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Last week, team Take Ten won the abbreviated Tuesday Nite Mixed bowling league at Hood River’s Orchard Lanes. The top four teams earned spots in the season-ending three-game total pins league championship roll off. Those teams were Team Nishi, Take Ten, defending champs Who Gives A Split and Are you Splitting Me. Got to give them credit, those are some creative team names!

The outcome was not close, as Take Ten won by 125 pins, mainly due to smooth Ken Espersen, who flat out obliterated the sticks to the tune of a huge scratch 750 series that included big-time 269 and 266 games. Granted, Ken has been the hottest bowler in town, but a series of that magnitude is special and hard to beat. Teammate Carl Casey also chipped in a nice 610 series that was capped by a nifty big finishing 244 in his last game of the match.

Congratulations to the champs, Ken Espersen, Carl Casey, Dawnell Espersen and Katherine Huerta. We wish to extend our deepest gratitude for everyone who bowled this fun league in these trying times. Thank you and please come back next season. We hope things will return to normal by then.

High scores have exploded of late. Just look at the league reports below. There are so many big numbers, let’s shine some limelight on these tall totalers in a mythical team of the week like we used to do.

Team of the Week

Ken Espersen, 750

Bill Whetstine, 740

Mike Parke, 735

Jeff Miller, 729

Pat Olson, 717

3,671 total pins

Any way you cut it, a scratch 700 three game series is pretty darn good bowling. It’s over a 233 average per game, so a series must contain at least 21 strikes, probably more. That is the hallmark of proficient talent; to collect that many strikes in an outing, you must be able to hit your target like a machine. You are not going to luck into a 700 series.

And, how about this, Josh Worth, who rolled a perfect 300 game a couple weeks ago, didn’t make this stellar fivesome even though he posted a cool scratch 708 set last week. So, for Josh, let’s give him the sixth man award, kind of like what pro basketball NBA does. He earned it! Obviously, there is some high-class competition going on at the lanes!

Let’s talk about these six stars, are they really that good and how do they do it? First, they are all members of the elite in Hood River bowling. Ken Espersen, who epitomizes the easy rolling just off the gutter down and in style that works so well on the oil pattern at Orchard Lanes, has had a fantastic season, finishing with his career best-ever 205 average. Lefty Mike Parke, another down and in guy, albeit who is on the other, pristine side of the lane, who we have affectionately nicknamed “the doomsday striking machine” because it seems like he rolls a strike every time, is now carrying a solid 206 average.

Jeff Miller is renowned in these parts as the best bowler period. No discussion necessary. Jeff’s big booming roundhouse curve from deep left on the lane finds the 1-3 pocket so often it seems he should be a lot higher than the 220 average he currently carries. Bill Whetstine, the show me guy from Missouri who has been with us for only a couple of years, proves every time he laces up, he is one heck of a bowler. Bill, who is averaging 215, plays the lanes more directly toward the pocket, mostly in the track area between the second and third arrows and uses lots of speed to keep his ball on that line. Then it hooks sharply into the sticks scattering them like tinker toys. And Pat Olson, Orchard Lanes proprietor, who is carrying a 216 average, hooks the ball a bit more so he plays the lanes a little deeper in the track area. By the way, Josh Worth, who plays the shot even deeper but more direct with lots of speed between the third and fourth arrows, is also having a career season, carrying a 212 average.

Need we say more — these guys are good!

League Reports

Monday night Industrial:

Patrick Olson: 277, 245, 237, 717, 683; Jeff Miller: 262, 671; Randy Nieto: 257, 651 ; Quinton Cox: 269 ; Mike Weaver: 258; Steve Byers: 257, 237; Carl Casey: 252

Tuesday Nite Mixed:

Ken Espersen: 269, 266, 750; Carl Casey: 244; Joey Sheirbon: 236; Patrick Olson: 236; Nancy Asai: 203

Wednesday afternoon senior Colts & Fillies:

Mike Parke: 252, 246, 237, 226, 201, 735, 612; Lynn Spellman: 212, 205, 203, 612; Bernie Keys: 246, 225, 201; Dave Baumsteiger: 222; Ed Busick: 215, 203; Tony Teschner: 212; Mick Sherrell: 204

Wednesday night Fraternal:

Bill Whetstine: 288, 246, 740; Jeff Miller: 269, 257, 239, 729, 698; Josh Worth: 235, 245, 708; Levi Phelps: 245, 237, 236, 699,673; Patrick Olson: 266, 258, 243, 694; Stan Pratnicki: 259, 689; Bernie Keys: 234, 214, 210, 202, 623, 603; Mike Weaver: 287; Jeff Brittle: 237; Stuart Kawachi: 235

Thursday afternoon senior Lads & Lassies:

George Buck: 201, 200