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Date: 21 Jan 2005 17:34:55
From: Chuck McGowan
Subject: Almost Perfect...
Howdy all!

Long time, no post. Taking the year off of bowling, but I saw this article
in the paper today and had to pass it along to y'all. Lonnie Sharkey is
undoubtedly the best bowler in the area and has been for a long time, and he
missed his 900 with a 6 pin in the third frame of his third game Monday
night, finishing with a new county record 879. Way to go Lonnie!

From the Bremerton Sun:
Bowling: Kitsap's New King Pin

Silverdale's Lonnie Sharkey bowled two perfect games and came close to a
third to set a new county record this week.
By Annette Griffus, Sun Staff
January 21, 2005

M onday's scratch bowling league at All Star Lanes in Silverdale began much
like any other for long-time bowler Lonnie Sharkey.

Sharkey was fully expecting to have a good night as he always does once he
laces his bowling shoes, but the night to come wasn't on his radar.

The 1973 Central Kitsap High graduate proceeded to roll strike after strike,
drawing in a crowd who was silent until he let the ball go then erupted
when he knocked down pin after pin.

Three games later Sharkey had set a Kitsap County record by recording two
300 games, and following with a 279 for a total series of 879. Sharkey broke
Kristy Whitcher's record of 856 set in the early 1990s.

"It just kind of happened," Sharkey said of his record-setting night. "It
was just a lot of fun."

Kitsap County Bowling Association executive director Earle Sears said
Sharkey came close to setting a new state record.

"(There's a) little bit of discussion of that now," Sears said. "I can't
verify it."

Sears said the record might be held by someone near the Vancouver-area who
bowled an 880.

But Sears couldn't be more happy for Sharkey.

"Worst part about it, he's such a nice guy you can't hate him," Sears joked.

Sharkey's good friend and former bowling partner Whitcher can attest to

Whitcher, who has been coaching the North Mason High School girls basketball
team for the past six years, is one of the best bowlers ever to come out of
West Sound. She and Sharkey teamed up for years and toured the nation
competing in bowling tournaments.

"I always knew if anyone was going to do it, it was him," she said.

Whitcher remembers her record night at West Park. She was bowling in the
women's Bud Lite Scratch League and until that night hadn't even bowled a
300 game.

"I got a 300 and I was more excited about that," she said. "I was not even
thinking of an 856. It was an afterthought. I wanted that 300 so bad that I
didn't think about the 856.

"A couple days later (I) realized what I had done. It was pretty neat."

The new record-holder, Sharkey, first picked up a ball while bowling with
his parents in 1972 at West Park Lanes in Bremerton.

Sharkey even found love on those lanes he met his wife, Chris, at West
Park and raised their daughters Stephanie and Carrie on the sport.

"I love bowling and it's been really good to me," he said. "It's been a part
of our lives."

Sharkey, who bowls with Stephanie in the Pepsi Scratch League, had nearly
his entire family Chris, parents Don and Vee and plenty of friends
cheering him on Monday night.

After bowling the first 300 game, he stayed in the groove, frame after

"People started gathering around," Sharkey said. "It got a little exciting."

By the end of the second game Sharkey had delivered again another 300 and
the first back-to-back perfect games of his career.

"I was feeling good that night," he said, adding he felt "in the zone."

"Once it got that close (I) didn't want to let it go."

By his third game, other bowlers in other leagues would wait for Sharkey to
bowl, watching in admiration, and maybe a little envy, at what was happing
in the lane near them. People started lining around Sharkey, children even
stopped to watch, and Sharkey knew all eyes were on him.

But he remained cool and didn't feel any added pressure.

Entering the third frame of his third game Sharkey had already thrown two
strikes, and the excitement was palpable.

Sharkey stepped up, lined up his shot and let the ball go, but a lone pin in
that frame refused to go down.

"I missed in the third frame (and) left a single sixth pin high," he said.

He managed to pick up the spare on his next throw.

"I was able to strike in every frame I had too," he said. "It was just a lot
of fun."

Not only did Sharkey win over more fans, he also picked up the night's
jackpot of $1,175 by getting a strike in the 10th frame of that final game.

"I knew I couldn't miss," he said.

Sharkey, a Chicago native who worked at West Park for 12 years, finished the
night throwing 35 out of 36 strikes.

"You kind of get on those rolls once in a while," he said. "It definitely
doesn't happen every day."

Congrats, Lonnie!!!

Hope everyone in the group is doing well. I'm doing just fine...just taking
it easy for a while and trying to forget all my bad bowling habits. :-P

Chuck McGowan