Bowling builds memories and friendships

Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist

I am not sure if Parker Bohn III and Rob Fletcher have ever had the chance to meet and talk but it was easy to draw some similarities from my recent conversations.

The conversation with each was outside of the lanes … with Parker while we dined on pork at the PBA Lefeld Implement Classic at Coldwater and with ‘Fletch’ at The Oaks after we had each completed a round of golf … 12 holes for me… 27 for him.

As I reflected upon those moments the constant was the memories that each had of their time in the game. With Parker it started with his opportunity to compete with and against Guppy and Kyle Troup and with Fletch the conversation drifted to our own set of characters at Moreo Lanes and a healthy comparison to one of his current leagues at 20th Century Lanes.

The stories do not matter for today but the same love of the sport was apparent in the eyes of Fletcher as it was in the eyes of Bohn. It was apparent that they have a love for the game and the people in it that they value the friendships that have flourished as a result.

This past week at the lanes I have seen multiple examples of the impact that the sport has on the development of friendships and impact upon those in need of the community.

The first of these would have been a league at 20th Century known as “The Fabulous Strikers!” I had a chance to watch them some on this past Tuesday evening and granted that there were a handful of fabulous strikes. More importantly I do not remember ever watching a league, as a whole, who had so much fun. They clearly enjoyed the game and the time that they were spending together. It was what league bowling is supposed to be. Even the colorful Troup father and son team would have been overwhelmed by the good time they were having.

Memories were being built and friendships were being strengthened.

Clearer evidence of how bowlers develop character and relationships is how they tend to take care of their own and needs of the community.

Last week we discussed CAMSTRONG – the support of Cameron Patrick, a junior bowler at 20th Century who is currently battling acute myeloid leukemia. Perry High School and 20th Century will be holding benefits for him Sept. 17 with great food, auction items and a no tap tournament on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Great items will be available in the silent auction.

Nitzas had donated an OSU jewelry set that the senior bowlers immediately took interest in … more for the cause than the product. The quick result was that the Patrick family will be a little less in need.

By the way a whole lot of chocolate to support St Rose Schools disappeared in that same league session.

Bowlers and community dedication is on display as this article goes to press with the Pro-Am event at Wapak on Friday evening. Auction items, baked goods, chicken and more importantly the professional bowler interaction was much on display. The benefactors were the Special Olympics of Auglaize County.

I teased it last week! Brian Nicodemus, Tony Johnson and Carleton ‘C-Bo’ Chambers may not be huge winners on the tour but they are genuine gold to the Special Olympians of Auglaize County and their friends and families. It is not possible for any of us to assess the memory impact that the involvement of the PBA bowlers have had upon the Olympians and their families. Autographed shirts, hugs, photo ops and thumbs up mean more than any of us can imagine.

The finals today will be great, although as this is written we are all clueless as to who will finish on top. Walter Ray Williams is in the battle and Ryan Ciminelli is defending champion and a master of the chameleon pattern that will be utilized.

The odds are good that one or both will make the Sunday round-robin. Would it not be great to see Walter Ray be the first PBA bowler to 100 titles on our local turf?

On the other hand there are some great local young guns. Anthony Kennard has already made an impact on the regional tour and little brother Brandon will also compete. It will also be fun to watch local young guns Chandler Stevens and Kody Perrine.

For what it is worth I say watch out for one of the local youngsters or Brad Angelo.

Please take this as my apologetic correction that we are well aware that although Williams is a member of the PBA and Horseshoe Hall of Fame, that membership of the PGA Hall of Fame has alluded him as we mistakenly printed on Friday.

If you cannot make it to Wapakoneta today then give Westgate a chance about noon as the new NWOTBA season kicks off at that site. The association this week is stressing team events. We will gather more information from the mastermind of Derek Dukes regarding this very fresh and innovative concept.

In keeping with the theme of the day however there is a good chance that these teams were built at least in part on the relationships and memories that were cultivated on the lanes in league play.

The establishments in the area each have league openings … please give them a call today.

See you around the lanes.

Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist

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