Kokomo's Team Series Record Progression
Almost all league bowling involves team competition. Teammates help each other and push themselves to greater levels of performance. In addition to earning themselves recognition, they also get recognition for their sponsor. Just look through the Bowling Honor Roll each week. You will see that many local businesses are highlighted although the bowlers' recognition is at the individual level.
Team bowling isn't what it used to be in years past. You don't see the sharp uniforms although you do often see shirts sporting the sponsor's name.
One way that teams continue to receive recognition, as they have for many years, is to roll a new city record.
On the men's side, that has been done on at least 20 occasions. The team game and series record holders are shown surrounding this article along with the individuals and their contributing scores where known.
From the progression, you see that several names appear several times. Fred Hurstel and Bob Resener appear on the list five times. Lefty Willer, Bob Overton and Elmer Cook appear three times. A number of other bowlers appear twice.
A team record was broken, on average, once per year between 1931 and 1941. Of course, by the end of this period, the record scores were getting sufficiently high that the record was much tougher to beat.
Here are a few other interesting facts I discovered when putting this article together.
The Gerhart Brothers broke their own record of 2816 with their 2927 score. These records were both shot at Menig Alleys. Next the records were all set at Recreation Alleys until the Recreation Five shot 3197 at the new Evan's Bowling Academy in 1938. From there, all the records were at Evan's up to 1979 if you include the renamed Sycamore Lanes record in 1961.
The shortest lived game and series record belongs to the Kelvie Press team. In 1933, Lefty's Stars took the record away after only 50 minutes! Rolling in the City League, Kelvie Press rolled a record 1086 game in their first game. Lefty's Stars beat the record by one in their second game. Then moments after finishing with a new series record of 3015, Kelvie Press could only watch Lefty's Stars beat them again with 3051.
The 1941 Recreation Five records are listed as unofficial because their score was rolled while making up a match and was not bowled against competition.
Honda of Kokomo's team game record in 1979 was set at Cedar Crest Lanes. Astro Bowl, wasted no time getting into the record books when Fletcher's Steak House shot their 3318 in 1980.
Cedar Crest got back in the record books in 1993 when the Cedar Crest Lanes team rolled a whopping 1263 game paced by Bob Dunn's 300 game. This record still stands after six years.
The last two records were rolled at Don Lowry Lanes West by Revs N Resin and the current record holder Kokomo Sports Center.
There have been some close calls that could have altered the record book.
In November 1937, when the current game record was 1114, a powerful Clemen's Oil team could have shattered the record. Unfortunately, Hugh Halstead rolled a 147 game and the team finished five pins short with a score of 1109. Other team members and their scores were Ora Murray (211), Fred Swaney (246), Fred Hurstel (247) and Jim DeVinney (258).
In the 1996-97 season, Trent Marner's 802 series paced the MAB Paint team to a score of 3417, only three pins off the record.
Kokomo Sports Center fired the current record at the end of the 1996-97 season against the Revs N Resin team. In March 1998, the Revs N Resin almost took the record back when they rolled scores of 3434 and 3425 with Clint Spencer replacing Jon Dieterman in their lineup.
The women's records are both currently held by Go's Girls. On April 27, 1998 they shot a record game total of 1155 as well as a series record score of 3210. They were paced by Colleen Holaday's record breaking 300 game.
How long will these records stand?
There were a couple of good attempts at the men's record this year. With the new synthetic lanes at Cedar Crest and the expected higher scores, don't be surprised if the 3500 barriers is shattered before the end of next season. There are some powerful teams out there! With the right combination of men, the record could be broken soon.
Series Record Progression