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Reliable sources have confirmed that Carl Larsen has been spotted all over Mesquite wearing an “Old Guys Rule” T-shirt.
Perfectly understandable, as it was one way of letting city residents know that even at age 80, a bowler can still deliver a ball that packs some serious pop. Additionally, his T-shirt tour is also a way of celebrating what some might consider his age-defying feat in Mesquite Merchants League action that left 95 other bowlers in awe.
Here’s the nitty-gritty of the story. Larsen carved up the lanes with a monster 289 and an outstanding 671 series. In fact, not only was his 289 the high game for the night, it was also the fourth highest bowled in Mesquite the entire season. Only two bowlers, Darwin Wimer (300, 299) and Randy Wade (298), have booked higher games.
Larsen has a career-high 801 series and high game of 299. Long before he began beating up on bowling pins, he was mowing down batters with a nasty curveball as a high school pitcher.
In fact, in 1955, Larsen was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers and went to spring training in Florida, playing with the likes of future Hall of Fame pitchers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. After spring training, he was assigned to the Dodgers’ farm team in Great Falls, Montana, for one season, and his last in professional baseball.
By the way, it should be noted Larsen has ordered one of the aforementioned T-shirts for all his octogenarian bowling buddies like Tom Desena (85), John Collins (83), Bobby Napper (82) and Phil Rivaldo (82). Others on his order list include Dennis Hartley (81), Richard Long (80), Bob Morgan, Bob Hughes and Gene Peters.
While not confirmed at press time, word on the street is that Larsen has already arranged for a group photo and will be asking Marty Rapson for permission to have the group’s picture prominently displayed, to serve as a reminder for younger bowlers about who can still rule the lanes on any given night at the Virgin River Casino Bowling Center.
In other action, and on a more serious note, Ray Schultz, another bowler in his 80s, received thunderous applause and high-fives on the heels of an announcement that he just rolled a 289 game en route to an outstanding 695 on the final night of Kings & Queens League play. Schultz bowls in three leagues and averages 196 in one, and 195 in the other two.
Without much fanfare, Gil Nimi (656-227) continued a run of good scores, and Ken Meacham (645) tossed his second highest series ever. A strong outing by Don Smalley (648-237) was his best series since a 659 earlier this season, and Mardon Connelly (644-264) also chucked his best series and game this year on the final morning of Early Risers League play.
Amazingly, for a guy who did not bowl for two years, Juan Cardenas (619-222) is having a really good season. Terry King is finishing the season on a good note and so is Ken Kaylor (610-248). A resident of Overton, Kaylor has won accolades for his art work. Finally, Bill Oatts (609-201) continued his string of 600s and so did Don Clark Jr. (604-204).
In single game play, no surprise here, but Wimer fired a spectacular 299. Billy Martin uncorked a 225, Ed Hoepfner rolled a clean 213 and Gary Hathaway booked a 212. A 209 by Carlos Gonzales shows the big improvement in his game, in just his first year of bowling. At the same time, Mike Donovan logged a 201.
In women’s action, Nancy Egge (553-213) saved her best scores for the last day of the Friday Afternoon Ladies League, and will soon be heading to Oregon for the summer. Marty Wilks chalked up a season-high 548, while Debbie Hanson (507) and Maria Flynn (506) posted quality scores.
In single game play, Sandy Sheppard spanked the lanes with a 246, and Georgia Godfrey registered a 208.
• OHHH BAY-BEE … Bobbie Ashford blew past her 116 average and rolled her first game in the 150s, a 153 … Arlie Griffith (189, 186) tossed a pair of really good games.
Darwin Wimer 738; Doug Love 682-257; Jan Kusy 679-245; Joe Keim 663-238; Dean Sheppard 641-236; Steve Ginther 638-258; Jeff Jacobson (637-245); Randy Wade (637-238); John Collins 623-248); Brian Collins 612-225; Gene Peters 615-227; Mark Cruz 614-229; Billy Martin 610; Eric Cottrell 607-229; Al Walker 606-226; Richard Johnson 235; Jim Marshall 233; Will Venski 233; Cliff Hennebry 225; George Clark 225; Al Legan 222; Dan Erhart 221; Wayne Reeter 221; Ken Clammer 217; Bobby Napper 214; Ron Zappa 214; James Hartley 213; Robert Melendez 213; Rob Cormani 210; Terry Cloud 210; Luis Hernandez 207; Bob Morgan 205; Kenny Duckett 203; Roger Lucas 203; Ronn Karr 203; Ryan Ford 203; Bob Andrews 201; Sandy Sheppard 649; Donna Voyles 554-207; MaryAnn Davis 540; Gayla Ruesch 524; Reiko Schultz 523; Marty Rapson 507.
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