It is with a heavy heart and much sorrow that we share with you the passing of a great man and bowling legend Mr. Jerry Hill.
There isn’t much to add to what hasn’t already been said the last few days about Mr. Hill as there isn’t a bowler in southwest Oklahoma who didn’t know him and admire him for his many years of hard work and dedication to the sport.
He was truly an ambassador to the game and did whatever he could to help others, in turn helping the game to prosper in this area.
Mr. Hill had his share of great games and honors scores but he seemed always more concerned with how everyone else was bowling, never missing an opportunity to ask how you were bowling which would most times lead to one of his many stories that we would all love to hear just one more time.
Appropriately, Mr. Hill was the first person to be inducted into the Greater Lawton-Fort Sill Bowling Association Hall of Fame back in 1973, the first year that local records show him with one of many perfect 300 games.
It wasn’t long after that Mr. Hill joined the Senior Professional Bowlers Tour and was a forefather to the state Senior All Star Bowling Association, a.k.a. SASBA, to allow some of the older bowlers an opportunity to compete among bowlers in their same age category.
Mr. Hill stayed active in bowling until his legs just wouldn’t hold up to the rigors of three games but until just recently, he could be found on the lanes two and sometimes three times a week.
Jerry Hill’s name came up as the next bowler up at heaven’s gate last Saturday but he left behind a legacy that will never be matched in our lifetime.
So the next time you hear the thunder roll, it will be Jerry, striking up a storm.
Rest in peace Mr. Hill. Gone, but never forgotten.
We missed the call for honors this week but still managed some decent series’ across the city.
Topping the Honor Roll with a 746 series was Brandon Tipton of the Suburban league at Twin Oaks. Brandon rolled 210, 279 and 257 to make up the series as fellow league mates Dylan Johnson and Ray Johnson (no relation to each other or me), battled it out for second best on this particular night.
Dylan won the bout scoring 738 on games of 223, 247 and 268 while Ray booked 238, 213 and 268 for 719 to be third highest.
And we find Suburban league secretary Jim Bomboy squeaking over the bar with a 702 that went 244, 224 and 234.
Ryan Thomas was second highest on the Honor Roll with games of 259, 249 and 237 for a 745 series from the Guys and Dolls at Thunderbird Lanes. This set was notably well over average for Thomas who is showing with a 176 in this league.
Thomas was the only bowler to bust the 700 barrier in the Guys and Dolls as was Steve Mans in the His and Hers’.
Mans rolled 258, 248 and 223 to put up a 729 for the night’s best set.
Kenny Ratke put senior leagues in the news with a 710 from the Goodtimes league where he rolled 218, 246 and 246.
The Tuesday Night Mixed league was another league with only one 700 series as Ray Johnson makes another showing with a 710 on games of 238, 279 and 193.
Andrew Jones took top honors in the Early Birds league with a nice 709 series that went 195, 235 before a 279 closer that was made up of ten strikes between a couple of nine spares, according to league Secretary Gary Sammons who got to watch one of his own, Tory Sammons, go for a perfect 300 during game two of the set.
Sammons reported the event as follows:
“High game for the week goes to Tory Sammons who ran the first ten strikes in game two before, as she described it, “it felt the heat on my back on that 11th shot” that ended up going wide left of the headpin and somehow leaving a 3 pin.
She converted the spare and posted her highest ever game of 289. Tory is known for attacking the lane from both sides, throwing a backup when the right side isn’t so friendly. Oddly, she was rolling the ball from the right side, but locked in on the left (1-2) pocket for ten solid shots in a row. When asked why she threw them “Brooklyn”, she said she found “the spot” and just didn’t miss. That eleventh ball was a bit slow as the nerves kicked in, for sure.”
Tory ended up 170 pins over her 159 average for the night, totaling what is believed to be a career high 647.
And our final entry into this week’s 700 club was a 708 from James Ray of the TNT league. Ray rolled games of 217, 256 and 235.
From the honorable mention file, congratulation to Laurie Snow of the Early Birds for an ‘almost’ triplicate with games of 177, 177 and 178 off a 140 average.
A quick shout out to Samuel Turner for a 269 game in the Friday Night Mixed Rollers league. Turner was 102 over his 167 average with the score.
And a big “Way to Go” to Sue Tucker for a 205 game, her first 200 game in a very long time.
Youth bowlers were back after their spring break and knocking over their fair share of pins as well.
Taking the top spot was twelve year old Dexter Jackson of the TBird HotShots who put together a career high 544 series on games of 149 189 and 206, also a career best in the game category.
No-Tap Colorama Results
A few bowlers from Wichita Falls were on hand for the Senior No-Tap Colorama event that was held on March 24th at, Thunderbird Lanes.
Finding success on Lawton lanes was Carlos Urandados who took first place in the men’s handicap event with games of 241, 278 and 269 that tallied out at 890 with handicap.
Our own Cleo Travis settled for second place with 860 and Bob Carter was in the neighborhood to give the crowd something to pay attention to as it was his turn to post opening back to back 300’s in search of a perfect 900 series.
Carter lost his edge and ended up with a 231 for game three, giving him third place for an 831.
Peggy Coe was the winner for the ladies with a 756, followed by Terri Hayworth who posted a 730 total.
Winners of the Scratch competition were Bob Carter, 831, Lance Nitschke, 821, and Steve O’Harris, 809.
Nitschke and O’Harris were the other bowlers, besides Carter, to roll no-tap 300 games.
Mystery Doubles winners were:
Gm. 1, 1st – Cleo Travis/Roy Johnson, 576
Gm. 1, 2nd – Carlos Urandados/Steve O’Harris, 575
Gm. 2, 1st – Carlos Urandados/Steve O’Harris, 553
Gm. 2, 2nd – Gene Augustine/Mike McLester, 532
Gm. 3, 1st – Cleo Travis/Roy Johnson, 606
Gm. 3, 2nd – Carlos Urandados/Steve O’Harris, 571
Strike Pot ticket winners were David Yett, Roy Johnson, Roy Olson, Malden Smith and first time participant Leilani Wiggins who threw a strike at just the right time.
As for the Special Challenge shots, once again there were no winners but several close calls.
Randy Travis was a pin shy of winning the “21 Jackpot” and Roy Johnson had back to back nine counts in Match Play. Unfortunately, his last roll netted only eight pins, ending the challenge.
The Pill Draw and Snake Bite went unscathed as did the Waldo and the Make That Spare, leaving it all for the next contestants.
Tune in next week for results from last Friday’s (March 31st) gathering.
Join the fun every Friday at 1pm at Thunderbird Lanes. Bowlers must be at least 50 years old to participate.