You can spend a lot of time in duckpin bowling centers and never see a 500 set. It's just too tough; you can't have a bad game. That's why usually you'll see a 200 game or a 190-plus in a three-game 500 series.
It's not unusual to meet a lifelong duckpin bowler who has averaged over 130 or even 140 for years who has not been able to rack up the elusive 500 set.
But Marty Meyers is one of those bowlers who pulled it off. The Sykesville resident has for many years carried an average in excess of 130. This season he is pounding the pins at a 141 pace.
The right-handed native of Utah bowls in two leagues at Mount Airy Lanes -- Wednesday Men's Majors and Friday Mixed.
In the Wednesday Men's Majors at Mount Airy, Meyers was having a good night; his first game was a 173.
"I've been bowling pretty good lately," he said. "I've made a few changes in my game. I'm standing a little closer to the foul line and I've slowed down a bit. And, I guess I'm concentrating a little more."
Those changes are working like a charm. His second game was a solid 196; he finished with a 162 for a 531 series.
A big night
Jim Reisberg, ranked eighth in average with 147 for the 1993-94 season by the Baltimore Duckpin Bowling Association, is a left-handed duckpin veteran.
The Sykesville resident has been bowling since he was 16 years old and has been among the highest-average bowlers in the nation for a long time; his career-high game and set, 237 and 577, respectively, attest to that.
He bowls in the same league with Meyers and he wasn't finished when Meyers left the center.
When he was finished he had a 199 game and a 538 series.
"How about that?" Meyers laughed. "I have a 196 game and a 531 set on the same night and Jim beats both of them. And that's the first time I've ever had a 500 set."
Leading the pack
Tony Matthews and Herman Johnson bowl together at Thunderhead Taneyhead.
"I met Herman after I started bowling again last year," Matthews said. "So when we heard about the tournament at County Lanes we decided to bowl together."
Both Matthews and Johnson are Taneytown residents; Matthews carries a 178 average, Johnson about the same.
"I bowled in the youth leagues," Matthews said, "but quit when I started playing basketball. Then I didn't bowl at all for three years, but this season I'm giving it a try again."
The partnership seems to be working great; they currently lead the pack in the County Lanes doubles tournament. That tournament will continue today and the next two weekends, Dec. 10-11 and Dec. 17-18. First prize is $500.
"I had games of 163, 203 and 248," Matthews said. "I don't remember exactly what Herman had for a three-game set."
When the scores were totaled and the handicap added, the Taneytown team had an event-leading score of 1,410.