The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

January 21, 2013

Brian Holtzapple's bowling column: Perfect game not hard to roll this season

(Continued)

"I miss the kids very much, they were all great kids. We did not have the strongest of teams over the past several years, so it was more about the individual accomplishments and seeing them learn that I miss the most. It is hard being in the bowling center when their match starts. I will never say never to not coaching high school bowling again but for my foreseeable future unless something drastically changes, no.

BOWLING DIVERSITY: Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Although the civil rights leader was said to be good at several athletic endeavors (swimming, badminton, netball, hockey, cross country running), bowling unfortunately wasn't among them.

But thanks in part to the work of MLK, African-Americans have become an integral part of the bowling landscape.

All minorities were banned from the American Bowling Congress until 1950, but it wasn't until shortly after MLK's assassination in 1968 when African-Americans began being honored for their work in the sport.

In 1970 William Hall Sr. became the first black elected to the ABC Board of Directors, and then in 1978 J. Elmer Reed became the first black inducted into the ABC Hall of Fame for meritorious service. Reed was instrumental in the desegregation of the ABC. Fourteen years later Tom DeChalus became the first black elected Vice President of the ABC.

The first perfect game rolled by an African-American was Aubrey Harrison in 1980, and it was a torch completely taken over in recent years by Virginia's Fero Williams and Georgia's George Gohagan III.

Williams, 31, has been credited for rolling 135 perfect games through the 2011-12 season, plus he has at least 120 series of 800 or better. He owns the USBC record for rolling 22 perfect games and 27 series of 800 or better in 2006-07.

The exploits of Gohagan out on the lanes are almost as ridiculous as Williams'. In 2007 Gohagan rolled an 899 series after throwing 35 strikes in a row. The 29-year-old has over a 100 perfect games in his career.

Until next time, stay out of the gutters.

n Brian Holtzapple is a correspondent who covers bowling for The Daily Item. Email him at keglerskorner@dailyitem.com.

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