It’s that time of year again. No, not to celebrate another Patriots championship, though it is that. It’s also Northeast Bowling Championship time.
For the 52nd year, over the next six weeks, bowlers throughout New England and beyond will visit Yankee Lanes to vie for cash payouts in singles, doubles, team and all-events.
There will be perfect games, there will be 800 series, high-fives and frustration, but most of all the popular annual event is just fun. Even if you don’t bowl, it’s worth the time to catch some of this action, as 13-,14-, 15- and 16-pound balls crash into 2.75-pound pins.
If the first weekend is any indication, look out. It featured three perfect games and two 800 series. One of those perfect games was rolled by 23-year-old Shawn Fitzpatrick II, who goes by the nickname “Ditto.” Fitzpatrick started bowling at Claremont’s Maple Lanes in youth league during his freshman year at Stevens High School, and he caught on to the game quickly.
In his high school years, Fitzpatrick rolled his first perfect game in a high school match against Souhegan, and in youth league competition he rolled an impressive 822 series. Fitzpatrick bowls for 14th-ranked Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn., where he holds a 200 average on the difficult sport condition, where accuracy and spare conversions are a premium. Sport bowling uses patterns of lane oil meant to reduce the effectiveness of modern bowling balls.
With no college tournament last weekend, he took the opportunity to come home and bowl in the Northeast and in Sunday’s team event, using a 15-pound Storm Sure-Lock ball rolled his first perfect game in adult competition. His brother Ian sports a 234 average as a senior at Stevens.
Jalen Scott Jones turned in the high series of the night in Tuesday Mixed Couple play with 25 strikes and eight spares leading to games of 235-248-268 for a 751 series. Rick Simpson was right on his heels with a 745 set with 23 strikes, helping him to games of 246-255-244, and Tyson Hinrichs, after getting his first 700 series a few weeks ago, got 700 series No. 2 with games of 234-256-236 for a 726. Also, Katy Barnes, with 21 strikes and nine spares, rolled a 259 game and 674 set.
Gary Cook (225-625) and Bill Bailey (190-55) led the way for the Four Plus One team to a sweep. Ron Dunn (212-576) and Missy Griffin (216-569) paved the way for the 3 Sox 1 Pirate team to a sweep, too, and the JoMo team of Caleb Penny (278-649), Kevin Russell (228-645), Joe Murphy (222-614) and Mike Fairbank (247-597) all pitched in for their unbeaten night.
Other Tuesday Mixed Couples highlights: James O’Brien, 205-601; Mark Merrow, 216-603; Lee Patnode, 224-602; Jason Wilder, 247-662; Andrew Bosworth, 210-607; David Fish, 237-624; Matt Tommila, 215-631; David Lamagdeleine, 237-635; and Jeff Yarus, 224-633.
In Thursday PM Mixed League action, Dave Nelson (206-563) and Dennis Fisher (195-535) led their team to 25 out of a possible 27 points; Chris Hinz (217-587) and James O’Brien (212-582) help their team to a 23-point night and Bryan Johnston was the high roller for the night with 226-660, followed by Bill Lewis with 212-594.
Other Thursday PM Mixed League highlights: Donna Croteau, 180-500; Eric Manley, 202-577; Josh Toll, 223-593; Kenny Willett, 231-572; and James Glinka, 212-528.
Bryan Johnston led all bowlers in the Friday PM Mixed League with 257-211-247 for a 715. Mark Merrow (258-666), Chad Hobbs (248-641), Tom Patty (235-637), Steve Henault (223-635) and Kenny Willett (243-633) also savored strong outings.
The race for first tightened in the Clobblestone Classic League. The team of Sean Kilburn (258-715), Eric Kilburn (236-655), (Doug Stasukelis) 220-621, Jessica Davies (218-583), and Joe Murphy (225-602) holds a slim 5.5-point lead over the Kingpins, which include Chad Hobbs (279-704), Kevin Russell (249-701), Mark Merrow (246-699) and Ernie Franklin (279-664).
Other Cobblestone Classic highlights: Kim Cabana, 228-618; Tyler Cabana, 232-635; Nick Gebhardt, 226-612; Rick Gebhardt, 247-674; Steve Henault, 276-690; Tom Patty, 244-627; Kevin Napaver, 228-636; Rick Daniels, 233-681; Brandon Wagner, 243-661; and Jeff Barden, 234-661.
Junior Strikers: Bradley Baybutt rolled half of his 14 strikes in his middle game, in succession, for a 257 game. For the rest of his series, Baybutt was a spare-making machine as he converted 16 of 17 tries. Strikes are fun, but spares help win games and matches. Baybutt finished with a 660 series.
Junior Strikers League highlights: Isabella Fortune, 100-272; Parker LaClair, 183-477; Isaac LaClair, 125-313; Mike Corcoran, 223-571; Evan Chickering, 183-444; Zack Coll, 210-539; Courtney Curtis, 115-305; Colton Rowe, 90-250; Jon Moody, 225-565; Jack Beauregard, 191-544; Roberto Riesco, 136-379; Ricardo Molina, 115-304; and Daylen Danforth, 191-536.
Dizzy League highlights: Gary Lamoureux, 202-529; Derek Drouin, 169-496; Christina Kacik, 234-507; and Chris Parenteau, 170-498.
Wednesday AM Ladies League highlights: Sue Parker, 153-432; Stephanie Tent, 167-452; Peg Bruce, 169-428; Linda O’Connor, 153-528; Pam Kinyon, 161-437; and Amy Bodwell, 147-422.
Keene State College League highlights: Jeff Halford, 236-634; Rod Richmond, 187-489; Sue Freitas, 189-469; Brian Kancuse, 212-548; and Barbara Cormier, 182-483.