Jason Keller fires 791; Neldon Smith tosses 716
Larry Mason

Jan. 23, 2007 - Jason Keller came very near shooting an 800 honor series on Thursday night, but ended the evening having to settle for the season's second best series of the season, a 791, which led all of the bowlers at Classic Lanes for the week. Neldon “Smitty” Smith joined Keller in the run for 700, shooting a 716 this week, also on Thursday night.

Three other men managed to shoot series very near the 700 mark, Mike Fletcher, who shot a 680 series, and Tarry Davison and Steve Edwards who bowled 679 and 673, respectively. Fletcher, Davison and Edwards shot their series on Thursday, as well.

Jason Keller bowled on lanes 9 and 10 on Thursday. This pair has the reputation of being, if not the most difficult lanes to score on in the center, at least one of the more difficult pairs on which to excel. Simply put - 9 and 10 present a real challenge to most of our bowlers. However, on Thursday evening, Mr. Keller didn't seem to be affected by the pair, shooting 30 strikes, four spares and only one open frame, finishing the night's competition with a 791 series, just nine pins shy of an 800 series and honor score.

In his first game, Jason had one open frame, a split in the third and one spare, in the fifth, to go along with nine strikes, ending the game with a 245 total. In Game 2, he did even better, shooting two spares, one in the second frame and another in the third, while tossing 10 strikes to finish at 269. Game 3 was better still. Here, Jason shot one spare in frame five, while he struck in all of the rest, finishing with a 277 game, and his 791. This series moved Jason from the 10th spot on the high series chart one week ago to second place this week, two pins behind chart leader Darreyl Dixon and his 793. Keller also holds second place on the high game list with a 299 honor game, one pin behind Tarry Davison, Becky Bowden and Darrell Green and their perfect games. Jason's Thursday average increased to a 221, which moves him to third place on the high average board.

Keller has only accounted for two 700s this season, as well as a 694, but he only bowls once a week at Classic Lanes, and doesn't get to practice a great deal, at least not at our center. But don't feel too badly for Mr. K. He does own at least one of the 13 800 honor series shot at the center, if memory serves, and he'll likely do it again before he retires his bowling shoes.� �

Neldon Smith is a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer. He is a Vietnam era veteran. He likes to hunt, to fish and to bowl. Thursday night, Smitty put together games of 279, 222 and 215 to register the center's second 700 series of the week, a 716. The series is Neldon's third 700 of the current year. His best series, a 732, holds 11th place on the high series chart. The 279 game Smith rolled in Game 1 this week is his best of the season. It moved him into a 10-way tie for seventh place on the high game list. Neldon is now averaging 211 on Thursday, 202 on Tuesday. Smith's 211 ranks eighth on the high average board, where he joins Wes Campbell and D.J. Kast.

Mike Fletcher produced the center's third highest series for the week, a 680. Mike, who was averaging 204 when competition began on Thursday, fired games of 191, 266 and 223. Had he done anything at all in Game 1, he would have booked his second 700 of the season, but that didn't happen. Mike did manage to raise his Thursday's average to 205, and move up the average board to 13th place, where he shares honors with Nick Painter and Darrell Green. Mr. Fletcher's only 700 series of the season is a 700 even, which places Mike in the No. 27 position on the high series chart. Fletcher ranks fourth on the high game list with a 296, a game shot very early in the 2006 season.

Billy Pickett is one of those individuals who, when everything is just right, can kill his opposition. This past Thursday, Billy found everything to his liking, and shot his best series to date, a 654 comprised of games of 207, 224 and 223. Pickett finished the evening's play 141 pins over his series average, posting the second best series shot on lanes 11 and 12, second to Cliff Whitney by nine pins. When Billy stepped onto the lanes Thursday, he was averaging 171, but he averaged 218 on this night. Billy is one of those individuals one would rather not have to match up against when he's on his game, and it appears that he may just be back in stride.

Debbie Miller has been on a tear recently. She has put together two 600 series, one a 600 even, the other a 609, and this past week, she was the center's top shooting lady, booking a 570 series, 60 pins over her series norm. Ms. Miller shot games of 181, 207 and 182 in the process, all three games above her average of 170.

Rhonda Wilcox is a veteran bowler, now. She won the Hopkins County Ladies' Bowling Association's City Tournament not too very long ago, and has been a steady performer since then. On Sunday, Jan. 14, she rolled games of 188, 143 and 187 to finish the night's competition with a 518 series and a one-night average of 172. When the night's bowling began, Rhonda carried a 147 average, and her series average was a 441. For this one night, Rhonda finished 77 pins over her series average, with only one game, Game 2, sub-par. In addition to her continuously improving bowling skills, she recently broadened her vocational skills, and has now added real estate sales to her resume.

Theresa Kast is the better half of the D.J. Kast household. Did I say that correctly? Oh, well. On Sunday, the 14th, she outdid herself, shooting 95 pins over her series average by tossing games of 176, 124 and 156, all three games above her single game average of 117, to compile a 456 series and a single night's average of 152. She was the only member of her team to bowl over average.

Jim Galloway is another of our several retired military veterans. He comes out of the U.S. Navy. Jim is a pretty low-keyed bowler, who doesn't get overly emotional about his game. He's just likes to bowl, but on occasion, he outdoes himself. On Tuesday night, he did just that. Jim shot games of 201, 165 and 192, to finish the night 72 pins over his series average with a 558 series, compared to a 486 norm. He averaged 186 compared to his Tuesday entering average of 162. He can, like Billy Pickett, hurt his opponents when he's on his game.

Like Jim Galloway, Rick Pearce also bowls on Tuesdays. He shoots around the 176 mark, usually, and will normally give his teammates a 528 or so, series. But this past Tuesday, Mr. P. put together games of 212, 193 and 194 to finish the evening with a 599 series, and a one-nights average of 199. Rick's series was 71 pins over his average, and all three of his games exceeded his single game average. � � � � � � �

Others who bowled well this week include: Tarry Davison (679 Thursday/652 Sunday), Steve Edwards (673), Cliff Whitney (663 Thursday/626 Tuesday), David Gholson and Dewayne Roach (657), Roy Schutz (656), Mike Gilliland (653), Darreyl Dixon (649), Bruce Michaelson (638), Alan Roberts and Nathan Crist (629), Danny Burns (628), Harold McClure (627 Thursday/605 Sunday), D.J. Kast (622 Sunday/610 Thursday), Keith Ethridge (618), Tommy Fletcher (613), Wesley Crist (612) and Russ Nuss (611). � � � � � � � � � � �

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Larry Mason writes a weekly column on the bowling action at Classic Lanes. His column appears on Tuesday.

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