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    Upper Pinellas prep league gives everyone chance to roll


    © St. Petersburg Times, published April 6, 2001

    Palm Harbor University High sophomores Kelly Fecke and Teresa Scanlon are a "team." So is Pinellas Park High's Crystal Stutler.

    In the unique setup called the Upper Pinellas County High School League, even one player makes a team. Two are a stronger team, and three are considered a full roster.

    "We wanted it that way to give every youngster who came out the opportunity to compete," said Bob Gates, league president.

    "Only five girls came out for our team, and one quit, so we put two girls on each squad," Scanlon said.

    So, why didn't you assign three girls to a squad with a substitute? "Because we want everyone to bowl," said Kent Fecke, Kelly's father and a Hurricanes coach with Scanlon's father, Pat. "Unlike last season, when we had four-person teams, we decided that trios would be more fun, take less time and give everyone a chance to compete."

    Since Stutler couldn't find bowling companions, she's a one-girl team and rolls with two blinds that get the average of 110 plus handicap. Stutler is averaging 170 and is fifth in the scratch standings, eighth in handicap competition.

    Stutler also competes in the Countryside Lanes YABA Gold programs. She rolled a 711 series last week.

    Trio leagues, mixed or same gender, have been popular for years, so it was no surprise the league went that way in its second season. Players and coaches also opted for the popular Baker System. Players roll three regular-format games, then a team Baker game, with each competitor in alternate frames until the game is finished.

    "It's more fun than regular bowling," said Kelly Fecke, a right-hander with a 186 average and 279-714 career high. She also competes in the YABA Gold Leagues.

    "I like the Baker play, too, because it moves fast and gives us all a chance to play," said Teresa Scanlon, a right-hander with a 171 average. "But, it could be more fun if we had three players instead of just two."

    Two years ago, Palm Harbor joined the long-established Pinellas County High School League. This season, the Hurricanes comprised Abby Mello, Erin Duffy, Patty Wilkinson, Ellie Rawson, Fecke and Scanlon. They finished last in the 13-team league.

    A year ago, Palm Harbor won the lower county league's scratch title with the same squad, except for Rawson. Fecke was the high average winner with a 182. The Hurricanes also captured the Upper Pinellas title with Fecke's 242-607 scratch and 187 average. Scanlon averaged 164 with a 235-568 high scratch.

    Last week, Palm Harbor team No. 1 -- that's Fecke and Scanlon -- was leading East Lake No. 1 in scratch and handicap standings.

    Fecke-Scanlon won 67 points, lost only five in the scratch standings and won 55 and lost 16 in the handicap competition. They were 1-2 with Fecke's 160-751 and Scanlon's 251-664 handicap efforts. Fecke fired a 229-658 for first in scratch, and Scanlon managed a 214-553.

    The upper county league includes teams from East Lake, Largo, Clearwater, Countryside, Tarpon Springs and Dunedin. Competition is every Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at Countryside, Rainbow, Largo or AMF Clearwater lanes.

    NABI WINNERS: Oldsmar's Jim Bauer and St. Petersburg's Pat Pruitt won titles recently.

    Bauer defeated Bradenton's Don Kulb 222-148 for $400 and his first championship March 18 at Sunrise Lanes. Clearwater's Scott Russell was third, and St. Petersburg's Gary Halstrom won the Platinum title.

    Pruitt stopped Clearwater's Dennis McIntosh 227-191 for his second championship and $400 at AMF Clearwater Lanes on March 25. Tarpon Springs' Fred Heifermann was third, and Phil Peters, Palm Harbor, took the Platinum Division and $250.

    FBC: St. Petersburg's Keith Glasgow and Tim Dunbar won Florida Bowlers Club tournaments the last two weekends.

    Glasgow stopped Steve Kenyon 235-222 in the semifinals, then beat Rick Ickes 231-207 March 25 at Sunrise Lanes.

    Darryl Dempsey defeated three opponents to reach the finals, in which Dunbar put out his fire with a 205-164 win at Liberty Lanes on Sunday.

    GOOD LIFE GAMES: St. Petersburg's Joe Mirande was a double winner in the 85-89 age-group competition of the Games last week. He teamed with Lester Tope to take the doubles at 1,066 and captured the singles with a 597 series. AROUND THE LANES: Lee Johnson recorded a 300-814, Keith Glasgow a 300-734 and Ron Demillion a 299-726 at Seminole Lanes. ... Bo O'Keefe rolled a 300 game at Ten Pin Lanes. ... John Ebert logged a 300-776, Jason Scanga a 300-753 and Matt Mayhugh a 289-801 at AMF Kenneth City Lanes. ... Jerry Reed had a 300-710 and Ron Knish a 300-722 at Sunshine Bowl.

    - Phil Gulick can be reached at or

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