On a roll: Liedes, Mackey, Kramer

Posted: Friday, January 29, 2010

James Mackey, the 2009 Thanksgiving scotch mixed doubles handicap champion, continues to raise his stock with each passing week. James, who bowls in the Thursday evening Dirty Dozen league on Team 6, came through in a big way last week.

As many leagues roll deeper and deeper into the third quarter, each passing week becomes that much more important for teams which are striving to acquire a spot in the lucrative end of season roll-offs.

Team 6, which is currently in second place and only a half point out of first, swept through the sixth-place team, Strike IT UP, behind the leadership of James. James, who carries a 128 average, rolled scores of 191, 173 and a new personal high score and series of 224 and 588.

With the much anticipated Soldotna-Kenai 2010 Annual Championship Tournament just around the corner, James may be giving many of us a glimpse into what the future holds.

To sum it up, James rolled a phenomenal 204 pins above his average and came ever so close to collecting his first-ever and highly sought after 600 series.

Awesome bowling James!

Once a bowler crosses the 600-series threshold, the next major and very difficult United States Bowling Congress award and personal goal to acquire is the mountainous 700 series. In order to roll a 700 series, a bowler needs to average just over 233 for three games.

For a bowler to average 233 for three games, he or she needs to roll many strikes, put together a couple of long strings in a row like a "five-bagger," which is referred to as a Yahtzee by ESPN Professional Bowlers Association announcer Rob Stone, and have little to no open frames.

Basically, a bowler needs to operate close to flawlessly for the three-game set of 36 frames.

During the Saturday morning youth bowlers Peninsula Strikers league, Josh Liedes, a high school freshman and first-place junior division bowler with a record of 28-4, drew many of us in to observe the next possible and his first sanctioned 700 series in the making.

Starting out at 10 a.m., after 10 minutes of practice, Josh stormed out of the gate and put together a 256 game.

During game two, Josh ran into a trouble spot or two, but with his talent was still able to muster out a score of 193 and put himself in a good position to, at a minimum, improve upon his league-leading high series of 633 and possibly even capture his first 700 series with a 251 game.

Needing a 251 game for any bowler is no easy task, but it is certainly well within Josh's limits.

Josh is one of many bowlers at Alaskalanes who brings a great deal of talent and color to the sport.

Part of Josh's "A game" is to stand somewhere on the left side of the approach, roll the ball out and over the outer edges of the right side of the lane, then in the last 20 feet of lane, get the ball to literally make a left turn and come screaming into the 1-3 pocket with a ton of energy hitting the pins, pushing the rack quickly into the machine.

As a spectator, if you blink just before his ball hits the pins, you will miss the reaction, but if it is any consolation, you will still hear the explosion.

It is a good thing that the bowling lanes in Kenai are enclosed, unlike some of the PBA-sponsored outdoor bowling events that take place in warmer climates. If the lanes weren't enclosed, the McDonald's parking lot in addition to the snow-packed ruts, and bits of ice chunks, would also be littered with dozens of cracked bowling pins for drivers to carefully navigate around as they make their way to the drive-thru.

During the final game, Josh made a gallant effort toward the 251 mark, but unfortunately came up slightly short and rolled a 237 game for a 686 series.

Great bowling Josh, I hope to be there when you bust through the 700 mark.

Now on to the feature event:

On lanes one and two, in the pin-deck area, the champion, with an outstanding win record too large to count. Standing, at a towering and dominating 15 inches, weighing in at a combined weight of approximately 36 pounds, made of strong maple wood, coated with a protective and durable 3/32-inch-layer of thick plastic, decorated with a double-red pinstripe around the neck and standing in the strategic shape of a pyramid, is Mr. Pins.

On the approach, the challenger, weighing in at a measly 6 pounds, 2 ounces, with three holes drilled in it, is Mr. Bowling Ball.

As you examine this matchup, it is easy to come to the conclusion that this is a classic case of David versus Goliath.

However, when you add the 2009 Frank Lee Memorial scholarship tournament Division 4 all-events, singles, doubles and team champion to the equation, the tables are turned.

Seven-year-old Saturday morning Peninsula Strikers bantam division bowler Lance Kramer rolled a game 108 pins above average. Lance currently sits atop the division with an undefeated record of 24-0 and holds high scratch and series game for the boys.

In Lance's incredible 108-pin game performance above average, he rolled several strikes during the game and had only two open frames, en route to his new high game of 153.

For his effort and performance, Lance received recognition from the United States Bowling Congress with a 150 game award for a 153 game and a 200 series award for a 243 series.

In the ensuing week, Lance continued his dominance over the pins on lanes one and two with another set of high scoring. Lance rolled games of 75 and 90 for a 165 series and in just a couple of weeks, has increased his average by 11 pins to 56.

Congratulations, Lance on reaching a new high score and series!

Congratulations also goes to James Childers of the Bantam division. James, who is currently averaging 45 and has a hold on third place with a record of 12-12, converted the difficult 1-3-6-7 split. James is in second place for high game and series with a 63 game and a 116 series.

Below is a list of other recent USBC award recipients:

* Joan Jones, 175 award for a 176 game with a 119 average.

* Lydia Pollard, 150 award for a 160 game with a 108 average.

* Leslie Wahl, 175 award for a 185 game with a 109 average.

* Dorothy Diamond, 175 award for a 199 game with a 127 average.

* Becky McCord, 175 award for a 188 game with a 124 average, 500 series award for a 502 series.

* Margie Bookey, 125 award for a 133 game with a 87 average.

* Shalynda Daigle, 150 award for a 159 game with a 139 average, 175 game award for a 175 game with a 140 average, 350 series award for a 441 series.

* Josh Liedes, 175 game award for a 190 game with a 172 average, 200 game award for a 226 game and a 203 game, 500 series award for a 541 series, 600 series award for a 601 series.

* Hannah Titus, 250 series award for a 268 series with a 74 average, 100 game award for a 100 game with a 72 average.

* Mason Yamada, 200 series award for a 203 game with a 171 average, 550 series award for a 559 series.

* Gracie Kautz, 350 series award for a 393 series with a 110 average.

* Mikayla Miller, 300 series award for a 349 series with a 101 average.

* Tori Askin, 500 series award for a 508 series with a 143 average.

* Ashley Sarver, 225 game award for a 236 game with a 172 average, 550 series award for a 556 series.

* James Oglesbee, 125 game award for a 148 game with a 97 average, 300 series award for a 343 series.

* Anna Williams, 50 game award for a 73 game with a 31 average, 100 series award for a 131 series, 150 series award for a 176 series.

* Hannah Kjeldson, 200 game award for a 204 game with a 154 average, 500 series award for a 533 series.

USBC may have cut down their awards, but it is apparent that this has had little to no effect on the bowlers at Alaskalanes. Congratulations to all on great bowling!

Next on the list of upcoming events at Alaskalanes is the third annual Kenai Peninsula Scholastic Bowling League fundraiser on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

Bowling Tip

"Focus on the process, not the outcome." Work on balance, timing, release, follow-through and a relaxed pendulum arm swing. As you work on these fundamentals, spares and strikes will become more and more plentiful.

Good bowling habits are essential to higher scoring!

Little bit ...

There have been 29 recorded 300 games bowled by women in the state of Alaska. The odds of bowling a 300 game are 1 in 11,500.

Bowler's Corner is submitted by Randy Stiedl. For any questions, comments or suggestions e-mail akrms1@yahoo.com.

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