Bowling league strikes up a new vibe in Bainbridge

Published 10:39 am Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Monday night league player Anne Cerone bowls for her team. Various leagues are open for membership at the Bowling Center on Shotwell Street. -- Ashley Johnson

Monday night league player Anne Cerone bowls for her team. Various leagues are open for membership at the Bowling Center on Shotwell Street. — Ashley Johnson

Looking around the Langston Gray Bowling Center on Monday night, there is no one body-type, skill set or personality found on any of the 16 lanes. More than 50 bowling league players fill the center and there is no shortage of diversity in race, physical ability or experience in bowling.
Some bowlers started yesterday, others like John Topper have been bowling for 40 years.
With new leagues starting each season, the bowling center in Bainbridge is starting to offer athletic opportunities for a wide-range of people.
“My favorite part of the league is just the camaraderie I have with all of the people here,” Topper said, who apart from being involved in Bainbridge bowling, serves on several state bowling councils and boards. “There is really good potential here and there are some really good bowlers in this league. I would like to see this association get more involved at the state level.”
Topper has also coached several people on the various leagues, sending one player — Melanie Spicer — to the state championships in Brunswick last year. She placed third overall for women.
He has a vision, like many in league play, to get high school and college teams going locally.
Bowling center general manager Jeff Kindlespire said he wants to see the community learn more about the sport and realize it as competitive.
“We want the community to know about this and realize this is here,” Kindlespire said. “This is a great sport for the summer time and hot days, as well as the winter.
It’s a good year-round sport.”
He said anyone can play the game and join a league in town. He also noted that some players have physical limitations like disabilities or injuries, but bowling has become something they can do and enjoy doing.
Brittney McVeigh plays on the league each Monday and has played for the last four years. For McVeigh, league play is more than just playing. She has slight disabilities with movement she was born with, but has come to enjoy bowling as, “her sport.”
“I love just coming here and getting to interact with others,” McVeigh said. “This keeps me active and gets me going and out of the house.”
Bowling leagues for summer and fall are open to new membership.
Below are the latest standings from the current leagues.
For the men’s league to date, John Topper has the high scratch game with 269, followed by Mike Lewis with a 236, and followed by Alan Giles with a 234 for the men.  For scratch series high so far is Alan Giles at 653, John Topper at 630, and Mike Lewis at 615.
Leading the women to date in scratch game is Evelyn Hughes with a 255, Nancy Gray at 198 and in third is Norma Bryan at 194.  Scratch series for the ladies finds Evelyn Hughes with a 606, Nancy Gray at 526, and Ida Goar at 525.
The Thursday Ladies Coffee is still going strong. All are welcome to join Thursday morning at 10 a.m. and watch, learn and laugh. Individual leaders in scratch game finds Harriett Aaron with a 180, Norma Bryan and Nancy Gray tied for second with a 174.  For the ladies in scratch series, Maxine Johnson is listed with a 509, in second Joan Beaver with a 477, and Phyllis Collins with a 438.
The Saturday Youth league 13-14 is also underway. For the boys in scratch game, Niklas Isler has a 235, Spencer Shreves 209 and Jonathan Hall 197.  For scratch series for the boys, it shows The Jonathan Hall with 546, followed by Niklas Isler with 518 and Spencer Shreves with a 494.  The girls are high rollers also.  For scratch game, first place is Alexis Hutto 159, followed by Sara Shreves 145 and Taylor Vaughn 131.  Scratch series shows Alexis Hutto at 410, Sara Shreves with 358 and Taylor Vaughn 310.

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