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franklin county times

Three area schools pick up bowling as a varsity sport

By By Mike Carson / bowling columnist
Octobwe 19, 2004
High school bowling is off and rolling in the Meridian/Lauderdale County area.
As of last week, three area high schools have signed up to take part in the new statewide program. As you may recall, the MHSAA has added bowling as an official high school sport beginning this year. Meridian High School, Clarkdale High School and Quitman High School have all signed on with other area schools pending.
Tentative plans call for tryouts to be held in December. Schools may field up to eight three-person teams, including two boys and girls varsity teams and two boys and girls junior varsity teams. Competition is slated to begin in January or February. The first two years of the program will be a pilot program with limited matches. Complete implementation, including state championships, is scheduled to begin with the third year.
With this addition, Mississippi has joined more than 30 states that offer bowling as an official high school sport. This is a big step for bowling in general as it now offers us the chance to introduce the sport to many more of the very people we need to ensure that bowling continues to grow.
Installation of the new synthetic lanes has finally been completed, and local bowlers are beginning to adjust to the new approaches and lane surfaces. The new surfaces have obviously taken their toll on scores during the first week of play. By the time you read this all leagues will have had a chance to take their crack at the new surfaces. Through last Wednesday, only one 700 Series has been recorded, that being done by Tyrone McAlpine in the Friday Night Mixed league with a 704. At first glance, it appears that bowlers are able to find the range for a game or two but are finding adjusting to the transition changes are a little trickier. In time this will change, but for now, it's a learning experience for many.
Prior to the completion of the installation, Rick Whitten left the wood behind with a bang during action in the Queen City league by firing off an 11-in-a-row 299 game, with only a ringing 10 pin standing between him and perfection. According to Rick, it was his sixth 299 and in all of them it was the dreaded ten that stood in the way. He finished the night with a strong 775 series.
Keith Fike also hated to see the wood lanes vanish as his last crack at them featured a career high 752 set and Barry Woods ended the wood domain with a 704. Other bowlers closing out on the wood with big games included Ryan Fike, Alex Derusha (who nearly achieved his first 700), Mike Holden, Jack Blythe and Mike Accord. As I said, some bowlers were able to find the range for a game or two on the synthetics including James Dillard, Robert Brown, Thomas Clay, M.A. Copeland, Mark Moss, Jim Broderick Jr, and Roy Sibless.
As for the ladies, Linda Genin took the wood to task with a 245, while Taneezia Jones burned the sticks for a 224. On the new surfaces, Sue Kirkpatrick was queen with a 236. Shannon Harris game in at 225 and Sue Long showed the seniors how it's done with a 224.
Congratulations to junior bowler Matt Smith, who reeled off a huge 267 game during action in the Saturday Morning Junior program.
Don't forget the Halloween Mystery Scratch Scotch Doubles tournament to benefit our local youth bowlers on Oct. 31. Shifts will be at 2 and 4 p.m. with partners being drawn prior to the start of each shift. A portion of the $15 entry fee will go to our local YABA. This event is always a lot of fun, and all local bowlers are encouraged to take part.
That's all for this week. Until next week, good luck and good bowling.

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