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Up Your Alley: Locals share 'Best Week Ever' honors

The spotlight belonged to many last week, as locals burned up the lanes.

Let's introduce them, in rapid succession:

There was Nathan Flanagan rolling his first career 700 series, closing out his set with a 732. The final ledger read: 237-276-219. ...

Larry Valenti Sr. started his Classic league outing with 10 straight strikes; he came in light with this 11th ball and finished with a 288. ... Kelly McNeil rolled a 235 and finished with a 595 set to leave his 149 average in the dust. ...

Don Andrino, keeper of a 140 average, posted a 207 in Bellevue Senior action for his first 200 game. ... In the Nisei League, Neal Winans (136 average) tallied a 193. ... David Hauser (162) played out of his mind, using a 259 game as a springboard for a 670 series.

Freddy Irvin, one of Modesto's premier bowlers, has set a series record at McHenry Bowl with an 864 recently, breaking the house record by 18 pins. Irvin rolled games of 300 (his 91st of his career), 266 and 298.

Joe Smith, pro shop manager at McHenr, set the previous record in 1993. The Modesto city high -- 868, by San Jose's Paul Mandap -- was shot at the 2009 Masters Tournament.

Other notables with 800: Chuck Smith was the first to roll an 800 series, tacking an 805 on the board in 1962. A few years later, Modesto Hall of Fame member Don Mahaney, the top bowler in the valley for years at the old Modesto Bowl and McHenry, rolled an 822. That mark stood for more than two decades.

The Hall of Fame committee presented its members and the board of directors for the Merced County association a new format on the voting of inductees last year. A couple of Hall members were confused by the new application and information form for nominees last year. Last year, the new format did not list the candidate's name, just his/her qualifications, which is what you really need to know and see. It used to be a popularity contest, even though, you read about their bowling awards and career's, and community service. In the past, the voters knew who the candidates were, that's what made it a popularity contest. Hall of Fame members were the only one who voted on incoming inductees in the past. This changed last year, as the Merced County USBC Association took over the reins of the Hall. Now, all Hall members and association directors can vote on the candidates.

When was the last time you heard about a husband and wife shooting lights out in league play, and on the same pair?

How about this: Stephany and Jason Walton, rolling at Yosemite Lanes, nailed down the second-highest series score ever by a husband and wife combo, according to the United States Bowling Congress.

Local bowlers might remember her as Stephany Perry, rolling in the now defunct High Rollers league at Castle Lanes. Stephany rolled a 799 with games of 290, 255 and 254, while Jason rolled a 803 with games of 267, 236, 300.

Placing eighth out of 13 teams in the recent 2011 Little Swiss held by Yosemite Lanes was the team of Ron Gonzales, Cam Clemens and Sean McCulloch. The trio won three times for a score of 3,876. McCulloch will be competing in upcoming Tournament of Champions at Yosemite Lanes on Jan. 8. Twenty-four winners from scratch six-game tournaments, as well as the top money winner, will be rolling.

Scoring Leaders

Larry Valenti Jr. 247, Carol Brewer 212, Bill Helms 248, Lance Ollenborger 204, Nolan Mills 204, Bob Nush 212, Herjinder Bagri 180, Neill Barcellos 229, Tom Ragsdale 222, Ron Poniatowski 225, Bill Simpson 247, Betty Stout 190, Rick Newton 217, Bob Weimer 268, Chuck Gregory 220, Richard Pazin 218, Alexander Nunes 247, Bryan Wenger 230, Jaclyn Frank 198, Johnel Maryland 207, Karl McCullough 176, Gene Frugoli 224, Dennie Gray 261, Eric Nation 210, Ron Danel 185.

Series Leaders

Manuel Frade 535, Peggy Docherty 587, Kelly McNeil 595, Mike Robins 647, Daniel Clark 651, Larry Valenti, Sr. 660, Josh Gray 661, John Eversole 664, Gene Wallace 666, David Hauser 670, Larry Valenti, Jr. 687, John Nunes 700, Mike Giordano 704, Anthony Moreno 734.

Don Surdich is the Sun-Star's bowling columnist and can be reached at (209) 777-1111 or via e-mail at