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Voyageur's Best Sports of 2003


Darlow Excavating wins first ever championship
Darlow Excavating defeats B.J.'s Highway Express
by John Grones  |  April 8, 2003

Outside, it was windy and cold. A mixture of rain and sleet was covering cars and roadways. April has not produced favorable conditions outdoors, but the action inside at McGregor Lanes warmed things up a bit. A few bowlers were seen fanning themselves from the heat, which radiated from the intense competition.

Two women’s bowling teams faced each other to decide the Thursday Afternoon Fun League team championship on Thur., April 3. The team from Wright, sponsored by B.J.’s Highway Express and a team from McGregor, sponsored by Darlow’s Excavating, went head to head in a roll-off to decide first place.

The team from Wright, labeled by their peers, The Golden Girls of the league, were steady early on. All four members, Jennie Waisenen, LaReta Lockling, Shirle Walli, and Lu Ann Billmeier, bowled games close to their average and beat the younger team from McGregor in the first game, 661 to 624. The bictory put them in control of the match, but there were two more games to go.

Led by the oldest member of the entire league, Jennie Waisenen, the average age of the bowlers on the B.J.’s Highway Express team is 75. Jennie will be 80 on Aril 27 and LaReta just turned 77 on April 2. Shirle is also 77 and Lu Ann is the toyngest of the bunch at 65.

The match took a turn midway throught the second game. Dalow’s Excavating, also called The Young and the Restless by their opponents, showed their youthfulness and began a comeback. It all started after Sheila Mate picked up a very difficult 4-7-10 split. Sheila’s teammate, Teddie Carlstrom, followed with a spare and Linda Fredrickson nailed a strike. At the midway point in the match, the McGregor team pulled to within four pins in the overall score.

The three bowlers continued to stay hot in the eighth when Sheila added a strike and Teddie did the same. If it hadn’t been for a solid seven pin, Linda would have made it three in a row.

B.J.’s Highway Express tried to stay close, but Sheila’s game of 150 and Teddie’s 144 propelled their team to a 726 team score. B.J.’s finished with a 678, which set up the third and final game to decide the match.

Both teams started out inconsistent and there was a little bit of nervous tension on both teams. B.J.’s found themselves struggling and combined for 12 splits and no strikes in the third and final game.

The match stayed close until the fourth frame, when Teddie Carlstrom lit up the lanes. She rolled two strikes in a row and, had she not left a solid ten pin, it would have been four in a row because she struck again in the seventh frame.

It was then that the quiet lead-off bowler, Cindy Swedberg, found her groove. She finished her third game with a strike-spare-strike and eclipsed her average by 30 pins.

Cindy’s excellent finish, combined with Teddie’s 176 game (46 pins over her average), and Darlow’s Excavating ran away with the match. They won with an overall score of 2,077, compared to 1,996 for B.J.’s Highway Express.

Linda Fredrickson wasted little time announcing, to the rest of the teams, who won first place and they promptly applauded. “We’ve been the last place team for the past five years,” said Linda.

“Many years,” added Cindy.

Linda then jokingly announced to the rest of the league members, “Now I have to cancel those three-dollar trophies I ordered!” Sheila couldn’t be sure if Linda was actually joking, but neverthe less she will need five trophies for the championship team. Darlow’s Excavating actually consists of five players. JoAnn Darlow is also a member, but recently had surgery and is on injured reserve.

The second place finish by B.J.’s Highway Express (The Golden Girls) is also quite an accomplishment and they should be proud of their season. According to Lu Ann, Blaine (B.J.) will just gave to wait until next year.

In addition to the team accomplishments, there were a few individual ones as well. Carol Kreiling finihed the season with the high average (162) and the high series (618). Gerrie Ward had the high game (230).

This issue first appeared in the April 8, 2003 issue of the Voyageur Press.