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Hershey Park Youth Ten Pin League sweetens pot for young bowlers


It's become routine for professional athletes to win a game, turn to the TV cameras, and say "I'm going to Disney World."

There's a twist to that statement at Hampstead Bowling Center: there's an entire tenpin bowling league whose members can shout, "I'm going to Hershey Park!"

Early this summer Ginny Blackowicz, of Hampstead Lanes, decided to have a youth league that would truly attract the attention of young bowlers in the area.

Well, if something is good enough for professional athletes, Ginny figures it's good enough for her kids. How about a league where not only the winners go to an amusement park but where everybody goes?

What to call it? This is tricky . . . Wait, we'll call it the Hershey Park Youth Ten Pin League. Ginny is a great league coordinator, a fine coach and she really cares about the kids. But she's not too great on league names.

Is the Hershey Park Youth Ten Pin League a hit? You bet. Stop at the bowling center on Wednesday morning and you'll find a bunch of happy kids.

None of them are happier than Toby Pauley and Katie Stonesifer.

Toby, of Upperco, is leading the league with his 131 average, 418 high series and 175 high game.

He comes from a bowling family. His mother, Mary, and father, David, have averages of 161 and 160-plus, respectively.

Throwing a 14-pound Columbia White Dot ball, Toby has a career high set of 478 and high game of 203; he started bowling duckpins and switched to tenpins. He will enter 11th grade at Franklin High School this fall and he says, "Bowling is just a lot of fun. And Miss Ginny is a great coach."

Katie Stonesifer lives in Manchester with her mom and dad, Arlene and Stoney. Arlene carries a 132 average, Stoney a 178. Katie averages a bit lower: 49.

"She's a new kid on the block," Blackowicz said. "Katie just started bowling a few weeks ago, at the beginning of summer. She's going to be a good one."

Katie, nine years old and entering fifth grade at Manchester Elementary School this fall, is about as enthusiastic and animated as any bowler you ever saw. Is she going to be "a good one"?

You bet. Katie, in her first league bowling adventure, using a house bowling ball, has just thrown a game that is 58 Pinsover average.

That's awesome.

What does Katie have to say about this feat?

"I'm going to get my own bowling ball!"

Are you listening, mom?

Just how did a Hershey Park Youth Ten Pin League get started?

"Just to give the kids something to look forward to before school starts," Blackowicz said.

Ginny has a new league starting at the end of September for kids from one to 21 years old. Registration runs until Sept. 25, and the league will start Sept. 26. It will feature free shoe rental, awards, trophies, bumpers for ages one to 5, eligibility for Star of the Month and a Hampstead Bowling Center shirt.

The league also will have a Halloween costume party and a Christmas party. Certified coaching will be available.


Ladies, do you want to bowl but don't know how? Blackowicz has a deal for you.

Starting Sept. 21, Blackowicz will have a "Learn to Bowl" clinic. It's 12 weeks of coaching and fun, six weeks of lessons and six weeks of league competition. Each woman will receive her own bowling ball, a Columbia White Dot in her choice of color and weight, in time to use it in competition the last six weeks.

Free baby sitting will be available.

The cost of the lessons and league is $7 a week.


Steve Rothenberger of Westminster and John Delp of Pennsylvania are leading the double scratch division of the Hanover Bowling Center tournament with a total of 1,328 pins.

Last May, Steve placed 39th in the Bowlers Journal magazine tournament at Corpus Christi, Texas, against a field that numbered in the thousands.

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