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35-year bowling veteran finally achieves perfection


Jerry Layne has been bowling for 35 years, and on April 21 at Greenway Odenton in the Thursday Men's Handicap league, he finally threw a 300 game.

Layne, a Department of Defense employee, started with the 300 game, scored 237 in the second game and finished with a 245 for a fine 782 series.

"I guess I was a little nervous," Layne said. "After finishing the 300 game, I calmly walked up to the foul line and threw my first ball in the channel to start the second game."

Layne carries a 210 average, so the 300 game is not a fluke. It just took him a little longer than most scratch bowlers.

Pat Hanlon didn't wait too long between 300 games. He had a game last fall, and on April 16 at Greenway Odenton he fired another.

This time he bracketed the 300 with games of 263 and 253 for his first 800 set, an 816 series.

"For a week and half after throwing the 300 game I really bowled terribly," said Hanlon, who works as a machine operator. "I raised average this year from 194 to 216 in the Capitol Men's League, so maybe this dry spell will pass."

And maybe it's the bowling ball. Hanlon had his Blue Hammer resurfaced after he threw the 300 game and the 800 series.

Lynette Locke of Columbia bowls twice a week at Greenway Odenton.

"It's worth the trip because of the great lane conditions at Greenway," she said.

Locke carries a 186 average with her Blue Hammer bowling ball and has a high series of 721.

On April 10 in the Friday Mixed Foursome League, she started with 10 strikes in a row. She came up a little light with the next ball and rushed her delivery on the last shot to miss the two-pinner, but still finished with her career-high game of 288.

"I guess I was a little nervous," she said. "I usually don't miss easy spares."

R Don Jacoby of Glen Burnie, doesn't miss many spares either.

An employee of Brown's Toyota City, he averages 209 and bowls in three leagues, Tuesday at Greenway Odenton, Saturday at Fair Lanes Ritchie and Thursday at Country Club Lanes.

It was at Country Club last month that he shot his first 300 game, surpassing his previous high of 299.

"I really enjoy the sport," Jacoby said. "I'm practicing 60 to 70 games a week right now, and sometime in the future I'd like to give the professional tour a shot."

"Scoring has been real good on the new lanes," said Joey Garafona, manager of Bowl America Odenton. "All the new lanes will be installed for the start of the summer leagues."

It seems like the new lanes are going to be a big hit. On April 23, Eric Snider, a 202-average bowler, threw a near-perfect 290 game.

On the same night in the same league, David Larson, a 182-average bowler, shot a 753 series.

The duckpinners are not doing too badly, either. Mike Fritz fired 523 series, and Stephen Bogdon is throwing a lot of marks.

Fritz of Linthicum, bowling in the 2nd Army League at Fair Lanes Southwest on April 21, racked up his first 500 set.

"I've been bowling duckpins a long time," Fritz said. "I remember bowling at the Recreation Lanes on Howard Street in downtown Baltimore many years ago."

Fritz, a Proctor and Gamble employee who bowls on the same team with his wife, Dorothy, said, "I'm not really a strike type of bowler, but that night the pins were just falling."

You got that right. His first game was 186, the second game a 153 and a final game of 184 capped a fantastic 523 series.

Bogdon lives in Linthicum with his parents, Ed and Kay Bogdon, and bowls in the Monday After School Youth League at Southwest. The 9-year-old Linthicum Elementary School third-grader finished with five marks in a row for his career-high game of 137 on April 20. A week later, Stephen finished with four marks in a row for a 130 game.

"He's been bowling since he was 2 years old," his father said.

Greenway Glen Burnie will play host this weekend to a duckpin tournament, the Greenway House Doubles, with a $500 first prize. This is for Greenway Glen Burnie sanctioned league players only.

Tune in Don Vitek's Best of Bowling radio talk show this Sunday 5 p.m. That's 680 on your AM dial, WCBM. Donald G. Vitek's Bowling column appears every Thursday in The Anne Arundel County Sun. Give Don a call with scores and tidbits at 247-0850.

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