The Young American Bowlers Alliance Saturday morning sessions at Hampstead Lanes have produced two bowlers who have been recognized as "most improved" by Ginny Blackowicz, league coordinator and marketing director of the split house on Main Street.
Troy Peery and Jaime Bower are the most improved boy and girl, respectively, in the youth league.
Peery, 15, lives in Westminster and began his career with duckpins.
"I switched to tenpins because it seems like a lot of fun," he said. "I tried a lot of different styles this year but it seems that I do best if I throw the ball straight down the middle. I think using a wristband helped, too."
Peery upped his average by 14 pins between the start and finish of the 1993-94 season to capture his "Most Improved Bowler" trophy.
When the sophomore at North Carroll High School is on summer vacation, you'll find him not on the bowling lanes, but on the backs of bulls.
"I've done it in practice," Peery said, "But this summer, at the River Valley Ranch, I'll be bull riding in the Saturday rodeo."
Bower, 12, is a Manchester resident. A sixth-grader at North Carroll Middle School, this is her first year in the YABA.
"My friend, Katie Stonesifer got me started," Bower said. "And it's been a lot of fun."
Using an 8-pound house ball, Bower improved her game by 20 pins.
Heading to Las Vegas
Bill Lindell bowls in four leagues at Terrace Lanes, but he gets his coaching from Chuck Ludwig at County Lanes Westminster.
"Chuck has helped me a lot," Lindell said. "He drills all my bowling balls, too."
That coaching and the properly drilled ball have combined to send Lindell to Las Vegas.
Last Thanksgiving weekend Lindell placed second in a National Amateur Bowlers Inc tournament at Crofton Bowling Centre and, along with a $1,500 cash prize, won a trip to the NABI National Tournament in Las Vegas next month.
"I'm really looking forward to Las Vegas," Lindell said. "I'm practicing 40-50 games a week now and my new ball, the Piranha, has really improved my game."
He's currently averaging 184 and has a career high 270 game and a high set of 691. And a chance at the guaranteed first-place prize of $40,000 in the Las Vegas event.
A team that sticks together
These days it's unusual for a bowling team to remain intact for more than a season or two.
The Hampstead Bowling Center team in the Tuesday night men's tenpin league not only has stayed together but took first place.
Consisting of B.J. Wisner (185), Joe Riddle (196), Will Bates (190), Steve Rothenberger (216) and Billy Montour (187), the team, with one exception, has been bowling together for years.
"Steve is the only 'new' bowler on the team," Wisner said. "Last fall Ken Loughry moved, and we had to replace him, but all of the rest of the guys have been together for years, first at Reisterstown Bowl America and for the past three years here at Hampstead."
And they travel to stay together. Rothenberger and Bates live in Westminster, Montour lives in Owings Mills, Riddle lives in Eldersburg and Wisner travels from Taneytown.
A dream season
The final standings of the Tenpin Youth Bowlers of Tomorrow League at Hampstead Lanes have been posted.
The Dream Team captured first place. Of the four members, Dan Cunningham, Kevin and Mike McKenzie and Tammy Fisher, three will be moving into the adult leagues next season.
Only Mike McKenzie is planning to return to the YABA leagues next fall.