Danny Kuhn and Glade Creek United bowlers hosted a fun weekend of challenging roads, good eating, and visiting with new and old friends. Over 100 bowlers participated in the Team Bowling, and a great time was had by all! Enthusiastic teams traveled from Chicago, Ohio, Maryland and West Virginia.
A big "Thank You" to the Civil War Reenactors for the firing of the Cannons! And thanks to Mark Whitt for playing the Bagpipes so beautifully! Local sport coverage was provided at:
Ed. note – report by Pipestem Roadmaster Mr. Danny Kuhn
The dreams of Pipestem Resort State Park and Glade Creek United were realized on April 26, when the Second Annual Pipestem-GCU Irish Roadbowling Weekend drew over 100 hearty souls to "Faugh a Ballach" down one of the most beautifully scenic roads in the state. With the throng gathered around, the traditional "Blessing of the Bowls" was conducted by Reverend Wanda Childs (Lutheran), Fr. Kent Higgins ( Episcopalian), and Fr. Chapin Englar (Catholic). As the sound of the final "amen" drifted away, Bryan's Battery brought their famous cannon "Grasshopper" into action, blasting away any threat of rain or marauding Yankees. The smoke cleared to the tune of Amazing Grace played on the bagpipes by GCU's Mark Whitt.
Women’s Singles Qualifiers for Finals
1st place Samantha Mann 20 shots
Glade Creek United
2nd place Judy Mize 24 shots
3rd place Marsha Jordan 28 shots
Holly River State Park
Men Singles Qualifiers for Finals
1st place Mark Whitt 14 shots
Glade Creek United
2nd place Ken McClintic 15
Holly River State Park Superintendent
3rd place Johnathan Lyons 16
4th place Mark Wilt 17
1st alternate Mike Snow 17
2nd alternate Dave Powell 18
Mark Whitt had a 14, Ken McClintic had a 15, Jonathon Lyons (17 yr old from Bluefield,WV, in the second match of his life) had a 16, and WVIRBA President Mark Wilt had a 17, just beating Mike Snow 17 from Glade Creek by about 20 yards across the line.
Two teams bowled the same score (23), with the winner determined by distance past the finish butt. Winning team: 4-Play (Travis McClintic, April Horne, Edgar McClintic, and Justin Knapp), second place (also 23), home favorite Glade Creek United (Mark Whitt, Samantha Mann, Kevin Smith and Mike Snow).
Third place finishers, tied with 25 bowls: The Amens (veterans John Nelson, David O"Powell, and Judy O'Mize), the Woo Crew (Concord University students Brian Crouser, Anthony Hodgkinson, Jeff James and Justin Cherry) and newcomers Bryan's Battery (Ed Cralen, Travis Stover and James Bostic).
The coveted High Score trophy came down to a sudden-death bowl-off between the Chicago Shamrockers (Helena Butters, Esther Wang, and Theresa Winters) and the Buckeye Babes (Bobbi Cotterman, Debi Nelson, Erin Webber and Linda Hawkins), tied at 50 bowls. For the second year in a row, the Buckeye Babes prevailed. Bobbi Cotterman (77) also went home with the Oldest Bowler trophy. Youngest Bowler went to Maddy Most, 8, of Mostly Irish.
Special Longest Distance (traveled by the bowlers, not the bowls!) recognition went to the Chicago Shamrockers, who traveled all the way from the Windy City to bowl in beautiful West By Gosh Virginia! Everyone in the local area relived the day's events that evening, both with storytelling around the rustic cabins (the bowls all get longer after closing time!) and by watching the extensive coverage by NBC Channel 6 and CBS Channel 59.
Women’s and Men’s Open Singles Qualifier West Virginia Irish Road Bowling Association, open to anyone from the North American Region (who is not qualifying elsewhere). Top four winners, men and women, will advance to WV IRB Singles Finals, July 19, 20, Ireland, WV. Two men winners there will advance to the North American Region Finals. (Pipestem is one of two qualifiers – second qualifier is Saturday May 17 (women) and Sunday May 18 (men), Strawberry Festival, Buckhannon, WV.)