Theresa Phillips and Kelly Ruckman -- YABA bowlers from Fair Lanes Dundalk -- recently traveled to Annapolis Bowl to compete in the first tournament of their short careers.
Theresa and Kelly, bowling in the Saturday morning YABA league their first season, won the Junior and Prep Handicap titles, respectively, at the Parents-Coaches Association's singles tournament that drew 192 youth bowlers in four divisions -- Bantam, Prep, Junior and Major.
Theresa, 12, lives in Fells Point with her parents, Cindy and Raymond Phillips, and is in the eighth grade at Canton Middle School. Just five weeks after starting to bowl, she carries a 91 average and has a high game of 138 and a high set of 337.
"We just wanted to give Theresa and [her 10-year-old brother] Raymond a chance to participate in a sport," Cindy Phillips said. "We wanted them to learn sportsmanship and to have some fun."
Kelly, 11, lives in Joppa with her parents, Debbie and Randy Ruckman, who operate the Bowler's Alley Pro Shop at Fair Lanes Dundalk.
Kelly, a sixth-grader at Magnolia Middle School, has been bowling tenpins since last summer and carried a 66 average at the time of the tournament. Her best game is 108, and her top set is 289.
"My dad drilled my ball," Kelly said. "I wish it was a little heavier [it weighs 8 pounds] because sometimes it doesn't make the automatic pinsetter work."
Debbie Ruckman said: "The last thing I told her was not to be disappointed if she didn't win in her first tournament. I explained how hard it is to win a tournament. Now she thinks there's nothing to it."
Kelly confessed to being a "little nervous."
"After the qualifying round I had to wait about two hours to bowl again," she said. "I think Mom was more nervous than me."
Breaking down barriers
Joe Riddle of Reisterstown recently broke the 700-game barrier with games of 220, 268 and 225 (713) in the Tuesday Men's League at Hampstead Lanes.
Bowling for about 12 years, he carries a 189 average and has a high game of 279.
"I was using a Blue Phantom [bowling ball] for a while," Riddle said, "But then I switched to a Columbia 300. Just recently, I went back to my old Phantom."
Another big night
Jim McCain of Pasadena bowls duckpins in the Saturday Night Independent Major Men's League and the traveling pro league from Fair Lanes Arbutus and Westview, respectively.
On Nov. 13, at Arbutus lanes, he rolled games of 156, 178 and 207 for a 541 series.
Neither the 207 or the 541 were career highs, however. His best game is 213 and his high series will remain a house record forever.
He threw his 590 set at Greenway Glen Burnie, which was destroyed by fire recently.