The 2020-21 ten-pin league bowling season was completed at Hood River’s renowned Orchard Lanes last week. Conducting leagues has not been easy with the pandemic pauses. We are fortunate to have completed about 2/3 of the schedule. The bottom line is simple, bowlers love to bowl, they show up through thick and thin, they relish the action and the competitive socializing but mostly they enjoy blasting those poor 3 pound, 6 ounce pins into oblivion! Two of our top leagues just concluded.

MTS won the Monday night Industrial league. Congratulations to the talented MTS trio, Tyson Byers, Mac Proffitt and Steve Byers. Can you figure out how they came up with their MTS team name?

MTS has been strong all season. They entered the preliminary bracket matches in the Industrial league as the No. 1 seed because they had the best record. Then they proceeded to win both of their round matches to earn a spot in the final total pin roll off match for the league championship as did the No. 2 seed, Randy’s Painting and the No. 6 seed, Hood River Supply. In the roll off MTS won easily by 140 pins over Randy’s Painting, who got second place. MTS was paced by Steve Byers’ scratch 633 series that included a big 243 third game, but Tyson Byers was the big gun because he topped his average by a whopping plus-131 pins. The Byers’ boys had the winning formula. Randy Nieto of Randy’s Painting, who has had a great season, gave it the old college try, rolling a solid scratch 636 set but that just was not enough to overcome Tyson and Steve.

The hot-shot Fraternal league championship featured a four-team total pin roll off between the first and second place finishers in both rounds: MWB, Hood River Sports Club, Montavon’s Berries and 6th Street Bistro. These four teams were closely matched which made for a great roll off contest.

Montavon’s Berries rose to the occasion, pounding the pins in the roll off to win the Fraternal league. Hats off to team members, Jeff Brittle, Roger Montavon and Patrick Olson. The Berries threesome were “on” as they all bowled over their averages, winning by 106 pins over Sixth Street Bistro, who got second place. Patrick Olson was the main man for the winners, tossing a lofty scratch 729 series which was 96 pins over his average. Jeff Brittle was also on form, contributing a solid scratch 642 set which was 72 pins over his average.

Now, to recap the season we just completed, it is always enlightening to see who really had “it.” In bowling, high averages tell part of that story as do big games and series. So, here we go. For most of us, scoring was challenging this past season but not for Josh Worth. In fact, Josh set a few personal records. He carried a 211 average, his career best which also landed him on our all-star team! And in the Fraternal, Josh rolled the only perfect 300 game at the lanes this season, his fifth perfecto in a career on the lanes that has many, many more years to go. Josh also posted the highest scratch three game series at the lanes, a nifty 781. BTW folks, there is no handicap in that big number. That works out to be a 260 average for Josh’s nights work. That is a ton of strikes, upwards of 25 or more for his three-game series which is like getting a strike 75 percent of the time! That is what is known as being in the zone! In fact, because the lanes hooked more this season, Josh used old technology, a Brunswick Vapor Zone ball, that he piped on a speedy line between the third and fourth arrows. That is a crafty adjustment because old equipment does not hook as much as the new, modern hi-tech bowling balls in use today. Josh also led his Hood River Sports Club team into the final roll off for the championship of the Fraternal league. Clearly, Josh Worth is the Bowler of the Year!

The season’s high average goes to Jeff Miller, with a workman-like 219 that he fashioned in the Fraternal. Once again folks, that is a scratch number, no handicap. Jeff has been high average here for as long as we can remember. We have often extolled about his prowess on the lanes. He is clearly the best and no wonder, he works hard at it, by practicing dozens of games every week and he bowls big tournaments with the best in the West, winning often.

At the end of every season, we like to do all-star teams simply based on high averages. Granted, we know there are many other factors that are important, such as big games, big series, winning points, league champs and good tournament results. If you are in these categories, feel proud. Here are our all-star teams:

Men:

Jeff Miller, 219

Pat Olson, 216

Jeremy Bloom, 216

Bill Whetstine, 215

Josh Worth, 211

Women:

Nancy Asai, 190

Bernie Keys, 190

Ciena Brittle, 170

Kristen Kawachi, 163

Sue Spellman, 163

We always look at a 200 average as par in bowling, especially here at Orchard Lanes where scoring is not so easy. A 200 average is pretty darn good bowling in our little town. We had a total of 12 guys who achieved that lofty plateau. In addition to our five all-stars above, here are the others who averaged 200 or better: Chad Mason, 206; Ken Espersen, 205; Mike Parke, 204; Stan Pratnicki, 201; Lynn Spellman, 200; Levi Phelps, 200; and Bill Pullum 200. Great bowling guys!

Here are the individual men’s and women’s league highlights:

In the Industrial, high average, Jeff Miller, 218 and Nancy Asai, 190; high game, Nancy Asai, 288 and Pat Olson, 278; high series, Pat Olson, 775 and Nancy Asai, 634; individual points winners, Kevin Harris, 41 and Sue Spellman, 32.5.

In the Tuesday Nite Mixed, high average Pat Olson, 213 and Nancy Asai, 186; high game Ken Espersen, 290 and Nancy Asai, 268; high series, Ken Espersen, 750 and Nancy Asai, 714.

In the senior Colts and Fillies, high average, Mike Parke, 204 and Bernie Keys, 190; high game Lynn Spellman, 279 and Bernie Keys, 263; high series Mike Parke, 735 and Bernie Keys, 665.

In the Fraternal, high average, Jeff Miller, 219 and Bernie Keys, 190; high game Josh Worth, 300 and Bernie Keys, 264; high series, Josh Worth, 781 and Bernie Keys, 645; individual points winners, Mike Bosse, 37 and Bernie Keys, 36.5.

In the senior Lads and Lassies, high average Bernie Keys, 190 and George Buck, 176; high game Bernie Keys, 277 and Paul Dethman, 247; high series, Bernie Keys, 672 and Paul Dethman, 658.

Clearly, our all-stars dominated in league action. Many thanks to everyone who toughed things out and bowled league this season. We are forever grateful for your participation during these trying times. Please come back next season. We miss you already but have a safe and fun summer.

While we are thinking summer, remember a senior mixed league is planned for Wednesday afternoons. Plus, Senior Monte Carlo fun will run every Monday and Friday through the summer. Here is a question for you, can you bowl, can you golf or can you Bolf? To find out who is the best bowler/golfer combined, try the Bolf league which starts on May 18. We bowl one week followed by golf the next at Indian Creek. Bolf is a ton of fun! For more info on summer programs, contact Pat Olson at Orchard Lanes, 1141 Tucker Road in Hood River, 541-386-1326. Don’t be a stranger this summer, come on in to say hi and roll a few to stay sharp for next season. See you soon!

Final league reports

Monday night Industrial: Patrick Olson: 287, 259, 775; Jeff Miller: 266, 248, 696; Mike Weaver: 235, 675; Aaron Troxel: 247, 667; Matt Hodges: 248, 659; Randy Nieto: 236, 652; Steve Byers: 243, 237; Dustin Ticknor: 242; Sue Spellman: 214, Nancy Asai: 214

Wednesday night Fraternal: Patrick Olson: 258, 245, 729; Jeff Miller: 257, 254, 238, 702; Jeremy Bloom: 259, 257, 661; Stan Pratnicki: 278, 258, 678; Bernie Keys: 218, 209, 204, 619; Bill Whetstine: 258; Josh Worth: 257, 248; John Riggleman: 236; Lynn Spellman: 236