Bowling tournament

Six-year-old Oryn Albanese taught Stanley Zajac, 59, something new Monday.
After throwing a strike during the annual Golden Age/PeeWee bowling tournament at Plaza Lanes, Zajac held out his hand to receive a high-five from Alba-nese, only to have it clamped by the youngster’s two hands as a new form of camaraderie.
“We’re having a great time,” enthused Zajac, over the sounds of rolling balls and falling pins. “Actually, some of the kids are teaching me a thing or two about bowling, too.”
The tourney featured 20 PeeWee and Bantam players and 10 Golden Agers (age 55 and up). Each senior was partnered with a boy and a girl for three games, with the teams totalling the highest pins over average winning.
But the prizes are secondary, said organizer Angie Podgorski.
“It’s a challenge. It’s a way to give a hand to the kids,” she said. “But I think it’s important that they learn to co-operate with the other bowlers, regardless of age.”
Podgorski, 76, said all she had to do was draw interest from the town’s bowling crowd in organizing the event.
“It isn’t too hard getting us older folks out. Everyone likes to bowl,” said Podgorski, who also co-ordinates the Golden Agers league each Thursday afternoon. She added the tourney has attracted bowlers “everywhere from ages four to 80” in past years.
Podgorski said the children were a little nervous upon meeting their senior bowler but warmed up immediately and carried on with them as if it were a regular league night.
Albanese and Natasha Peta-wanaqueb, also six, were short on words but agreed they were having a great time with their Golden Age counterparts. And in some instances, the seniors made more noise cheering for their younger partners.
“I have no problem keeping up. It keeps us older folks sharp, too,” said Podgorski.
Senior bowler Clora McEvoy, teamed up with Cristen Bruce and Kasey Hawrylak, won the first-prize trophy with Aurise Gerhard, partnered with Katie Shoemaker and Casey Howard, coming in second.
Meanwhile, the father/son duo of Steve and Joey Ballan, a Bantam bowler, were the top winners at the “Family Twosome” zone competition here Sunday.
The Ballans led all divisions with a 1,047 total for the four-game tourney, and will lead the local contingent to the provincial round Nov. 18 in Kenora.
Amber Townson and Beth Miller topped the Smurf/PeeWee division with an 892 total, Dusty Durbin and Gary Durbin captured the junior division (909), and Jon Wood and Terry Wood won the senior division (917).