If you want drama and excitement at no cost, you may wish to consider coming down to Alaskalanes on Wednesday evening and observing, or better yet participating, in the Cook Inlet Masters scratch league.
When you take some of the highest-average bowlers in the area -- names like John Junkert, 2004 700 Tournament Champion who is averaging an astounding 222, or Shane Zimmerman with a 219 average, Dave Coulter at 208, Teresa Liedes at 200, Cindy Coty at 182 and Becky Karsten at 180 -- and you put these bowlers in a doubles format, coupled with a friendly and supportive atmosphere, one thing is certain. Something exciting is going to happen.
During the first seven weeks of league there has been a warehouse full of high scores and some pretty close calls toward that extremely difficult-to-come-by 300 game, including Randy Stiedl's most recent attempt.
Randy, on his march toward an 800 series, started off with games of 277 and 257 to give him a two-game total of 534, needing a 266 game to capture his first 800 series. In Game 3, Randy started with the first nine strikes, putting himself in a position to not only roll that first 800 series, but also to bowl his third 300 game sanctioned by the United States Bowling Congress. The stage was now set for what could be a most-memorable 10th frame.
A 10th frame so memorable I will now switch to the first person.
When I released that first shot in the 10th frame, I knew it was going to be a little light. The entire evening I was playing straight down the seven board using a Storm Dimension that Karl drilled for me to go straight down the lane and snap at the end. On that particular shot, I hit board five with a little too much speed, so of course the shot stayed right and never really made it to the 1-3 pocket.
The result was the 2/8 staring me in the face. Now, of course, it could have been much worse, like leaving a washout, but then again the 2/8 spare is no easy task.
To pick up the spare, I moved three boards right on the approach from where I was standing for my strike shot and rolled the ball over board seven at the arrows. I finished the game with a 278 and ended the evening with an 812 series.
Whenever a goal is accomplished, the dust has settled, and you have a moment to reflect on what has occurred, it is usually easy to come up with at least one person who played a vital role in the goal becoming a reality. In my particular case, this has been a 25-plus-year goal, and there have been many individuals involved. Since I cannot go back and name everyone, I would like to take a quick moment to acknowledge some of the more recent ones.
Going back to my days at Kenai Peninsula College, I recall Professor Zagorski telling an introduction to business class that, "Business is about people helping people." The proprietors Ken and Jo Liedes, and the staff at Alaskalanes, have certainly lived up to that statement.
Next, to the several dozen bowling class students who have endured the early morning Sunday classes, I sincerely hope that you have gained as much experience as I have. Thanks to Charlie Yamada, who was an instrumental force in helping to get the bowling class off and running.
Last, to Gary Oatis of Las Vegas. Gary is a Professional Bowlers Association member, a USBC Silver Certified Coach and author of "True Bowler Adjustments." It was just three weeks ago that Gary showed me how to control ball speed by moving up on the approach.
This was pivotal to my success given the fact that during the second game, frame six and seven to be exact, I left back-to-back 10 pins. When this occurred I moved up about a foot on the approach. This slowed my ball speed just enough so that I could continue "stringing strikes." Thank you all!
The bowlers at Alaskalanes and especially the ladies from the Friday night Wild-N-Wacky league would like to wish Penny Dunich a safe trip to her new residence in the great state of Montana. Penny will be transferring to a new job and moving closer to her family. Thanks, Penny, for making Alaskalanes an even more enjoyable place to be. Your smiling personality and the birthday cakes that you have baked over the last two decades will be greatly missed.
Now that the bowling season is well under way, and based on recent scores, it looks as if most everyone has had an opportunity to shake out those summertime cobwebs. It is now time for the tournament season to rev up. First on the list locally will be the first annual Thanksgiving holiday scotch mixed doubles tournament, not to be confused with the scratch tournament.
The tournament is 80 percent handicap based on 400; the cost is $50 per team and will consist of four games. Squad times are Nov. 21 at 1 p.m. and Nov. 22 at 11:30 a.m. This is a fun tournament and is open to all adult USBC card holders.
Now that we have the right-side spares covered it is time to move to the left side of the headpin and discuss the 2, 4 and 7 single pin spares. There is a simple process that is easy to use and very effective. It is used by many bowlers and referred to as the 3/6/9 method.
As an example, let's suppose for your strike shot that the inside of your left foot is on board 17 and you are rolling the ball down the second arrow, board 10, and you leave the 2-pin standing. To convert the 2-pin all you need to do is move your feet three boards to the right and roll the ball over the second arrow, but remember you are now at an angle toward your original strike target.
When we change angles, we also need to remember to face, walk and follow through toward our new target line. You should only need to tilt your heel about one-quarter board to the right in order to get your body facing in the right direction. One of the reasons why it is so important to face your target is because you are now crossing the middle part of the lane; the middle of the lane usually has much more oil than the outside part of the lane.
To convert the 4-pin, you just need to move a total of six boards to the right from your strike line and now tilt your heel about half of a board to the right. Remember, as you move right, the angle increases, so the shifting of your body and heel needs to increase so that you are square to the shot.
For the 7-pin, just move another three boards to the right and repeat the above steps. There you have it, the 3/6/9 method.
If you have any questions about this tip or any of the previous ones discussed, just ask the staff at Alaskalanes or myself to further explain or even demonstrate the concept to you. You may also want to consider attending one of the many bowling classes that will be offered throughout the season. There is a sign-up sheet at the desk for the next class that begins on Nov. 29 at noon.
Little bit ...
Did you know that bowling for one hour burns up to 300 calories? That's similar to other sports like canoeing, surfing and volleyball.
Leagues and highlights
Sunday, Youth/Adult, 6 p.m.; Monday, Good Morning Monday, 10 a.m., leading team: Aggie Chicks, also a team member is needed in this league; Tuesday, Golden Oldies, 1 p.m., Jerry Norris, 609 series, Darrin Cousins, 614 series, Kurt Nelson, 574 series; Monte's Eagles, 7 p.m.; Wednesday, 55 Plus, 1 p.m., Cook Inlet Masters, 6:30 p.m.; Thursday, Dirty Dozen, 6:30 p.m.; Friday, Golden Oldies, 1 p.m., top leaders: Jerry Norris for the men, Helen Stirman for the women, Wild-N-Wacky, 6:30 p.m., first-quarter winner: 4 Alaska Waste with a 25-7 record, also a ringer subbed for Peterson Construction and Cindy Coty rolled a 184, 234 and 265 for a 683 series; Saturday, Peninsula Strykers, 10 a.m.
Good luck and good bowling.
Bowler's Corner is submitted by Randy Stiedl. For any questions, comments or suggestions for future bowling-tip topics, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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