200 or above.

This week's quartet of 700 series bowlers represents some of Classic Lanes more experienced keglers. Dixon is recognized as one of the more knowledgeable competitors in the sport of bowling at the local level. Dixon probably knows more about the unique characteristics of today's high tech bowling balls than the manufacturer does. His 746 from Thursday's play is, at the moment, his season's highest, and it moved him to third place on the high series listing. His Thursday average moved up three pins to a 212 as the result of his series, but his top average is still the 215 he has established in the Sunday mixed league.

Dixon ranks sixth in the high average department. Dixon's games this week were 247, 220 and 279. Dixon has shot a 279 on two occasions so far this season, the only bowler to accomplish the feat. Both of these games could have been perfect games but for one pin. Still, Dixon finds himself in third place on the high game list, were he is tied with Joe Kirkpatrick and Ray Howser. To gather his fourth 700, Dixon rolled 27 strikes and six spares, while leaving just two frames unfilled.

Speaking of Ray Howser, last week he rolled a 692 series, which was his highest series through the first seven weeks of the fall league schedule. This week, Ray succeeded in breaking through the 700 series barrier rather easily, shooting a 742 series comprised of games of 258, 255 and 229. Howser uses a ball that is 15 years old, and it has been suggested to him on several occasions that he invest in a new one, but Howser operates on the theory that if something isn't broken, don't fix it. And, why should he fix it when he is averaging 213 on Tuesday, 211 on Sunday, and 207 on Thursday and is ranked ninth on the center's high average list? He has the third-highest game on the high game list at 279, and has a 278 to go with that. His 742 series bumped him from 17th place on the high series list to fifth. Come to think of it, I probably wouldn't fix it either, Ray. On Thursday, Ray rolled 23 strikes and nine spares, and had zero open frames.

Mike Fletcher started Thursday night's play averaging 214. By the time the evening was over, he had raised his average to 218 and had moved from eighth to fourth place on the high average list. The reason? Fletcher rolled his first 700 of the season, a 741, by shooting games of 257, 268 and 216. His series moved him up to sixth place on the high series list from the 28th position he held last week. Mike's highest game at this point is a 268, good enough to land him in 10th place on the high game list. Fletcher is one of only a handful of men who have rolled an 800 series at the center. En route to his 741, Fletcher rolled 24 strikes and eight spares, and left one frame unfilled. Unfortunately, his open came in the 10th frame of game one, and may have cost him a 290 game and a plaque for throwing 11 strikes in succession.

Wes Campbell completed the week's pursuit of 700 on Sunday night, bagging games of 215, 278 and 209 to collect his second 700 of the season, a 702. His other 700 series is a 754, which gives Wes claim to second place on the high series list. Campbell boasts the season's most consistent averages, carrying a 219 on Sunday, a 216 on Tuesday, and a 214 on Thursday. His 219 places him in third place on the high average list, two pins behind second place Bruce Michaelson and Mark Smith, and one pin ahead of third-place claimant, Mike Fletcher. Campbell has the second highest game of the season, an honor score of 297, three pins behind game leader Mike Gilliland's 300. To claim his second 700, Wes rolled 23 strikes and seven spares, while leaving two frames open.

Bruce Michaelson very nearly shot his third 700 of the young season on Thursday evening, rolling games of 227, 246, and 224, ending the night with a 697. Bruce now ranks fourth on the high average list with a 218. Bruce's 697 consisted of 20 strikes, 12 spares, and, like Howser, Bruce left zero open frames. Bruce is one of three of our top five male bowlers who travel from Greenville each week to participate in the men's league. The others are Mark Smith and Mike Fletcher.

Like Michaelson, Dave Gholson, Larry Siegert and Jesse Haggerty came very close to reaching the 700 plateau this week, as well. Dave rolled a 681, Larry booked a 679, and Jesse shot a 677. Gholson, by virtue of a single appearance in the Sunday night league, currently holds first place on the high average list with a 227, while Siegert ranks 13th with a 208 and Haggerty claims 15th place with a 206. Siegert rolled three times during this week, shooting a 645 on Sunday, and a 634 on Tuesday, in addition to Thursday's series. Gholson added a 662 to his total on Sunday evening, while subbing for Curt Miller.

Eric Berba came through with his highest ABC-sanctioned 600 series on Thursday, shooting games of 200, 238 and 182 to finish with a 620. On the evening, he averaged 206, 30 pins a game better than the 176 he sported when the evening began.

On Sunday night, Jill Barber shot a 466 series, 70 pins above her series average. In the process, Jill rolled her first WIBC-sanctioned 200 game. Jill came to our Sunday league from our cadre of Wednesday night open bowlers. She began bowling with one of our house bowling balls, bought her own personal ball and had it drilled for a conventional grip, then, after some urging, had it re-drilled to a fingertip grip. Her 200 is the result.

Others who bowled well this week include: Russ Nuss (668), Vincent Smith (666), Joe Kirkpatrick (665), Jason Keller (664), Tarry Davidson (663), Harold McClure (656), Alan Roberts and David Strain (654), David Soeder (652 Thursday/633 Tuesday), Ace Wiginton (651 Tuesday/634 Sunday), Greg Pullen (642 Thursday/624 Sunday), and David Vansickle (642).

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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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