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For Dixons, tenpins bring family together


The Dixon family bowls. Marie and Dick and their son, Mike do their tenpin bowling at Bowl America Odenton.

Marie bowls in the Saturday Mixed, Wednesday Powderpuff and Monday's O'Malley Prime Timers leagues; Dick coaches the Monday league and the Saturday Young America Bowling Alliance, the league where son Mike bowls.

Marie carries a 150 average, and Dick carries an average of 175.

Mike is averaging 185 with a 299 high game and a high series of 691. Those are impressive figures for an 18-year-old. Bowling for 12 years, Mike, a junior at Arundel, placed 26th out 60 top youth bowlers in the national tournament at Tucson last year.

"John Gaines [pro shop operator at the Odenton center] coaches me some and that's helped a lot," Mike said. "And I try to practice every other day."

Striking close to perfection

Donnie Webb, born and raised in Anne Arundel County, lives in Odenton and bowls in two leagues at Bowl America Odenton.

"I had a 300 game back in 1984 and last year I shot two 290 games back-to-back," he said.

Those two 290 games were tacked onto a first game of 215 and totaled an outstanding 795.

Subbing in the Friday Mixed league at Bowl America, Webb had a night that will be hard to forget.

He pounded out games of 237, 238 and 289 for a 754 series. Out of a possible 36 frames, Webb had strikes 26 times . . . and still couldn't put a 300 game on the board.

Hitting it big with a new ball

Frank Martin lives in Odenton and bowls at Bowl America there.

Bowling since he was a kid, Martin had a new 16-pound Pro Rhino ball fitted and drilled last month. The Pro Rhino is a two-piece reactive resin ball, one of the so-called "cheater" balls that hit the market like a thunderbolt last year.

Bowling in two leagues, the Thursday Baltimore Mixed and the Friday Mixed, Martin has been maintaining a 197 average.

But in the past month since he picked up his new ball, he's thrown three sets over 650, and on Feb. 25, he posted exceptional numbers -- 287, 225 and 256 for a 768 series.

Both the 287 and the 768 are career highs for Martin.

Advancing the hard way

Joe Gill lives in Pasadena and bowls in a single league, the Tuesday Men's Metro at Bowl America Ritchie.

He was bowling in the National Amateur Bowling, Inc. tournament at Brunswick Perry Hall the weekend of Feb. 27-28 when he made it into the finals the hard way.

Gill, who averages 176 and has a career-high game of 289 and a high series of 722, said, "The game against Ken Shelton in the NABI was kind of exciting."

He and Shelton actually tied for the fifth spot on the stepladder finals and had to have a two-frame roll-off. Gill won that roll-off but was unable to advance past the fifth spot.

Because of the storm, Don Vitek's bowling column could not bpublished yesterday. It will resume on its usual day next Sunday.

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