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Bowling league rolls hard

Members feel sense of family with their teammates
By: Amber Marra, Journal Staff Writer
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Shelly Belotti and her mom joke that she was practically born in the Foothills Bowling Ally.

That's not far from the truth.

Belotti, 35, has been bowling since she was 3. Her mother had a job at the Auburn bowling ally when Belotti was little, so it was natural that she fell in love as soon as she could pick up one of the smaller bowling balls.

"My mom said as soon as I could pick it up I started bowling," Belotti said.

Belotti rolls her Ebonite ball down the lanes with force and a certain element of grace. She is a member of the Monday Mixed Jubilee Bowling League and is the lone woman on her team of four.

"My teammates are good guys," she said.

Belotti is on just one of 17 teams of four in the Monday Mixed Jubilee Bowling League. Then there are the Tuesday Jubilee and Wednesday Mixed Jubilee leagues this summer.

Men and women can play on teams in all three leagues.
Beulah Lopez, secretary of the Monday Mixed Jubilee, said they're all handicap leagues open to everyone.

That's part of why she has been bowling for 39 years.

"Anybody can bowl, we've got people in their 80s and 90s who still bowl for us," Lopez said. "You get to be a big family, everybody's family; everybody knows everybody and most of us bowl summer and winter."

The leagues that play at Foothills Bowling Ally attend a tournament in Reno every fall. Bowlers get the chance to compete for cash prizes of $700 or more at the tournaments.

Belotti said she just enjoys the competition. She always has since she was a junior bowler when she won scholarships through tournaments she participated in.

Now she just aims to hit the perfect game again. Belotti has rolled a perfect 300 four times in her bowling career.
"I just love it so much. My parents never pushed me to do it, it was always just something I wanted to do," Belotti said.

Ron Hodkins, who is part of the men's league during the winter and is an assistant manager at the Foothills Bowling Ally, is not only in it for the competition. After 25 years he's ready to relax and enjoy the sport.

"I enjoy bowling immensely and the league is fun, the people are a friendly, good-spirited group that is competitive without being too intense," Hodkins said.

Hodkins, like Lopez, enjoys the fact that anyone can bowl.

"It doesn't matter what your age is or physical ability, everybody can compete on some level especially when the leagues are handicapped to account for different skill sets," Hodkins said. "Old men, young men, women, it really doesn't matter. You don't have to be an extreme athlete."

Contact Amber Marra at amberm@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @Amber_AJNews.