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Decades after passing, Collier still impacting local bowling and education

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l-r: Daniel Castro (3rd place), Jacob Davenport (champion), Bryce Hawkins (Runner Up), and Joshua Davenport (4th place) were the top finishers in the Raymond C. Collier Scholarship Tournament.

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By Mike Hawkins
Columnist

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

I remember it like it was yesterday. September 4, 1984.

I had aged out of the youth bowling program and had no adult team to bowl with. Back then, for a new bowler to join a league, someone had to either move or die. I don’t know what caused an opening on this night, but I walked in the back door of Albemarle Lanes and was quickly told to get my ball and shoes because I was about to embark on the world of adult league bowling.

My team would basically be a team of eventual legends in bowling in the local community. Ed Gray, who at the time had the only honor score ever bowled at Albemarle Lanes, a 298 game was probably the best bowler on the team.

In addition to Ed and myself though, were Forrest Myers, Tiger Lee Rathner, and our team captain, Raymond Collier. Most folks called him “RC” for short, but to me, he was always simply, Mr. Collier.

Between Forrest, Tiger, and Mr. Collier, they probably combined to bowl close to 100 years, if not more, at Albemarle Lanes. The Collier bloodline might come close to a century of bowling experience as well as Mr. Collier is the patriarch of five generations of league bowlers which includes six bowlers!

I learned last week that Mr. Collier was part of the Fellowship League championship team in 1965 and bowled all over the United States in national tournaments.

Mr. Collier was so well respected in the bowling community that when he passed away in December of 1991, at the crisp age of 87, the Elizabeth City Bowling Association established the Raymond C. Collier Scholarship Fund and in 1994, awarded its first two scholarships to Linda Barrett and Jennifer Cinelli.

During the 1990s and early 2000s, the association awarded 18 scholarships, with a few repeat winners. Mandy Drew earned the annual award three times between 1995 and 1998.

The scholarship had not been awarded for a few years and when we learned recently that the account was losing money due to service fees being imposed by the bank, it was decided to give our youth bowlers the opportunity to earn their share of the scholarship money and the Raymond C. Collier Scholarship Tournament was created.

This past Saturday, 10 local youth bowlers tightened the laces one more time this season to compete for scholarship money designated to be put away for future college expenses, or school supplies for those not ready to tackle the higher education monster.

Jacob Davenport walked away with the $250 first place scholarship and trophy after posting scratch games of 177, 192, and 136 for a 505 scratch set and 712 handicap total.

Bryce Hawkins claimed the $150 runner-up scholarship with games of 175, 177, and 167 for a 521 scratch and 642 handicap total. Daniel Castro’s 639 score claimed third place for a $100 scholarship, while Joshua Davenport’s 603 took the final scholarship valued at $50.

For the grown-ups, the future husband and wife team of Lake Krehel and Brittney Gaumond totally dominated Thursday Night Quartet with scores of 279-710 and 214-619 respectively.

Joining the men’s leaders from Thursday night were Rondell Christian (245-641), John Turner (226-636), and Casey Delauretis (246 game) while Debbie Winslow (211-572) and Stephanie Winslow (202-559) found their way to the women’s side of the sheet.

Stephen Marshall lead the way for the men of the Monday Night Trio league with an impressive 255-685.

Jeffrey Barefoot finished a distant second behind Marshall with a 223-603, to go along with Boris Beatty’s 225-597 and David Ange’s 244 game.

The ladies’ side of Monday night found Crystal Owens’ 187-535 on the top, followed by Katie Barefoot’s 159-471 and Brittney Gaumond’s 191 game.

Until next week, good luck and good bowling!

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