Ford, 7, has a ball without bumpers
By PHIL GULICK
© St. Petersburg Times, published November 3, 2000
He's about 3 feet tall and his underhand, two-hand delivery from the foul line sends the ball creeping down the lane.
Eight of 10 shots avoid the gutter, and when all 10 pins topple in slow motion, Eric Ford, 7, jumps for joy.
Ford was competing without channel bumpers in his first tournament.
Bumpers are various mechanical devices that keep the ball on the lanes, preventing many channel balls that discourage the youngest bowlers.
Ford and his partner, Steve Majors, were among the competitors in the 34th annual Greater Pinellas Young American Bowling Alliance (YABA) YouthAdult Tournament that ended Sunday at Ten Pin Lanes.
"He's so excited about bowling without the bumpers for the first time that he can hardly control his enthusiasm," Majors said.
Ford and Majors finished 16th.
The father-son duo of Glenn, 6, and Glenn Hewlett bowled on the same pair as the Ford-Majors team, and it might have mattered that Eric's three-game series beat Glenn, 190-164.
The Hewletts recorded a 1,040 total. Ford-Majors managed a 1,173 in the Bantam Division, for the youngest players.
"I don't think the score mattered that much to Glenn, but how well he rolled the ball did," said his father.
The Hewletts placed 18th.
Down the house a few lanes, Brandy Bryan and Ron Kurmay were putting together a good 1,415 score in the MajorSenior division, for older players.
Bryan, a member of the Northeast squad in the Pinellas County High School League, carried her partner with games of 246, 223 and 187. Kurmay fired 193, 199 and 194.
"Brandy has a terrific shot, and she's consistent," Kurmay said.
They finished second.
Overall winners were: Neil Minor and Tim Dunbar from Seminole Lanes, Bantams, 1,321; Melissa Henrikson-Jeff Cole, Sunshine Bowl, Preps, 1,430; Cedric Roberts-Steve Stoddard, Skyway Lanes, Juniors, 1,419; and Hector Latorre-Joe Minarik from Sunshine Bowl, MajorSenior, 1,358.
Each division youth winner received $250 in college scholarship money.
The 174 entries was one of the largest turnouts for the event, thanks to the work of Ed Minor and John Hahmann, who recruited players from the Senior Stars men and women's leagues and a number of prep players.
SHUFFLED: Largo and Dixie Hollins maintained their leads in the boys' competition of the Pinellas County High School League, but Northeast and Boca Ciega made moves toward the top.
Northeast No. 1 moved into a tie with Palm Harbor University High atop the girls' scratch standings with a 135-12 record.
Palm Harbor has lost only four points in the past two weeks. Northeast has lost one.
Boca Ciega grabbed the boys' handicap division lead from East Lake, beating Lakewood No. 1 for a 102-45 mark.
The Pirates' ship is manned by Will Larsson, Duane Sherman, Philip and Billy Marsh, James Jacot and Austin Gilbert.
Coach Ron Mowbray's Pinellas Park boys team swept all 21 points from Countryside.
NO. 1 IS FIRST: Team No. 1 of Billy Kitchens, Jamie Potter, Stephen Rodriguez and Shawn Ryan won the first-quarter position round of the B.C. Junior Gold League at Countryside Lanes last week.
The winning team from each quarter will meet to determine who qualifies for the National Gold Tournament in Reno, Nev., next year.
The winner of the scratch singles, boys and girls, and the winner of the bowler of the year tournament advance.
League directors Cheryl and Bill Bedford will take about 12 youngsters to Ormond Beach for the Bill Landen Tournament this weekend.
AROUND THE LANES: The 47th annual St. Petersburg Women's Classic opens Saturday and continues the next two weekends. Team competition will be at Southland Lanes, and the singles and doubles at Sunrise Lanes. ... Greg Vanderloop rolled a 298-800 at Seminole Lanes. ... Garry Gordon fired a 300-719 at Dunedin Lanes. ... Dave Pippenger nailed a 300-786 at Countryside Lanes. ... Jack Donohue carded a 300-game, Chris Williamson a 300-749 and Greg Sexton, Danny Belton and Chuck Hill each 299 games at Liberty Lanes.
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