September! Besides the beginning of another school year, it is also the start of another bowling season. Usually it doesn’t take long for the first honour score to be recorded. In 2006 it took until Oct. 3 before William Russell was perfect and Art Oliver Jr. was near perfect at 299 in Prime Time Bowling play. Twenty days later, Oliver was one pin better with a 300. It only took half an hour into the 2007- 08 season for the first honour score as Harry Knight followed a 214 with a 300 at Prime Time. Three weeks later, Conrad Merkir and Russell, again, scored matching 300s.
Ten days into the 2008 -09 season, Shawn Anderson collected his first of four 300 games that campaign followed by Joe Hudecek 11 days later. Scott Grunau almost beat them both but after 11 strikes came up short for a 297 on the first day of the season. In the third week of the 2009-10 season, Jayme Allen and Lionel Lewis Jr. were both perfect with John Katz and Bruce Tyler in the running with 299 games each. Richard Parker claimed the first honour score of the 2010-11 season in week two followed 13 days later with a pair of 300s on the same day by Crystal Maurer and Jason Stevens. Three days before Parker’s 300, Rick Gurman was close with a 299.
Starting off the 2011-12 season in fine form was Art Oliver Jr. with a 300 on Sept. 18 followed by Roy Katz two days later. The next ace did not show up until more than three months later by Russell Ross. After only a pair of 300s in the first half of the season, 15 were recorded in the second half. Then in the 2012-13 season, there was a tie between Travis Cauley and Jeff Easton for the first 300. Advancing to the 2013-14 season , Jeff Easton threw a 300 in week three, then there was a tie with matching 300s by Merkir and Oliver Jr. on the same day in early October.
Who had number one in 2014-15? That was Dan O’Brien with the earliest 300 on record in any season – Sept. 2, which was almost matched by Corey Raymer on the same day, but a single stubborn pin left him with a 299. That brings us to last season with the same result as in 2014-15 when on the same day, Sept. 20, Mike Scargall threw a 300 and Travis Cauley a 299. In these past 10 seasons, the first honour score in each occasion was a 300 instead of the other honour scores of 299, 298 or 800.
In the first week of this current season, Steve Cowie started off the City Tenpin League’s 114th season with 14 strikes in a row, but they were spread over two games, the last seven in game one for a 240 and the first seven in game two for a 227. Another five strikes to start game three and a 247 for a 714 triple and 24 overall strikes. No chance for another stellar performance in week two as he is away fishing. On the same team, John Cooper blasted a 684 (234, 201, 249). Sean Bailey is celebrating his 30th year behind the counter at Skyway Lanes which celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2017. Skyway Lanes has been in the Nalborczyk family since day one, from Emil, Carol, Ed, and now Helen.
HAMILTON TENPIN TRIVIA
Eight tenpin houses are set for the new season. They are Skyway Lanes, Splitsville Hamilton, Burlington Bowl, Splitsville Burlington, Bowlerama Stoney Creek, Star Lanes, Whitehorse Lanes, and University Lanes. Leading the local board of directors is president Karen Nicol and association manager Barb Hollands. Phil Morris starts his 60th season in the City Tenpin League chasing Bill Bailey’s 72 years (1907 – 1979) in Canada’s oldest league at 114 years.
Angelo Mosca, Hamilton Tiger-Cats All Star, in the late 1960s bowled tenpins at Hamilton Centre Bowl, snacked on a donut and coffee at Tim Hortons Store Number One, and was a defensive all-star for the Cats at Civic Stadium, with all three locations in the same east end Hamilton neighbourhood. Centre Bowl is long gone and the other two have recently undergone major renovations and are more popular than before with Civic Stadium now Tim Hortons Field.