There was a time not long ago that John Glowczewski stood atop the bowling world in Winona.
For 10 consecutive years, starting in the 1991-92 season and ending in the 2000-01 season, he was the city average champion for men. Four of his final five years during that span, he averaged over 230. An average night of the lanes was a 700 series for Glowczewski.
But things have changed over the years. Last year, his top average was a 222 in the Classic League at Westgate. This year, he's averaging 218 in the Classic League and 210 in the Blue Ribbon League at Winona Bowl.
It may look like a drop in average, but Glowczewski says he's bowling as well now as he ever has.
"It's the experience factor," Glowczewski said Thursday afternoon. "Experience comes down to being able to bowl on different conditions and bowling well on them.
"A classic example would be nationals. Fifteen years ago, I might have averaged 230. Then I'd go to nationals and average 180 at best. That was acceptable at that time. I made 500 every series. At this time, anything under 1,800 is a poor showing. In Milwaukee (when he took part in the PBA Masters Tournament), that was my goal - to average 200 and not fall on my face."
The 42-year-old Glowczewski appears to be back in form. Last Thursday he tossed a 717 national honor count in the Classic League, and followed that with a season-high 763 series on Saturday in the Mixed Nuts League at Winona Bowl. He came back Tuesday with a 709 series in the Blue Ribbon League, giving his five honor counts for the year.
"It's finally starting to come together," Glowczewski said. "The last few years I've made some major changes in my game. A lot of them aren't noticeable. I can turn it up pretty good if I want to. I'm more versatile and comfortable with my changes."
Glowczewski has the equipment and knowledge to bowl on almost any condition. He can throw the down and in shot, which is his favorite, but if need be, he can cover a lot of boards with a big hook. He finds a way to adjust.
"I'm not bowling on normal conditions here on Thursday," he said. "It is by no means tough. We still have plenty of room. You can still make mistakes, but you can't make two mistakes on one shot and expect to get away with it. Into the second and third games, because the balls are eating up the oil, the shot opens up a little bit. It does give you a few more boards then.
"I feel I can walk into any bowling house in the country and at least be competitive. You have to get into a mindset. You can't expect to go and play the same shot everywhere. It's not going to happen. Now it's a matter of getting your ball to the breakpoint. From there, it's all about carry."
Glowczewski takes part in a number of tournaments every year and realizes just how many good bowlers are out there, especially in Minnesota. He also knows the talent of Winona bowlers.
"There are 10 or 20 guys in Winona that could just about go anywhere and make a good showing," Glowczewski said. "We have good bowling around here. Out of the top 20 amateurs in the country, we're probably pushing 10 in Minnesota."
Any someday, Glowczewski might just take his game to the next level.
"My goal is to bowl some of those Senior Tour events when I'm 50," he said.
Josh Wenzel is the latest Winona bowler to join the 800 club this year. Wenzel carded games of 299, 289 and 225 for an 813 national honor count on Tuesday in the American League at Westgate Bowl for the sixth 800 rolled by Winona men this year.
Darrin Aarre and Geoff Schewe turned in the 19th and 20th 300 games in the past week. Aarre rolled his in the Masters League at Westgate Bowl, while Schewe tallied his 300 game, along with a 788 series, in the City League at Winona Bowl.
James Prenot shared high game honors with Wenzel on Tuesday by also posting a 299 game in the American League.
Lynda Krall paced the ladies with a 681 series Monday in the Pin Topplers League at Westgate. Mandi Steffes added a 671 and Julie Moldenhauer tossed a 669, both in the Mixers League at Westgate.
Diane Marley (655, 627), Steffes (671, 638), Keri Wegman (654, 647), Schewe (788, 717), Wenzel (813, 713), Glowczewski (763, 709) and Tim Wangen (721, 704) all added a pair of honor counts in the past week.
Christine Tollison nailed her first 600 of the season with a 628 series on Sunday in the Winona Women's Bowling Association Tournament at Nordic Lanes in Rushford.
Dan Donahue (709), Andy Jackson (705) and Erik Kanz (705) all rolled their first 700s of the season last week.