If local bowling had a comeback player of the year, John Bradley would be the unanimous choice.

The 42 year old construction worker has overcome several injuries during his bowling and professional career, including a fall from a ladder resulting in a bum wrist. But none of his previous mishaps compare to the day his e-vaporizer exploded in his pocket, earning him an unplanned medi-vac flight and some pretty nasty leg burns.

Bradley, who has been bowling competitively off and on for 20 years, reached the pinnacle of every league bowler last Monday when he opened the night with the first 12 balls in the pocket and 120 pins solidly in the pit, for his first 300 game.

If 2020 was “the worst of times” for most of us, 2021 has seemingly been nothing but success for Bradley. Success came early when his team, Having Fun, did just that in capturing the first Albemarle Lanes League House Championship in January.

In May, he was on the team that finished runner-up to another team from Albemarle Lanes in the Colonial Virginia Tournament in Williamsburg.

Following the regular season, the local center hosted a 3-week no-tap tour which paid a bonus to the overall points leader; you guessed it, he took that top prize. He also claimed the winner’s purse of the Survivor tournament, a day he averaged 231 for 8 games, even after a 180 final game.

John had some pretty good mentors when he first chose to take up the sport. He credits David Ange, Lee Owen, and Joey Winslow for sharing their knowledge of the game. His game today still mirrors a little of each of these fine bowlers.

After waiting a few years for 300, seeing a 290 (the last 11 strikes) and a few 299’s (the first 11 strikes), John will now wait patiently for the USBC to process his application and finally see that elusive 300 ring fit nicely on his hand.

Congratulations to John Bradley on becoming the 38th member of the Albemarle Lanes 300 Club, and rolling the 101st such qualifying score!

If not for Bradley’s gem of a game last week, Garry Williams may have earned the top spot here.

Garry was nearly perfect all night during the Thursday night Trophy League, mowing down the pins to the rate of 276-267-237 for a monster 775 series! Bowling on the same pair, John Bradley nearly hung with Garry, going 236-249-225 for a 710 series. Having a pair of 700-plus series on a single night is rare, having two on the same pair is Big Foot unheard of!

The rest of the top men’s scores from last Thursday stayed on lanes 11-12 as well as Wilson Bateman bagged a 586 series, and Christopher Vinson claimed a 240 top game.

While the ladies’ scores were not as high, they were equally close as Debbie Winslow (170-456), Brenda Marx (183-448), Stephanie Winslow (439), and Michelle Pritchard (171 game) earned the top spots. Michelle gave everyone a head spin with her conversion of the 7-9-10 split during the final game.

In addition to John Bradley’s perfecto during Monday Night Trio, Randy Cartwright added a 605 series, just ahead of David Ange’s 602 set. Terrance Riddick (235) and Bobby Winslow (231) tossed other top games for the men.

On the ladies’ side of the Trio loop, Krista Farrell’s 158-460 led all, followed by Karen Ashley’s 175-439, Chasity Meads’ 161-437, and Michelle Pritchard’s 159 effort.

The summer Crazy-8 youth-adult league saw Colby Judge’s 226-626 lead the young fellas along with Jason Vanscoy’s 167-460 and Trevon Nguyen’s 187-452. Kaylee Winslow’s 168-468 topped the young ladies followed by Tara Blazier’s 189-450 and Elizabeth Scaff’s 165-384.

The adults were led by Bryce Hawkins’ 265-669, Christopher Vinson’s 226-585, and Chelley Fisher’s 182-464.

Garry Williams took home the top prize during the 4-game, drop the low game, 9-pin no tap. To put Garry’s dominance in perspective, the runner up, Jeffrey Barefoot, finished with a 792 handicap total. Garry total 790 scratch, His 60 pins handicap, gave him a nearly 60-pin victory.

The seniors had a great time during their Christmas in July event, with nearly everyone claiming a prize or gift of one form or another and Casino Bowling had its largest crowd yet along with the biggest payout total to date.

Casino Bowl has 2 more Saturdays remaining. The buy-in is only $20 per person and is open to all adults — no league affiliation is required.

Until next week, good luck and good bowling!

Mike Hawkins is the bowling columnist for The Daily Advance.