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An exhilarating ride awaits break-out bowlers

Johnnie Englehart has smoked 52 perfect games.
Johnnie Englehart has smoked 52 perfect games.
Fred Eisenhammer

Greg Kolski did it.

So did Siena Cawelti.

Same with Julius Marsh.

All three Los Angeles-based bowlers seemingly overnight raised their averages close to 20 pins.

It can be done. And for all those league bowlers who feel they’re in a rut, Kolski’s, Cawelti’s and Marsh’s rapid improvements provide hope that they can break out of it.

The fact is, one doesn’t have to be a 140-, 150-, 160- or 170-average bowler forever.

One thing Kolski, Cawelti and Marsh share is a genuine love for the sport. They wanted to improve their game and they made it their passion to do so.

Last year Cawelti was absolutely ecstatic when she blasted her first 600 series during an unforgettable week in which she rolled four 200 games.

At the time, she reminisced how she started league bowling a few years earlier and struggled. “I was a 119-average bowler and knew nothing,” she said with a laugh.

But she put in a lot of hard work – fighting through painful injuries to her knees and back – and reached heights she may not have thought she could attain.

Kolski demonstrated his commitment to the sport by bowling 100 games in one day. He looks back now at that day (which ran into the night!) and calls it possibly the catalyst for his present success in which he frequently makes runs at perfect games.

Marsh, too, is no stranger to those blistering workout sessions, once bowling 81 games in one day.

Elite bowler Johnnie Englehart (shown in photo) says the average bowler needn’t resort to such extreme sessions to see vast improvement. But he says a surge in a bowler’s average is attainable, particularly for those in their prime bowling years, which Englehart calls between 20 and 60 years old.

Englehart, who has smoked 52 perfect games and carries a potent 242 average, says practice is the most important element in elevating one’s game.

But he says there are other ways to raise one’s game. “It could be an equipment change. Bowling balls do wear out,” Englehart said.

Englehart added that sometime bowlers can improve their games drastically just by changing leagues – to one that may be more competitive. “You can bowl to the level of your surroundings,” he said.

So what’s the message in all this?

Perhaps it’s this: Bowlers should keep their goals lofty, not give up and step up their practice sessions . . . and it may result in an exhilarating ride up to unimaginable heights.