By Dennis Clark
TERRE HAUTE — In past years, bowling was probably not on high on the list of activities for typical New Year’s Eve revelers. But that trend changed this year — to be exact, last year (Dec. 31) and this year (Jan. 1).
More than 50 bowlers entered the New Year’s Eve no-tap doubles tournament at Vigo Bowl. Then on New Year’s Day, nearly 60 bowlers — some coming from as far away as Evansville and Fort Wayne — competed in the initial New Year’s Day Sweeper at the Terre Haute Bowling Center.
That’s not to say these bowlers didn’t celebrate the arrival of the new year. It might be a coincidence, but I did notice from the listings of these tournament’s results that there were no bowlers competing in both of these tournaments.
Being that as it may, on to the scoreboard.
At Vigo Bowl, the doubles duo of Rufus Pace Jr.-George Garcia edged the talented duo of Bill Chance Jr.-Brian Carapezza 1,595-1,582.
Rounding out the top seven (all cashed) were Sarah Lenges-Zach Long (1,539), Ryan Hayes-Chuck Fields (1,484), Rufus Pace Sr.-Tim Brickey (1,478), Toby Fields-Stephen Fields (1,475) and Harold Travioli-Megan Carty (1,454).
Meanwhile at the Bowling Center, Scott Johnson slipped past veteran bowler Jay Scamihorn 1,475-1,466 to claim the $500 first prize in their scratch sweeper. Johnson averaged 246.8 in his six games, including lines of 279, 257, 203, 266, 215 and 255.
Rounding out the top 10 — the top 21 cashed — were Danny Travelstead (1,465), Brian Taylor (1,429), John McWilliams (1,409), Ryan Nichols (1,395), Scott Hill (1,391), J.C. Dressler (1,377), Roy Kneeves (1,371) and Todd Hart (1,370).
The rest of the top 21 included Dave Paulin, Bryan Barton, Richard Rich, Chris Drake, Harold Costello, Jeff Acord, Tom Brown, Guy Johnson, Mike Fisher Sr. and Charles Kane.
High games in this event included Scamihorn (299), Nichols (290), Travelstead (289, 278), Joe Jefferies (289), Scott Johnson and Hart (279).
The next big event for local bowling’s version of “holiday revelers” is the Imperial Lanes Super Bowl Tournament on Feb. 4.
• Who’s hot — Most leagues have already started the second half of their winter seasons as we have reached 2007.
Although the following list is incomplete — some leagues are not reporting this week because of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays — the following is a sampling of the top average league bowlers thus far this season. We’ll have a more complete listing, including Imperial Lanes, later this season.
At the Bowling Center, top men with average/league name include Bryan Barton (235/Guarantee Roofing), Scott Johnson (232/Guarantee Roofing), Matt Lugar (224/Gartland Foundry), Luke Ruble (226/Toyota of Terre Haute), Guy Johnson (219/Toyota of Terre Haute), Jay Scamihorn (213/Prime Timer) and Tom Rottmann (212/Wabash Valley Christian).
THBC top women include Heather Jones (234/Affordable Awards Ladies), Elnora Murrell (194/Gartland Foundry), Mary Jones (193/Affordable Awards Ladies), Jean Liggett (167/Prime Timer) and Debra Rottmann (163/Wabash Valley Christian).
At Vigo Bowl, top men include Jason Hiddle (220/Eagles Mixed), Marlon Watson and Harold Welker (both 210/Eagles Mixed), Chris Salyer (200/Vigo Bowl Seniors), John Smith (195/Church) and Matt Lugar (195/School Staff).
Vigo Bowl top women include Brittany Foster (213/Vigo Bowl Seniors), Crystal Sullivan (201/Eagles Mixed), Dawn Rayhel (194/Eagles Mixed), Lisa Watson (179/Eagles Mixed), Nan Lammers (179/Distributor’s Terminal), Alusta Kneeves (177/Mic’s Pics and 174/Springhill Wholesale) and Marilyn Daniel (174/School Staff).
At the Elks, top men are Phil Cooper (209/Tuesday Men) and Brian Carapezza (204/Thursday Men).
Oh, by the way, Gene Bedwell rolled a 300 game in the Guarantee Roofing league at the Bowling Center on Wednesday.
Now for a quick journey around the wacky world of bowling:
• Tattoos and license plates — Bowlers can publicly display their love for bowling for a nominal fee with a unique tattoo — along with a little pain — or for the more squeamish, a vanity license plate with a bowling theme.
Bowl.com is just chock full of ideas for bowlers. From the home page of this Web site, at the far right side, simply click on bowl.com extras.
In there — among other things — are a series of more than 40 thumbnail photographs apiece submitted by bowlers from all over the country of their tattoos and license plates.
You’ll have to see the tattoos to believe them; words give them no justice.
Just thought you’d want to know.
• No SI jinx for bowling — Some interesting numbers can be extracted from Sports Illustrated’s recent year-end special edition, “50 Years of Faces in the Crowd,” which is “celebrating SI’s most enduring feature.”
Did you know? In a breakdown by sport of every “Faces in the Crowd” over 50 years, bowling was the No. 10-ranked sport with 444.
Bowling trails track and field (1,980), basketball (1,124), golf (1,016), football (991), baseball (962), swimming (874), tennis (840), soccer (631) and wrestling (514).
Bowling “outperformed” softball (11th), ice hockey (12th) and such obscure “sports” as yo-yoing, bird calling (also turkey, cow, goose and hog calling), spear fishing, camel racing, contour plowing, pogo stick and, last but not least, underwater hockey.
• Bowling is ageless — In an earlier column this year, I noted the accomplishment of a 94-year-old legally blind female bowler from Washington, bowling a 244 game.
Well, now we move to the other end of the age spectrum.
Chaz Dennis officially is the youngest bowler approved by the USBC with a 300 game, accomplishing this feat on Dec. 6 in a junior league in Columbus, Ohio.
Dennis, who bowls with two hands no less, broke the record set by Michael Tang of San Francisco (March 11, 2006) by 20 days, bowling his perfect game at age 10 years, two months, 27 days.
Dennis Clark can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; by mail at P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN 47808; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.
Vigo County bowling leagues
Wolfe’s Auto Auction — High games: Mary Lou Fugate 210, Petland Pinsters 848. High series: Linda Campbell 550, Affordable Awards 2,415.
Bush Restaurant Senior — High games: Dave Paulin 268, Anita Maxwell 225, Jane’s Gang 832. High series: Mike Zebrowski Sr. 692, Maxwell 608, Jane’s Gang 2,295.
Vigo Bowl Bantams — High games: Cameron Stephens 89, Gabrielle Yeager 74, Dark Dragons 280. High series: Stephens 148, Yeager 132, Dark Dragons 547.
Vigo Bowl Preps — High games: Logan Yates 154, Lacey Cooksey 116, Team 3,480. High series: Levi Elrod 339, Taylor Troye 319, Team 3 1,405.
Vigo Bowl Juniors — High games: Nicholas Fields 225, Marlee Yeager 179, Da Patriots 734. High series: Fields 585, Yeager 463, Da Patriots 2,080.
Vigo Bowl Seniors — High games: Zachery Perry 247, Audrey Nelson and Brittany Foster 268, Smooth Operators 1,030. High series: Perry 714, Foster 668, Smooth Operators 3,001.
School Staff — High games: Ed Beasley 234, Shirley Kaperak 206, Union Hospital 734. High series: Matt Lugar 611, Marilyn Daniel 509, Union Hospital 2,134.
Church — High games: Ken Smith 279, Nan Ryder 182, Foursquare No. 2 808. High series: Smith 738, Ryder 484, Foursquare No. 2 2,151.
Mic’s Pics — High games: Carolyn Wilkins 211, Bell’s Gals 523. High series: Barbara Hills 538, Barnes Construction 1,489.
Eagles Mixed — High games: Marlon Watson 259, Lisa Watson 247, C&E; Environmental 828. High series: Jim Shepherd 691, L.Watson 670, C&E; Environmental 2,417.
Springhill Wholesale — High games: Clarene Fisher 189, Bell’s Bowlers 678. High series: Mary Lou Fugate 506, Bell’s Bowlers 1,878.
Distributor’s Terminal — High games: Mary Shake 207, Distributor’s Terminal 644. High series: Nan Lammers 532, Distributor’s Terminal 1,794.
Terre Haute Bowling Center
Gartland Foundry — High games: Matt Lugar 269, Margie Elder 251, The Next Level 839. High series: Lugar 663, Elder 603, The Next Level 2,398.
Toyota of Terre Haute — High games: Eldon Blubaum Jr. 279, Pro Shop 1,100. High series: Dale Liggett 727, Prop Shop 3,245.
Affordable Awards Ladies — High games: Heather Jones 289, The Pro Shop 962. High series: Jones 703, The Pro Shop 2,612.
Guarantee Roofing — High games: Gene Bedwell 300, Team 6 1,138. High series: Bedwell 772, Affordable Awards 3,329.
Prime Timer — High games: Bill Meng 247, Jeannette Borchert and Bert Hoffman 193. High series: Guy Belzile 264, Jean Liggett 502.
Wabash Valley Christian — High games: Tom Rottmann and David Rottmann 226, Brandy Gum 224, OBC 6 720. High series: T.Rottmann 632, Gum 643, OBC 6 2,036.
Archie’s Sports Bar — High games: Lary Knight 297, CROCK/Budweiser 1,163. High series: Knight 788, CROCK/Budweiser 3,401.
Tuesday Morning Ladies — High games: Phyllis Grover 214, We Try Harder 439. High series: Grover 556, We Try Harder 1,263.
Austins Bar Thursday Mixed — High games: Robbie Wilson 278, Lissa Dressler 268, Could Be Worse 1,062. High series: Rich Gregory 730, Dressler 697, Could Be Worse 2,959.
Smith Trucking — High games: Brent Hoopingarner 269, Honey Creek Machine 1,154. High series: J.C. Dressler 746, Honey Creek Machine 3,310.
John Curry Lanes (Elks)
Tuesday Men — High games: Phil Cooper, Chuck Overpeck and Brian Carapezza 233, Greenleaf 958. High series: Cooper 613, Greenleaf 2,711.
Thursday Men — High games: Tim Tennant 276, Pro Finish 1,034. High series: Tennant 648, Pro Finish 2,789.