IN THE ZONE By Randy Thompson

Well, it’s been a few years since this column has been written. Since that time, there have been awards, winners and too numerous incredible achievements to write about. With that in mind, this week’s column will focus on some of the bowling center’s top individual performance.

As they say in many sports, someone with not as much experience is able to block out the pressure and the result is ultimate performance. One recent example of this was the perfect 300 game recorded by Jesse Shane in the SuperTeens League. The young bowler achieved the ultimate game with a trio of left-handed strikes at the end with solid pocket hits.

Special acknowledgement goes out to Ronnie Horton who made a presentation to Jessee from Ebonite Bowling as the hard throwing youngster used the Ebonite bowling ball to perfection.

Speaking of the Horton bowling tree, Emilee Horton continued to bring bowling excellence to the family. Her 214 game and 560 series were atop the girls competitors in the SuperTeens League. Combining her stellar bowling with Jesse proves that the youth bowlers in the area continue to shine and present a bright future for bowling throughout the New River Valley.

In an effort to highlight some other bowlers in competition at the SuperBowl , another left handed strike machine shined in the Friday Night Church League. Robert Smith rolled a 279 game and 804 series the second week of February. Inspired by strong competion that evening, there were a pair of 268 game. Larry Jones and Dale Shumate both produced that outstanding score in an individual game.

This year has also been witness to some superlative games in the Sunday Night Triples League. Justin Matthews registered his perfect 300 game for the season’s high game. Lefty Tyler Graham, who carries a 210 average, had a season high seriers of 762. James Still, Jr. and perennial high bowler Scott Bradley shared runner up honors for high games in the league this year with matching 279 games.

One of the greatest things about bowling competition on a local level is that excellence is never a measure of age. The senior bowlers in the area prove that on a weekly basis.

One example of that is Jim Hawkins who recorded a 270 game and 699 series in the Golden Years Senior League. Carl Price also had some big scores including a high game of 265 and 655 series.

One of the leagues that was created just a few years ago was the Tuesday Coffee League. This league was created in part to accommodate the league bowlers whose schedule works best for a pre-noon start time.

The league is a combination of both ages and genders. Justin Matthews proved that bowling early or later does not affect his ability to fire strikes at the pins. His season high game of 300 and 825 series set the pace for the league. Ernest Stubbs had a 298 game, Jug Donathan a 265 and Rick Bailey rolled a 254 game. Brian Atkinson, who throws a “back-up ball” also demonstrated a strong “rev rate” with his 249 game.

In the upcoming editions, “In the Zone” will focus on female bowlers, bowlers with high handicap scores and other unique categories.

If anyone has a suggestion for this column (I guess it is called a blog these days), you can email me at

“In the Zone”- wishes everyone bowling fun and bowling success.