I realize the bowlers in the Menís League in Fountain City are not blessed with the greatest of conditions and accommodations at the two-lane house in the Fountain City Auditorium.
If an average there reaches 150, itís considered very good.
Itís also very helpful come tournament time. Bob Kosidowski, the Winona Bowling Association secretary, re-rates the Fountain City bowlers for the WBA City Tournament. He did so this year as well, but not to the liking of a lot of the city bowlers.
I donít ever recall watching so many bowlers, no matter if they were a 220-average bowler or a 175, look at the standings posted on the wall at Westgate Bowl during the tournament or see the final standings in print, comment: ďItís hard to compete with handicaps like that.Ē
In this yearís final tournament standings, two of the top four teams were from the Fountain City league, along with three of the top 10 (including two of the top three) in singles, four of the top eight in all-events, and two of the top 10 in doubles.
Scratch bowlers might just as well forget about winning the first-place prize. Geoff Schewe fired an impressive 804 series in singles and a big 2,201 in all-events (thatís averaging 245 for nine games). That was good for fourth and seventh place, respectively. He finished behind two Fountain City bowlers (Russ Andress 819; Rich Baures 805) in singles, and behind three (Baures 2,247; John Baures 2,246; Andress 2,212) in all-events.
Itís not that the Fountain City bowlers didnít bowl well. Iím not saying that. But when they have any where from 300 to 600 pins of handicap for the tournament, any 200-average bowler from Winona had better plan on rolling a 750 or better to compete with them.
In the 2008 Minnesota State Bowling Tournament, Fountain City bowlers cleaned up on the Division 2 hardware, winning the team handicap title (Golden Frog with a 3,734), the all-events handicap title (Andress with a 2,430), the handicap singles crown (Justin Ginther with an 852) and the handicap scratch crown (Andress and Sam Averbeck with a 1,296).
Very impressive scores, I must admit.
I would not call what theyíre doing Ďsandbagging.í Their averages are what they are because of the type of lanes they bowl on in league. The problem is, they are much better bowlers than that, and it shows in both the city and state (Minnesota and Wisconsin) tournaments year after year.
Next year, says Kosidowski, the city will take the 21-game average of the Fountain City bowlers from the city, Minnesota and Wisconsin state tournaments, to determine their averages and handicaps.
Will that make the playing field in the WBA City Tournament more even? Weíll find out next year.
The top two menís scores of the week came from the Action/K of C League last Thursday night at Westgate Bowl.
Jason Michalak led the way with a 795 series and was followed closely by Paul Jandtís 782. Jandt also fired his second 300 game of the season that night.
Dustin Brown cranked out a season-high 750 series last Friday in the Legion League at Winona Bowl.
Also nailing 700s in the past week were Nick Heilman (746), Anthony Kohner (738), Dave Jumbeck (730), Dan Schultz (727), Greg Schewe (719), Wes Palokangas (712), Joe Meyer (702) and Kyle Malewicki (702).
Diane Marley enjoyed a big day last Saturday in the Winona Womenís Bowling Association City Tournament with a 290 game and 736 series in singles. That came after a 652 in doubles. She continued on that hot streak in league play with a 641 series Wednesday and a 633 Monday at Winona Bowl.
Hats off as well to Kim Kubis, who rifled a 700 in the city tourney.
Julie Moldenhauer had the best womenís league score of the week with a 688 Monday in the Alley Gaters League at Westgate.
Other womenís honor counts came from Maggie Glenn (646), Keri Prigge (637), Wendy Fakler (629), Tina Wenzel (629), Lindsay Serwa (628), Mandi Steffes (627) and Krystal Beech (617).
Tuesday night in the American League at Westgate, Julie Padgett rolled the first 500 of her young career with a 596 series.