For The Daily Item
After more than a combined half-decade of feasting on bowling pins, Randy Witmer and Ida Mae Hartman finally got their just desserts.
On Saturday the Central Pennsylvania Bowling Association and the Mifflinburg Women’s Bowling Association inducted Witmer and Hartman into their respective halls of fame in a ceremony held at the Carriage Corner Restaurant in Mifflinburg.
Witmer, of Selinsgrove, becomes the 44th member of the CPBA Hall of Fame. Hartman, of Cowan, is the 19th inductee for hers.
When he began bowling 31 years ago, Witmer would look longingly at a plaque hanging in Best Bowl that listed all the high scores and honorees, hoping to be on it someday.
Now he is, and then some.
“The honor means a lot. After 30 years now my name will be on it. It’s pretty special,” said Witmer. “I never thought (being inducted) would happen. I guess with what I’ve done, everybody that does the voting felt like I deserved it, and I’m very honored to be in there.”
To his credit, Witmer set a career high career average of 221 in 2012, and he has six perfect games and five 800 series. In 2009 he rolled a high series of 857 that still stands as Best Bowl’s house record.
In addition, Witmer claimed a 2012 CPBA team championship and he was the CPBA’s singles and all-events champ in 2010.
Witmer also serves as a board member for the CPBA, so imagine the surprise he got when his selection was announced during a board meeting.
“I’m part of the election committee, so when they announced that I got in this year I was surprised,” said Witmer. “There are a lot of good bowlers out there who deserve to be in the hall, and they will be sooner or later.”
Hartman’s honor has been a long time coming.
She began bowling back in the early 1960s at the Mifflinburg Moose and Mifflinburg Lanes. Along with claiming several team championships, she served as league secretary and treasurer, and she sat on many league and association committees as well.
It was all out of her love devotion for the sport.
“I just really enjoyed bowling,” she said. “I’ve met a lot of people and I had a lot of good friends in the bowling league.”
Hartman remained active in the sport until degenerative arthritis issues caused her to give it up. During her career she had a high average of 156 and a high game of 235.
“It’s just one of those things that happen in life. You just have to work with it, and that’s what I’ve been doing for over 20 years,” said Hartman. “I’ve been working with this arthritis and it’s taken its toll, but I enjoy being able to get out and meet people.”
Hartman never thought she would ever receive her honor, although she’s come close.
“A couple of years ago ... my sister nominated me but I didn’t get in,” she said. “I was surprised in January when (MWBA President) Marty (Girvin) came and brought me a rose and said this year you’re going to be inducted. I enjoyed that very much.”
Along with the hall of fame inductions, the CPBA also honored their high school bowlers of the year. It is the cream of the crop of what the Heartland Athletic Conference has to offer.
The boys honorees were Lewisburg senior Andrew Hans, Midd-West junior Luke Zimmerman, Mifflinburg senior Austin Miller and Selinsgrove junior Byron Heinbach. The girls honorees are Lewisburg freshman Alexis Neuer, Midd-West junior Jenna Yarger, Mifflinburg senior Brianna Hollenbach and Selinsgrove senior Brynn Musser.
Until next time, stay out of the gutters.
Brian Holtzapple is a correspondent who covers bowling for The Daily Item. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.