They were bold and brave words, but ace bowler and coach Bill Plummer wasn’t backing off from them Tuesday.
“Deanna definitely can be the next Kelly Gold of the ladies,” he said.
Plummer was referring to 47-year-old Deanna Peters of Granada Hills, who is on the cusp of entering the group of top amateur women’s bowlers known as the “elite.”
Peters seems to have been at that point for years, averaging in the 170s and 180s for the last 12 years. But under the tutelage of Plummer, Peters’ stock has been rising . . . and so has her average.
She averaged a career-best 189 at AMF Woodlake Lanes in Woodland Hills last summer and has smoked a 288 game along with a 702 series (on the same day).
Gold remains atop the San Fernando Valley-area elite, having solidified her hold on the top spot with stunning back-to-back perfect games last year.
But Peters put on a pretty good Kelly Gold imitation Wednesday night by striking on her first seven shots in her first league game at Corbin Bowl in Tarzana.
She finished with a sizzling 243, matching strikes with opposing team member Teresa Lauer, who after a spare in the first frame, got her own seven-strike run and finished with a spectacular 255.
“We were dueling,” said Lauer, laughing. “She would have beaten me but she opened in the last frame.”
That open in the 10th frame provided a glimpse of why Peters hasn’t yet joined the ranks of the elite.
Said Plummer: “She has the same desire, the same attitude, the same passion as Kelly Gold, but she doesn’t have the same consistency of repeating the [good] shots every time.”
Plummer said Gold has a 98.6 percent consistency of delivering the right shot; he said Peters’ percentage is about 75 percent.
“When Deanna hits her shot, she’s a 100% match [of Kelly Gold],” Plummer said.
Peters said she “absolutely” agreed with Plummer’s assessment about her need to improve her consistency. “I’m working on it,” she said. “That’s my challenge.”
And she adds good-naturedly: “I’m still a work in progress.”
Interestingly, Peters has more similarities to Gold than just being a top-flight bowler.
Both have picture-book forms and both are right-handers. And both are strikingly attractive free spirits who have earned the admiration and support of their fellow bowlers by their amiable, quick-to-smile personalities.
Additionally, Gold and Peters are friends on the lanes. “We talk,” Peters said. “I tell her what I’m doing wrong and she always says, ‘Go fix it.’ ”
Peters come from a bowling family. Her 74-year-old father, Bernie, bowls three days a week and owns a perfect game. “He calls me every time he bowls,” said Peters, the vice president of her Wednesday league and president of her Thursday league – the two days she bowls.
For now, Peters is trying to generate some of the consistency that she showed on Wednesday when she blasted a 607 series (243-162-202).
Said super elite bowler Bryan Alpert, who has watched Peters bowl the past few months at Corbin Bowl: “She has all kinds of potential. With a couple of days [each week] to practice, the sky’s the limit.”