Jean Grimes, a Pasadena resident, recently lived a dream. Or maybe it was a nightmare. It depends upon your outlook on bowling in general and on tournament bowling specifically.
Grimes started duckpin bowling just three years ago.
"Glenna [Grimes, manager of Riviera Bowl and Jean Grimes' sister-in-law] dragged me into a bowling center about three years ago," she said. "Then last weekend she dragged me into the tournament."
That tournament was a Duckpin Bowler Tour event at Fair Lanes Eastpoint, a singles tournament with results based on a handicap system. Averages mean very little; an individual simply has to bowl above her average to have a chance to win.
Grimes, bowling in two mixed leagues at Riviera Bowl, finished the 1994-95 season with a 102 average.
"I'm not really sure what my best game or set is," Grimes laughed. "I think I had a 155 game and a 400 series, but I'm not sure of the exact figures."
That's the information that you'll receive from many bowlers who don't take the game too seriously; the vast majority of bowlers, who are on the lanes for the camaraderie, for a night out, for the exercise; the bowlers who don't even dream of entering a tournament with a first-place prize of $1,000.
On Saturday, June 10, Glenna Grimes talked Jean into entering the tournament with her.
"That was her first tournament," Glenna Grimes said. "So maybe it was beginner's luck, but she qualified for the Sunday [stepladder] finals."
Usually there are five positions on the DBT ladder but because of a three-way tie for fourth place, seven duckpin bowlers were in the finals, six men and Jean Grimes.
"I realized that what she had to do to win the tournament was impossible," Glenna Grimes laughed. "Since it was her first tournament, Jean didn't know it was impossible."
The task that faced Jean Grimes would have daunted the most experienced tournament bowler: win six individual matches in a row against six opponents.
"Nervous? I was beyond nervous, way, way beyond nervous," she said.
But two hours later, Grimes had vanquished six opponents in head-to-head competition for a victory in the first tournament she had ever entered.
Youths of the Year
Seventy-three Grand Finalists representing 20 Bowl America Centers in Virginia and Maryland recently competed for the title of 1994-1995 Youth of the Year at Bowl America Falls Church.
Each was already a three-time champion by winning Youth of the Week, Youth of the Month and their center's Youth of the Year title.
The tenpin bowlers competed in four divisions: Bantam (ages 8 and under), Prep (9-11), Junior (12-14) and Major (15-21).
In the Bantam Division, Sylvanna Jones of Bowl America Glen Burnie won second place and Samantha Herrera of Odenton took sixth.
In the Prep Division, Bobby Atkinson of Bowl America Glen Burnie was fourth and Chris Lindo of Bowl America Odenton sixth.
Junior Division second-place honors went to Mike Isler of Bowl America Odenton and Casey Henderson of Bowl America Glen Burnie was eighth.
In the Major Division, Chuck Thompson of Odenton and John Scherer were fifth and seventh, respectively.