Solomon records 300; Stovall 296; 700s now No. 187
Larry Mason

April 16, 2005 - This was a week of first at Classic Lanes. Nevil Solomon booked his first perfect game, John Lambert fired his first 700 series, Dana Strain rolled her first career 600 series, and Tracie Chapa, Casey Ferguson and Joe Freeman each shot the highest series of their careers. Add to this list the second honor score in Larry Stovall's resume and an additional eight 700s to the center's new record, and one has an exciting week of bowling to talk about.

Nevil Solomon is 72 years young. He has been bowling for many, many years, including some years on the professional bowlers tour. During those many years, Nevil was never able to shoot a sanctioned perfect game, and as time progressed, and his knees began to hurt, and some of the jet speed Nevil was famous for putting on his ball in younger days began to diminish, he had pretty much resigned himself to the fact that he wasn't destined to see a sanctioned 300 honor score in his lifetime. All that changed on Thursday night, however. The knees were still hurting, to be sure, and his ball speed was the same as usual, but in his third game Nevil's talent for hitting a target on the lane consistently overshadowed the sore knees, and his reduced ball speed of recent years was just right for the lane conditions and everything fell into place, resulting in Mr. Solomon collecting his very first perfect game in sanctioned competition.

Bowlers and observers started collecting on the concourse area behind Nevil's lanes when he threw his ninth strike. The crowd continued to grow as he tossed strikes 10 and 11. Everyone was on his or her feet as Nevil launched ball number 12. The ball hit a little light in the 1-3 pocket, and the six pin almost missed hitting the 10 pin, but the six caught just enough of the ten to make it wobble - then finally fall.

There are bowlers who say that people don't react when someone shoots an honor score anymore because there are so many being shot, but that wasn't the case at Classic Lanes on Thursday. Everybody was watching, and everybody cheered when that last pin fell over. Everybody was pulling for Nevil, and they all went over to him to congratulate him when he finished.

Nevil shot his highest series of the season on Thursday as well, finishing the night with a 677. He was averaging 192 when he began bowling on Thursday. Because his perfect game exceeded his average by 108 pins, he will receive a "century" patch as well as his 300 honor game ring. There are some senior bowler awards in the mix also.

Larry Stovall shot his first perfect game two weeks ago. On Thursday night, in his third game of the evening, Larry was on pace to duplicate Solomon's feat, but his last ball went a little too long down the lane before breaking, missing the pocket to the right, resulting in a 296. Stovall still gets an award for his efforts in the form of a plaque from the folks at ABC. What Larry did, in addition to his honor score, was shoot the highest 700 series of the night, a 768. Given that he shot his first 700 a mere six weeks ago, Stovall has come a long way in a very short period. In fact, Larry shot two 700s this week, his other occurring on Sunday night when he rolled a 723. He is averaging 199 on Sunday, and 197 on Thursday.

Ace Wiginton has started to find the range once again, it would appear. On Thursday, he rolled his second 700 of the season. Ace bowled a 741, shooting games of 269, 229 and 243. He is averaging 200, has a high series of 742 and a high game of 288. He ranks 20th in average, 18th in high series and is seventh on the high game list. Ace rolled a 663 on Sunday.

John Lambert came to our area from Colorado about two years ago. He has been bowling regularly since then. On Thursday, he rolled his highest sanctioned series ever when he threw games of 255, 257 and 224, finishing the night with a736. He is averaging 196.

Tarry Davison tied Larry Stovall's 723 by throwing games of 269, 248 and 206 during Thursday's men's league action. It was Tarry's eighth 700 series of the season. Davison is averaging 214 and ranks eighth on the high average list. His best series to date is a 775, which ranks seventh on the high series list, and his top game is a 279, placing him in seventh place on the high game chart. Tarry rolled a 663 series on Sunday.

Wes Campbell tossed his 15th 700 series of the year on Thursday, a 708, rolling games of 234, 236 and 238. Campbell holds first place on the high series list at 785, is fourth on the high average list with a 220, and has a high game of 297, which holds fourth place on the high game list. Wes shot a 653 on Tuesday.

David Gholson collected his fourth 700 of the year on Thursday, a 706, with games of 236, 267 and 203. He ranks 21st on the high series list at 734, is 11th on the high average list with a 210, and has a high game of 269. Dave rolled a 640 on Tuesday.

Mike Gilliland registered our last 700 series of the week rolling a 700 exactly, throwing games of 247, 235 and 218. Mike ranks sixth on the high average list at 217, has thrown 14 700s this season, and holds 11th place on the high series list. He is one of eight individuals who have thrown perfect games this season. Mike rolled a 671 on Tuesday.

Three bowlers came close to the 700 mark on Thursday. Jason Keller tossed a 696, Dickie Harrison a 695 and Casey Ferguson a 693. For Ferguson, it was his highest ABC-sanctioned series. Ferguson comes from our high school bowling program of a couple years back. Actually, Casey came to our program already a skilled bowler, even then.

Tracie Chapa, our one and only left handed lady bowler, crushed the pins on Tuesday night, shooting a 680 series with games of 243, 224 and 213. It was the highest series she's ever bowled at Classic Lanes. It moved her ahead of Kathy Vansickle and her 673 series, to take over first place on the ladies' high series list. Tracie is averaging 184 in both the Tuesday and Sunday leagues. Her high game is a 257.

Barbara Siegert shot a 617 series on Sunday. Her highest series is a 629, her high game is a 256 and she is averaging close to 175.

Dana Strain started rolling 500 series some three weeks ago. With the exception of last Sunday, she has been hitting 500s consistently. On Monday she tossed a 602 series made up of games of 197, 222 and 183. At the time, she was averaging 138. She exceeded her series average by 188 pins, for which she will receive a patch from the WIBC folks. The series is her very first 600, but it very likely will not be her last.

Others who bowled well this week included: Joe Kirkpatrick (689), Neldon Smith (686 Sunday/679 Thursday), Russ Nuss (686), Jason Parmer (684), David Soeder (682 Sunday/668 Tuesday), Clinton Cline (681), Tim Haley (673), Darreyl Dixon (672 Thursday/670 Sunday), Turk Morgan, Mike Fletcher, and Bobby Matthews (670), Cliff Whitney (668), Ray Howser (666 Thursday/656 Sunday/646 Thursday), Mark Smith (667), Keith Ethridge (665), Justin Haggerty (661), Scott Tubb (658), Pat Allen (657), Nathan Crist (656), Joe Freeman (651), Michael Carter (642), Steve Edwards, Jesse Haggerty and Duane Anspon (641) and Jeff Haley (640).

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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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