Campbell shoots 297; one of six to shoot 700
Larry Mason

Sept. 21, 2004 - Three weeks ago, 14 men took aim at shooting a 700, but all of them missed. As a result, the five-year string of uninterrupted 700s at Classic Lanes came to an end. The guys must have felt badly about losing their streak, because the following week, a new string commenced when four men sighted in, found the range and fired 700s. Mike Gilliland even found the time to register the center's first honor score of the fall season, a 300 perfect game.

This past Thursday, Wes Campbell shot Classic Lanes' second honor score of the young season, booking a 297 in game one of men's league play. Wes logged his first 700 series of the season in the process. Campbell was one of six Classic Lanes bowlers to register a 700 series during the course of the week. Keith Ethridge, Eloy Chapa, Mark Smith, Cliff Whitney and David Gholson joined Campbell in a 700 series turkey shoot.

Campbell and Ethridge share this week's spotlight because they both rolled 754s, the highest series in the past seven days. The duo's efforts moved them into a second place tie on the high series list, where they trail series leader David Vansickle's 779. Keith's series comprised games of 258, 267 and 229, while Wes' was made up of games of 297, 193 and 264. Ethridge rolled 25 strikes and nine spares to go along with zero open frames. For his part, Wes collected 26 strikes and five spares while leaving two open frames, both of those splits.

Campbell was perfect through the first 10 balls of game one on Thursday, and appeared to be well on the way to booking the ninth perfect game of his bowling career, but it wasn't to be. Campbell's 11th ball was a little "heavy," but pin action carried the day, and all 10 pins fell. However, on his final delivery Wes laid the ball down slightly to the right of his intended target, making the ball finish "light" in the pocket, where it only accounted for seven of the 10 pins in the rack. Campbell did, however, throw 11 consecutive strikes during the game, for which he will receive a wall plaque from the ABC administrators in Wisconsin. Wes is currently averaging 221 on Sunday, 219 on Thursday and 216 on Tuesday. His 221 claims fourth on the high average list, and his 297 honor score ranks second on the high game list behind Gilliland's 300 game.

Ethridge is currently averaging 224, which claims second place on the high average list. He ranks second on the high series list with his 754 and is fourth on the high game list with a 277, where Koy Cline shares the honors. Given the fact that Keith bowls just once a week, his statistics are all the more impressive.

Chapa logged the center's second-highest series this week, shooting a 736 in Tuesday's mixed league. Eloy rolled games of 245, 246 and 245 to fashion what had to be the most consistent 700 series of the season thus far. One less pin in game two would have resulted in his receiving a "triplicate" patch from the ABC. As it stands, he will get yet another 700 patch, to go with several hundred others he already has. To get his 736, Eloy rolled 26 strikes and four spares while leaving three open frames.

Chapa is averaging 214, placing him in seventh place on the high average list, a position he shares with Bruce Michaelson. Eloy ranks fourth on the high series with his 736 and is 14th on the high game list with a 252.

Smith claims the center's top average with his 234 from Thursday night. He holds a 220 average on Sunday night. Smith is currently the center's most prolific shooter of 700s, having shot three already this fall - 745, 735 and 717. His highest game to date is a 276, good enough to claim fifth place on the high game list, where he joins Doug Brann. In registering his third 700, Mark rolled 20 strikes and 12 spares while leaving zero frames open. All in all, a pretty good night's work.

Whitney has a pinched nerve in his lower back. It causes him some degree of discomfort when he bowls or plays golf - but he plays anyway. On Tuesday this retired Air Force sergeant shot his first 700 of the season, a 706. Cliff managed to roll 21 strikes and six spares, to go with four open frames. Ironically, two of those opens came in the 10th frames of games two and three, which caused him to lose as much as 42 additional pins, or his series would have been much higher. As it was, Whitney registered games of 224, 236 and 246. Whitney is averaging 216, fifth on the high average list, is ninth on the high series list with his 706 and claims 17th place on the high game list at 246.

Gholson has been struggling on the lanes for the past few weeks, but he put it all together on Thursday, recording his first 700 of the new season, a 701. David shot 24 strikes and seven spares while leaving three frames open. Two of those opens were splits. Gholson is now averaging 203 on Thursday and finds himself in 16th place on the high average list. His 701 ranks 10th on the high series list and his highest game to date, 248, ranks 15th on the high game list.

Our top lady performer of the week was none other than Amy Sharp, a name you've seen in this column any number of times in the past years. Unfortunately, Amy isn't bowling as often as she once did, so I have less opportunity to talk about her accomplishments. Still, on Tuesday she rolled a 620 series comprised of games of 245, 225 and 150 to out duel the ladies from Sunday, Monday and Tuesday leagues. It would appear that her semi-retirement from the game has taken a toll on her stamina, as evidenced by here third game total. Amy is averaging 181 on Tuesday, her only league.

Others who bowled well this week include: Alan Roberts (680), Michaelson (672), Gilliland (670 Thursday/642 Tuesday), Nick Painter (657), James Parmer (654), Darreyl Dixon (651), Harold McClure (649), Robert Spurgeon (641), Justin Haggerty (635), Ray Howser (634 Sunday/600 Thursday), Greg Pullen (634), Eddie Ayers (633), Mike Fletcher, Brann (632) and Jesse Haggerty (629).

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

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