Bowling for one and all at local lanes

By: Joshua Ansley Journal Sports Writer
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Anyone who has seen Fred Flintstone roll a rock down a lane knows bowling has been around a long time. It is a sport anyone can play regardless of age or talent. Short or tall, strong or weak, the pins are at your mercy from the release of the ball. Michele McEntee, manager of the Mother Lode Bowling Association, has been bowling for half a century. When McEntee and her husband moved from San Francisco to Auburn one of the first things they did was look for a bowling league. McEntee now bowls in two leagues at Foothills Bowl in Auburn, where she has been bowling for decades. She hasn’t lost a beat since she started. Just last Tuesday McEntee bowled a 267. She said that anyone who has the slightest interest in bowling should come out to Foothills Bowl. There are opportunities for anyone, day or night, to join a league, or just bowl for fun. “Anyone can join,” McEntee said. “It’s all inclusive. And if you want a little more competition join a league.” While McEntee works closely with the adult leagues, Marge Petroni has been bowling for 40 years, and works with the youth program. She has been the director of the youth leagues for the last three years, and would love to see more people turn out. “I can find a place for anyone no matter what age or amount of kids,” Petroni said. “One family came in with six kids one time, which is too many for a team, but I found a place for them.” Born and raised in Auburn, Petroni was first introduced to bowling at a young age by her mother. Now that Petroni has been bowling for so long, one of her favorite aspects of the sport is passing on her passion to youngsters just as her mother did for her. “I love working with the kids because they keep me young,” Petroni said. “They won’t let me use age as an excuse.” One of the most important aspects that comes with joining a league is having the opportunity to raise money for the Bowlers for Veterans charity. Bowlers for Veterans first came to California in 1950 following its inception in 1946 at the White House bowling lanes in an annual tournament put on by Harry Truman. Money is raised during the season through various fundraisers and tournaments. All the money raised in the leagues at Foothills Bowl is dispersed directly to veterans hospitals in California. For important reasons like donating to veterans, and for offering coaching to all types, McEntee will never relinquish her love of bowling. “It’s my favorite sport,” she said. “I love the camaraderie with people, and how anyone can come out and participate. Bowling is for everyone, from pee-wees to seniors, beginner or expert.” For more information and sign up forms visit Foothills Bowl or call (530) 885-7518 or email Summer leagues are May - June Winter leagues begin in Sept.