Mike Fletcher leads five in 700 series chase
Larry Mason

May 16, 2006 - Mike Fletcher led the field in this week’s run for 700, shooting a 747.  Mike was followed by Joe Kirkpatrick;s 724, Tarry Davison's 713, Bruce Michaelson's 707 and Harold McClure's 700. Jason Keller came very close to claiming his 21st 700 of the season, but had to settle for a 696 on Sunday. He tossed a 672 on Thursday. Becky Bowden led the ladies, shooting a 638 series, but the biggest surprise was turned in by Dana Strain, who rolled a 607 series, her first 600 of the year.

Mike Fletcher is one of our Greenville residents who makes the 50-mile round trip to and from Sulphur Springs each week to bowl in our men’s commercial league. Mike is a self-employed commercial painter by profession. When he isn’t painting, he likes to bowl, and he’s very good at it.  This week, on Thursday, he shot his 11th 700 series of the season rolling games of 257, 243 and 247 to complete the evening’s play with a 747 series.  Fletcher’s best series this year is a 768, which puts him in ninth place on the high series chart.  

Because he is such a consistent bowler, Mike got very little press this season. I need to correct this oversight. Fletcher, for example, leads all of our bowlers in the high average department with a 224 with just those 11 700s, produced in a single league. His closest competitor, Jason Keller, by way of comparison, has tossed a 700 series 20 times this season in three leagues, but trails Mike by three pins in average, with a 221. Wes Campbell has 17 700s, again from three leagues, but trails Mike in average with a 220.  What this all adds up to is this: Mike shoots pretty close to his average every night that he bowls, and to do this, he has to shoot around a 672, but a 672 will only get one into the “Others who bowled well this week” part of this column.  And, add to this, the fact that Mike has yet to shoot an honor score, unlike Keller, who has a 299, and Campbell, who has a 298 game and an 806 series. Mike’s best game is a 280, which places him ninth on the high game list. 

It would appear that this has been an average season for Fletcher, and average doesn’t generate much ink. Let me hasten to point out, however, that Mike owns two of the 13 800 series shot at Classic Lanes, as does Keller.  Mike’s are an 800 and an 813, and this is the second time that Fletcher has finished the season with the center’s highest average. He has a few of those honor games, as well. There is nothing average about this man.   

Joe Kirkpatrick produced the week’s second-best series, a 724 shot on Sunday evening. Joe shot games of 211, 267 and 246 to garner his 13th 700 of the season. Joe is averaging 207 on Thursday and 209 on Sunday. He completed Tuesday’s mixed league with a 214, placing him seventh on the high average board. Joe leads all of our bowlers in honor games, shooting both a 300 perfect game and a 298. Tarry Davison is the only other bowler who has shot multiple honor scores, posting a 300, a career first, as well as a 290. Kirkpatrick ranks eighth on the high series chart, with a 772. 

Speaking of Tarry Davison, this man has been bowling like a man possessed in the latter half of this fall/winter season. Thursday night he booked his 16th 700 series of the season. The 16 total comes from two leagues, Sunday’s and Thursday’s. Tarry is averaging 219 on Sunday and 215 on Thursday, and ranks fourth on the high average board. Davison’s best series is a 765, which places him 11th on the high average board.

Retired Air Force veteran Bruce Michaelson is another of our Greenville folks. He is an L3 employee. Bruce gave us our fourth 700 of the week, this one a 707 comprised of games of 224, 247 and 236. It is Bruce’s 11th 700 of the season, shot in two leagues, Tuesday and Thursday. Michaelson’s best series is a 746, which ranks 11th on the high series chart. Bruce is one of the six men who have shot perfect games at Classic Lanes this season.  Michaelson completed Tuesday’s league play with a 219 average, and currently carries a 218 on Thursdays. His Tuesday average places him in fourth place on the high average board. This is another one of those very consistent bowlers.

The people of Sulphur Springs employ Harold McClure. He’s a policeman.  When he isn’t bowling, he’s out there protecting his employers. As a result, his bowling is often times disrupted by emergency calls. Sunday night, he got to finish what he started, and ended the night with his seventh 700 series of the season. Harold shot games of 205, 258 and 237. McClure averages 219 on Sundays and 215 on Thursdays. He ranks fourth on the high average board. Harold’s best game is a 278, which ranks 11th on the high game list, and his best series is a 738, 16th on the high series chart.

We have already mentioned Jason Keller’s 696 series on Sunday and his 672 on Thursday, and the fact that he is averaging 221, second-best average in the center. You also know he has 20 700 series to his credit, the most by any of our bowlers. You may not know, however, that he has a 299 honor game this season, and ranks second on the high game list. You are aware that he has two of our center’s 13 800 series. Since that brings you up to date on Jason, we won’t say anything more.

Bryan Gelwick averages 178. His best game this season is a 244, 35th on the high game list. As of Thursday night, his best series is a 648, 62nd on the high series chart. Gelwick shot games of 240, 224 and 184. Bryan finished the night averaging 216, and was 114 pins over his series average.           

Becky Bowden was, once again, the ladies’ top bowler, shooting a 638 on Sunday. Becky rolled games of 229, 194 and 215. Becky continues to lead the ladies in all three categories we monitor, average, series and game.  She has a 208 high average, a 714 high series and a 280 high game. On the men’s and ladies’ combined listings, Becky ranks 12th in average, 27th in series and ninth in game. 

Back in December, Dana Strain gave birth to a baby girl. Her bowling took a backseat to motherhood, but at the beginning of April, just in time for the ladies’ city tournament, she started to get back in stride. In fact, Dana shot her highest game of the season during the tournament, a 242. It ranks eighth on the ladies’ high game list. On Sunday, Dana tossed her best series of the season, a 607, with games of 216, 223 and 168. The series is the 10th-best rolled by a woman this season. Dana normally averages 143, and will have a series around the 429 mark. Sunday, Ms. Strain was 178 pins over her series average, and her 223 game was 80 pins over her single game average. She will get awards from the USBC folks for both her series and her game. Nice going, Dana. 

Others who bowled well this week include: Wes Campbell and Chad Dailey (685), Larry Stovall (683 Thursday/637 Sunday), Tommy Fletcher (675), Nathan Crist and Ace Wiginton (674), David Gholson (663), Bo Duncan (653), Russ Nuss (650), Danny Burns (649), Mark Smith (647), Dewayne Roach (636) and Greg Pullen and Michael Fletcher (632).

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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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