Both men and women are popping pins in midseason form at Mount Airy Lanes, and one of Carroll County's young tenpin bowlers soon will be entering the difficult world of the Professional Bowlers Association.
Steve Rothenberger lives in Westminster and bowls in Carroll County and in Hanover and York, Pa. Next month he'll celebrate his 22nd birthday and within a few weeks should receive his PBA card.
"I'm putting in my application for the Professional Bowlers Association card," he said, "And when I get it I'll start bowling in regional PBA events."
Bowling since age 3, when he started with duckpins, Rothenberger has worked his way up the tenpin average ladder.
Active in the Tuesday Industrial league at Hanover Bowling Center, the Wednesday Majors in East York and the Friday York County Travel leagues, he's maintaining a 211 average. He's shot two 300 games and a 774 series.
Using a 16-pound bowling ball, Rothenberger is ready to pursue his lifelong dream of bowling with the best professional bowlers in the world.
"I'm planning to bowl in the Super Hoinke [in Cincinnati]," he said, "That tournament takes place in November over Thanksgiving weekend and there's a lot of money at stake, but that'll give me a chance to see what it's like to bowl in strong competition."
Making his mark
George Watkins, born, reared and living in Mount Airy, has been bowling at Mount Airy Lanes for a long time.
"I started bowling there before Joe [Rineer] took over in the '70s," Watkins said, "And this is the first time I've ever had an all-mark game. I've had a few with nine marks but never filled every frame."
He took care of that oversight on Sept. 20 in the Monday Men's Industrial League with the third game of his 510 set.
Starting with a 156, followed by a 140 and a 214 all-mark game, Watkins never had a bad game.
"I've always carried a 126-128 average over the years," he said. "But last year tendinitis dropped it to the 121 level."
The arm is coming along fine now. That 214 game is a career high and the 510 set isn't too far from his career-best 528 series.
Not big on practice
Becky Brown, bowling for almost 20 years, lives in Mount Airy and bowls in a single league, the Monday Night Ladies at Mount Airy Lanes. And she doesn't like to practice.
"I never practice," Brown said. "I'll throw one ball on each lane to test the approach before the league and that's it."
Brown carries a 130 average and has a career high single game of 234, a high series of 503. On the second night of the new season she pounded out games of 147, 186 and 139 for a 472 series.
Brown doesn't even bowl in a summer league. "I use the summer for softball," she said.