by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
Years ago there were the ABC and the WIBC. There were men’s leagues, women’s leagues, and the Sunday night mixed nuts leagues were about the only time that men and women bowled with each other. It took some time for the powers of the two bowling organizations to realize that the only difference between a 160 average man and a 160 average woman bowler was that the man was sloppy, ugly, and cussed and belched. In the 60’s, I knew of a scratch trios league at Cedar Lanes that hosted a team of Georgene Cordes, Mavis Simco, and Shirley Sjostrom, who regularly beat up on the men’s teams, but for the most part, the battle of the sexes did not take place at the bowling centers.
In those days, most of the centers had one or two scratch leagues for men, but now it seems that handicap leagues are more popular, because the participation can be opened up to bowlers of various talent. One of the surviving scratch leagues is the Phil Bros Classic league at Texa Tonka in St. Louis Park, and although it remains about 90 per cent male, three of the regular bowlers on the On Track Eden Prairie team are extremely proficient ladies, Deb Lantto, Terri Anderson, and Allyson Herstein.
All three are from bowling families. Deb’s father, Bill Johnson frequently beat up on me in the Biltmore Major League back in the 60’s. From there I progressed to the Aqua Bowl Straightaway and got beaten like a drum by Allyson’s father, Howie Herstein. Terri’s dad, Dave, was President/Secretary of the Minneapolis ABC before his untimely passing in 1993. Terri’s brother Jeff is a
scratch bowler and frequent contributor to our forum, and Deb‘s husband, Sam, has local and national recognition known to all.
The accomplishments of these three ladies are superlative. The trio teamed up with Janelle Niles and Deb’s sister, Lisa Nadeau to win the scratch division of both Minneapolis and St. Paul women’s city tournaments in 2009 for the Lind’s-OnTrack Eden Prairie sponsored team. Terri and Janelle also won the scratch doubles in the Minneapolis event, while Deb took home the singles and all events titles. Deb consistently averages over 220 in the classic league and has six 300 games and two 800 sets in her career. Terri also averages well over 200 and her resume includes four 300s, three 800 sets, and the appointment to the 2001 All City Team that had been previously been populated by only men. Allyson’s average is around 200, and she provides an energy for her teams that must have been inherited from her dad, Howie.
But, regardless of all the individual and team accomplishments, this trio of ladies just like to spend time bowling with their friends, and enjoy competing in a scratch league that appreciates their ability. And the men in the league also appreciate having the opportunity to compete against three of the best women bowlers in the Twin Cities. (Except, of course, when we lose.)