It didn't take Dale Warehime long to regain his bowling form.
"This is the first year of bowling for Dale since he returned from service in Desert Storm," Jim Weaver, manager of County Lanes, said. "He didn't bowl for the two years he was in the service, but now he's throwing the ball pretty good."
Warehime, a truck driver born in Carroll County and living in Westminster, fired his first 300 game on Feb. 18 at Thunderhead Taneytown. He started slowly in the Thursday Men's Classic League with games of 210 and 211 before the 300.
"I wasn't doing anything different," said Warehime, 26. "I just had one of those nights when everything worked.
"I bowled for about three years before I went into the Army, then, of course, I didn't bowl for two years. Then I joined the leagues last fall."
Those leagues are the Thursday and Friday Mixers at Taneytown and the Wednesday Upper Adams Merchants league at Biglersville, Pa. Once in a while, he subs in the Saturday Travel League at County Lanes.
A left-hander, Warehime used a 16-pound Blue Pearl Hammer, a two-piece shiny urethane bowling ball with a tendency to track quickly and hook with more use. It's good on medium to lightly oiled lanes. He carries a 197 average with a career-high set of 753.
"I had a shot at the 300 once before," Warehime said with a laugh. "I shot 11 strikes in a row and on the 12th ball I dumped it in the channel."
That, folks, is a hard way to get a 290 game.
Bowlers of the Month
Barry Kaplan bowls tenpins; Brian Brooks is a duckpinner. They're Bowler of the Month in their respective sports at Westminster Thunderhead.
Each bowler of the week from each league at Thunderhead is invited to participate in the monthly tournament; the winner of that event is crowned Bowler of the Month.
Barry Kaplan moved to Westminster from Baltimore about 16 years ago and lives there today with his wife, Brenda. Owner and operator of the Barchaun Beaty Saloon in Reisterstown, Kaplan started bowling tenpins two years ago.
He bowls in two leagues: the Thursday All Stars at Thunderhead Westminster and the Tuesday Mixed at Bowl America Reisterstown. Aver
aging 151, he's thrown a career-high game of 243 and a high set of 550. In the Bowler of the Month event, he put together games of 198, 189 and 156 for a 543 series that was 100 pins over average.
Kaplan, who uses a fingertip grip in his 15-pound Ebonite Nitro ball, says: "The big games can get your heart pumping. The other night I strung the first seven strikes, and it's easy to get a little excited."
Brian Brooks was born in Alaska but his family moved when he was 1 1/2 . He lives in Westminster and is a bricklayer for his dad's company, Brooks Construction.
This is his first year for duckpins. "I don't pay much attention to scores," he says. "Bowling [he bowls both tenpins and duckpins] for me is a night out with the guys, a little exercise."
Brooks carries a 104 average in the Sunday Mixed duckpin league at Westminster Thunderhead and has a 137 average in the Wednesday tenpin league there. He's thrown a 207 game in tens and a 153 game in ducks. He threw the 153 in the Bowler of the Month tournament.
Young hot shot
Mike McKenzie, 16, of Manchester, continues to get better and better on the tenpin lanes. A youth bowler at Hampstead Bowling Center, McKenzie attends North Carroll High and bowls in the YABA league on Saturday mornings.
With a 180 average since switching to a fingertip bowling ball last summer, McKenzie is using a Columbia Black Knight bowling ball to post some super scores.
The Black Knight is a hard three-piece ball that works well on dry lanes or synthetics that really hook; it appears that he picked the right equipment for his style. In the recent Coca-Cola tournament, he threw games of 256, 192 and 186 for a 634 series. That 256 is his career high.