North American Bowling News

Super Seniors Prove '300' Isn't Reserver for Touring Pros

Lincoln Lanes' Nathan Horst

"A Place in the Sun". The phrase has different meanings. In one usage, it's the name of one of the wonderful movies from the 1950s, featuring Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift. But of equal stature as its esteemed cinematic counterpart, "a Place in the Sun" also refers to special moments, where special people can bask in life's momentary spotlight. Such is the case for a number of sensational seniors at Lincoln Lanes, in the beautiful town of Chambersburg, PA.

Lincoln Lanes, a quaint, yet spacious bowling center is securing its own place on the bowling news scene, as it is the host house for several standout bowling groups in existence today. During the fall and winter months, the "Golden Age Seniors" and the "50 Plus Seniors" convene on Mondays and Thursdays respectively, and some of the bowling numbers that these experienced players put up are truly amazing. From these two leagues, an elite group of four in particular exists, which is referred to as the "Senior 300 Club". No, it's not the combined ages of the players. The group is comprised of four super bowlers, each at around age 70 or higher, who have recently rolled perfect games.

League officers from the two units, Ms. Joey Murray of the Monday Golden Age Seniors, and Mr. Ron Schlecht of the Thursday 50 Plus Seniors have done a magnificent job of promoting the two leagues and have a substantial membership. The Golden Age Seniors is composed of 80 bowlers (20 teams of 4), while the 50 Plus Seniors includes 95 players (19 teams of 5). Of considerable note is the fact that there are 4 bowlers between the 2 leagues who have eclipsed the age of 90, and are still out there making news, including 92-year young Adam Memmi, and Andrina Eisenberger at age 95. The leagues were originally sponsored by the AARP some 20 years ago, which is about when Murray and Schlecht became involved administratively.

In reference to the "300 Club", the 4 members who have earned their way into the prestigious group are:

Nathan Horst - Age 86
Larry Rosenberry - Age 74 (twice)
Willie Shives - Age 70
Garry Culler - Age 75

Don't be misled into thinking these "Lane Masters" are one-time wonders. These guys will take you to school and back if given the chance. The elder member of the group, Nathan Horst, who rolled his 300 game in 2005, currently averages a stout 173. Larry Rosenberry, with two recent perfect games to his credit, posted his latest in 2007, and averages 185. Willie Shives, with a 300 game in 2008, has a 197 average, and Garry Culler, the most recent inductee into the club, reached perfection in the current 2009-2010 season, and tops the High Average leader board of the 50 Plus Seniors league at an astounding 211 clip.

Other notables feature some great female performers. Janet Moxley averages a superior 177, including a 268 game and 667 series, while Sharon Henry's 172 is more than a handful for any opponent. Henry also landed a 214 game and 604 series. Other '200' games feature Linda Loy's 245, Joyce Bachman's 222, Lois Drexler's 211, and Louise Bowers' 207, just to name a few. For the men, in addition to our featured players, Frank Mutilitis posted a sensational 287 game to lead the 50 Plus League, and in the Golden Age League, Audie Olson topped the 700 barrier with a 704 series, along with a 267 as his high game for the season. Rounding out just a few of the highlighters is Don Henderson, who summoned an impressive 279 game and 675 series along the way.

The two leagues' administrative officers are no slouches on the lanes either. Ms. Murray averages at around a 150 clip, while Mr. Schlecht currently posts a strong 191 average.

The members of these Lincoln Lanes leagues also enjoy the convenience of a rotating senior tournament format, which occurs on Fridays each month. The rotating aspect refers to the host bowling center for each event. There are 3 nearby bowling establishments that take part, including Lincoln Lanes and Nellie Fox Bowl in Chambersburg, and Sunshine Lanes in neighboring Waynesboro, PA. Sunshine Lanes hosts the monthly tour every 2nd Friday of a month, while Nellie Fox Bowl takes charge on the 3rd Friday, while Lincoln Lanes anchors the cause, hosting the tournament on the last Friday of each month. The tournament format is 100% handicap, with the age requirement being 50+. The time of the event is always at 12:00 noon. To get full details, anyone interested would best be served by telephoning Lincoln Lanes (717-263-4511).

We've learned about some of the unheralded superstars of just one of the local senior circuits. As we examine the entire picture, the sport of bowling remains a game that appeals to all ages. Group participation in leagues is what makes the whole thing work. But a league run well with impeccable organization is also a key ingredient in making a bowling league a desirable gathering place. The Golden Age Seniors and 50 Plus Seniors leagues are just a couple of shining examples of where people can go to have their own "Place in the Sun".

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