Lucky 4 takes Sunday Mixed League title

Larry Mason

May 19, 2008 - The Sunday Mixed League championship became the property of the Lucky 4 on Sunday, May 4, after 36 weeks of very strong competition. The Lucky 4 were indeed lucky, in that they sorta, kinda slid into the championship roll-off, entering as the wild card team.

The Lucky 4, comprised of Carla and Darreyl Dixon, David Strain and Jason Keller, didn't win any of the four quarterly roll-offs conducted by the Sunday Mixed League during the 2007/'08 season, but they stayed in the running by winning 86.5 games over the course of the season, which placed them in the No. 3 position on the total wins standing sheet for the season. Those 86.5 wins were destined to become important to the Lucky 4, because one team, the Whistle Blowers, Chebna and Harold McClure, Alan Roberts and Tarry Davison, won two of the year's four quarterly contests, so a wild card team had to fill the fourth slot for Sunday's championship.

You may recall that one year ago, it was discovered that some of our leagues had been using a team's total pin-fall for the season as the method for determining which of the remaining squads in the league would fill wild card slots, when one was required. You may also recall that upon re-examination of the then-ABC rule, the wild card team had to be the team that did not win a quarter during the season, but had the best won/lost record for the season. In fact, last year the league had actually had to roll the championship round a second time, using a completely different wild card team. I believe I called it the mulligan rule, as it applies to bowling.� �

With all of last year's confusion laid to rest, everyone knew in advance just which squad would be the wild card team this year, and there would be no “mulligan” this go-round. The teams that won their places in the championship roll-off outright were the Whistle Blowers, the team that won the first and third quarter roll-offs, Classic Car Zone (CCZ), Shannon and Allan Hague, and Michael and Amber Burnett, winners of the second quarter, and the Bubble Heads, Taylor Robertson, Chris Brooks, Casey Morton and Dewayne Roach, who won the fourth quarter.

Now, all of this sounds pretty straight forward, but, actually, the fourth quarter winners could have been either the Bobble Heads or the Pin Busters, Sharon Callahan, Rhonda and Stephen Wilcox, and James Allen. These two teams squared off against one another on lanes one and two at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, with the Bobble Heads holding a two-game lead over the Pin Busters when play commenced. And, If you think there was a lot of confusion last year, consider this scenario.

Had the Pin Busters won four games, they would have won the quarter, and would have been in the championship. Had the Pin Busters won three games, they and the Bobble Heads would have had identical 25 -11 records. Given that possibility, the two teams would have had - you guessed it - a roll-off, where total pins for that three-game match would have determined the winner. Does all of this sound a little unnecessary to you - it does to me.� �

But, as it turned out, the Bobble Heads won three of the points up for grabs, winning the quarter and securing their place in the championship round. The field for the championship was set.

The four combatants opted to bowl on lane pairs 5 and 6, 7 and 8. For the sake of the draw, the Bobble Heads matched up against the Lucky 4 on lanes 7 and 8, while the Whistle Blowers and CCZ battled on lanes 5 and 6. It really made no difference which team bowled which, because as it turns out, total pins for the round determines the league's champion. And I'll bet you thought bowling was a simple sport to score.

In the first game of the championship, the Whistle Blowers posted an 853, which gave them a 29-pin lead over the Lucky 4, a 60-pin lead over CCZ, and a 63-pin lead over the Bobble Heads. Given that the Whistle Blowers had won two of the four quarters this season, had three male bowlers each carrying a 200 plus average, Tarry Davison (227), Alan Roberts (209) and Harold McClure (210), and Chebna contributing a 176 average for a team, giving them a single game average of 822, the odds makers considered them to be the team to beat. Game 1 reinforced that opinion.

However, Game 2 went to the Bobble Heads with a combined total of 828. They moved into third place in the standings, 13 pins ahead of CCZ, and had closed to within 13 pins of Lucky 4, and were within 27 pins of the Whistle Blowers. The Whistle Blowers still clung to a slim 14-pin lead over the Lucky 4, and a 40-pin edge over CCZ.

In Game 3, the Lucky 4 decided to light up the lanes, posting an 859 game total, topping the Bobble Heads by 117 pins, CCZ by 110 pins and the Whistle Blowers by 152 pins. The final rankings showed the Lucky 4 in first place with a 2,490 total, Bobble Heads second with a 2,360 total, CCZ third with a 2,354 total, and the Whistle Blowers fourth with a 2,352 total.

Darreyl Dixon led the Lucky 4 to victory with a 688 series, while teammates David Strain and Jason Keller contributed 681 and 665, respectively. Carla Dixon was close to her average, a 441, shooting a 426. Darreyl's series was the best shot in the roll-off.

Sunday Mixed League bowlers produced several records. In the high game category, Joe Kirkpatrick, Tarry Davison, James Allen and Michael Burnett all fired perfect games. Davison produced the league's highest series, a 799 shot in Week 1. Jason Parmer was close behind Tarry, shooting a 779, while Darreyl Dixon posted a 769. Davison also claimed the men's top average, a 227, while Dixon was second with a 216, and Parmer third with a 210.

On the women's side of the ledger, Becky Bowden had the highest game, a 261, followed by Kathy Vansickle's 246, and Rhonda Wilcox and Jacque Wison's 245s. Becky also produced the only 700 series by a lady this season, shooting a 702. Shannon Hague registered a 616, while Wilcox fashioned a 614. Becky led the ladies in average with a 203, while Kathy Vansickle was second with 177, with Shannon Hague finishing in third place at 174.� � �

The league's Most Improved Bowler award for the men went to Casey Morton. Casey increased his average by 19.72 by the end of the season. He was followed by Mikey Melton, plus 16.9 pins, and Wesley Crist, plus 12.49 sticks.

Amber Burnett led the ladies, improving her average by 14.78 pins. She was followed in the final standings by Jacque Wilson's 7.22 increase, and Robertson's 7.11.

Larry Mason writes about the bowling action at Classic Lanes.

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