Friday, March 23, 2007

1964 to 1966 Hilo High School Vikings

So here we go with the Alma Mater:

Beneath the tropic skies of Hilo
Stands dear old Hilo High School
Dearer ever shall it grow
With the spirit of Blue and Gold
In our hearts we hold thee
Alma Mater mine,
Loyalty and Honor shall
Forever be thine!

T-E-A-M, yay, Team,
T-E-A-M, yay, Team.

These were the years when my bowling really came into being. Brother Glenn was the toughest bowler around, I started to pick up really good tips and my averaged jumped from 133 to 166 in one season. then into the 170's. then the 190's. As well, the Junior Bowling Club of Hilo flourished under the auspices of Head Coach Bob Kurihara. We traveled to other parts of the state with home-and-home challenges, entered different kinds of bowling tournaments and competitions, and practiced and bowled practically every single day.

Under Mr. Kurihara, our club had a state champion in every year beginning from 1961 and culminated in 1966 with a "clean sweep" when all three divisions - Boy's Scratch, Boy's Handicap, and Girl's Handicap - was won by a Junior Bowling Club of Hilo member. 1961 through 1965 were Matt Kahapea, Wayne Hayashi, Lorna Okuna, Estelle Jinbo, Annette Fujii, Dennis Lee, and brother Glenn. In 1966, Ben Kobata, Joanne Fujiwara, brother Eric, and myself won. Coming from the "hick town" of Hilo rather than the large metropolis of Honolulu and island of Oahu, it was a really satisfying accomplishment for Bob Kurihara.

One thing I remember the most about the bowling club is how we did so many things as though we were a family. Camping, picnics, tournaments, fund raisers like selling animal crackers and washing cars - we all worked together helping each other out. No one shirked away responsibilities. We all chipped in whatever way we could as Ohana and this was a very big contributing factor as to why we gained respect from the adults. We were always respectful, doing things to help others, and having a good time bowling.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Practice Bowling & Sport Shot League

Last night's bowling practice was a terrific one. I bowled 8 games without getting winded or having my back hurt, which has been a problem since getting out of the cast and crutches in November and starting back up with my bowling in January. The exercising and bowling practice are paying off slowly. Another thing I did was gear the bowling practice toward tournament competition rather than league play. Since the two types are different, it stands to reason that the practice for each should be different also. To wit: in the 8 games, I started on the first arrow (5 board), then after three frames, moved to the second arrow (10 board), then continued this until I was as deep inside as I was able to which was the second arrow from the left side gutter (30 board). I then went back, every three frames, five boards at a time till I was back at the 5 board again.
I played "scenario games" with myself such as, "okay, everything left of the center dot on the approach is water soaked so you're going to have to finish the next few frames playing the second arrow. I therefore, had to play with my hand positions, ball speed, approach speed and whatever I could think of to get the ball to the 17 board in the 1 - 3 pin pocket. Overall, it was very satisfying and had me moving all over the approach, the lane, and moving my hand position and adjusting my ball speed all through the practice session. These are tournament conditions because, unlike league where you might be able to work with basically the same conditions every week, the tournaments take us to a different bowling alley each week and therefore, different oil patterns, scenarios, and so forth.
I finalized the Sport Shot League I am helping to form for the summer and we will begin advertising and signing up people for it. It should be a fun time since we will be bowling under tougher conditions than the regular, high-scoring, house shots. Keep you posted on this one. My goal is to average at least 190 for this league. It will help me learn and study oil patterns and ball reactions. I'm wound up for it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Buffalo (NY) Here She Comes?

Our champion bowler continues her march for titles. At the Pepsi Junior Bowler qualifying tournament, Mikela had games of 141 - 118 - 139 for a 399 series. With her average at 111, she had 240 handicap giving her a series of 638. The final results will not be known until later this week; but, she has a good chance to qualify for the Nationals that are to be held in Buffalo, NY in July. Notification letters are supposed to be sent to all qualifiers by Tuesday so we'll know by Thursday.

BTW, got myself a new ball from Visionary Bowling Products, a new company. My favorite ball driller, Sonny Eubanks at Glenfair Lanes, recommended it to me and I took his word for it. The ball is drilled to not hook as much as my Doom Hammer and it came in handy at Squaw Peak Lanes this past weekend in the 5-gamer. Because of Mikela's tournament, I did not plan to bowl until the last aquad so you can imagine that the lanes were pretty dry. I took the VBP "Ogre" and moved inside to the 17 board, tucked my hand under and had about a two or three o'clock hand position swinging about four boards. Shot a 1202 for the five games so I feel pretty good. Nowadays, I'm trying to adapt my game to being as flexible as possible meaning I will be using whatever ball, hand position, and inside- or outside line will work for that particular time.

Sunday, Julie and I traveled to Lake Havasu City to help with the one-day divisional tournament and as always, had an enjoyable time. The people in the "smaller" cities are so friendly and treat us special when we hold tournaments in their bowling centers. They certainly appreciate us going there to run tournaments for them.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Just Bowling Along

Since winning the Apache Lanes bowling tournament, I've been cruising along continuing to work on my game. At last week's tournament (Sunset Lanes), I wasn't concentrating too good because my tendon kept "popping" out over the ankle bone and throwing my strides off. I did not make it past the quarterfinals and ended up in 13th place. I did, however, defend my "King of the Hill" position.

During practice on Tuesday night, I discovered that if I take a 3-step approach (basically, my first step is a stutter so you could consider it a 4-step), I very rarely have my tendon slip out of place. I worked on it that night and then again, on last night (Thursday) and it seems to be going good.

This weekend's tournament is a 5-game beat-the-board. I have to help with the bowling tournament in Lake Havasu City on Sunday; but, I'll be able to go on Saturday after taking and watching Mikela at her bowling earlier in the day.