Is Perry Haberman’s secret out?
The strong-armed bowler from West Hills has been toiling in the “Guys and Dolls” League for 15 years – starting with now-defunct Rocket Bowl in Chatsworth and continuing with AMF Woodlake Lanes in Woodland Hills.
And in all that time, Perry, who works as a dog groomer, admitted that his teams have failed to win a league title even once. And he’s sported some talented teammates, such as Mike Weekley, Mike Hahn, Martin Torres and Shannon Renee.
So what’s gone wrong? How could Perry have failed to secure at least one league championship?
Said Hahn: “Perry’s always dogging it.”
Actually, that biting comment really has no teeth to it.
The right-handed Haberman averaged a mere 107 during the summer of 2002 and he’s improved steadily, hitting his high mark in the 2011-12 winter season when he averaged 167.
This may be the year Perry’s team finally wins its first crown. Perry turned in – by far – his strongest effort of the season Tuesday night to lift his surging team to three wins out of four. Perry blasted games of 192, 198 and 175 for a 565 series, an average of 188.3.
Perry’s all-time high game is a 254 that he bowled “years ago.”
So will this be the year that Perry finally reaches the winner’s circle?
“Maybe,” said Perry, smiling.
Perry knows he’s come a long way from those early days in the league. “When I first started bowling, my goal was to average 100 and bowl a third ball in the 10th frame. You’ve got to start somewhere,” he said.
“You’re not going to bowl a 300 in your first league as a beginner.”
Once again, Haberman is surrounded by three strong teammates in Renee (156 average), Chuck Zeidman (163 average) and Nick Simon (201 average).
Haberman says he bowls in the league “just for fun,” but acknowledges that he’s made big strides in his bowling performance through the years. “You just have to focus and do it and turn off the distractions,” said Perry, one of the most likeable players at Woodlake Lanes.
Alas, Haberman’s impressive bowling this season has had one drawback.
“I wanted to go the whole year without being written up,” Haberman joked. "I was hoping to stay anonymous."
Unfortunately, when you bowl too well for too long, reporters will hound you until you’re finally collared and agree to be the subject of a story.