Sgt. 1st Class Shannon Vodry, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 4th Field Artillery, bowls during the Active-Duty Scratch League Oct. 24, 2013, at Twin Oaks Bowling Center here. The league is open to Soldiers of all abilities; team selection is made by the brigade's team coach and captain.

FORT SILL, Okla. (Oct. 31, 2013) -- A new bowling league for Fort Sill active-duty Soldiers is under way with play on Thursday evenings. The Active-Duty Scratch League features brigade teams playing against each other using three bowling centers in the Lawton-Fort Sill community.

"It's about esprit de corps, fellowship and friendly competition," said league president Staff Sgt. Talyia Williams, A Company, 100th Brigade Support Battalion. "It's great fun."

The league is open to Soldier bowlers of all abilities and team selection is made by the brigade's team coach and captain, Williams said. Each brigade can have two five-person teams.

Williams tried for two years to start the league here. He said he has bowled on many post active-duty leagues at various assignments.

With help from Kelly Wright, Twin Oaks Bowling Center (TOBC) manager; and Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, the league began Sept. 12. Wright serves as the league's secretary and treasurer, and Sgt. 1st Class Jevone Gray, 428th Field Artillery Brigade, is the vice president.

Between 40 and 50 bowlers are in the league representing the Medical Department Activity, 75th and 214th Fires brigades and 30th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.

The league plays by U.S. Bowling Congress rules because this allows for high games of 299 or 300 to be recorded as legitimate records for bowlers, Williams said.

As the scratch name implies, there is no handicap added to a bowler's score. In addition to TOBC, league games are played at Hog Pin Bowl and Thunderbird Lanes in Lawton.

Bowler Capt. David Zerycki, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery commander, 214th FiB, was one of about a dozen of the league's bowlers at TOBC Oct. 24.

"It's relaxing, a chance to take off the uniform and understand, 'Hey, we're just here to have fun,'" said Zerycki, who has been bowling since he was 7-years-old.

The league is in its first session which will end with a tournament Nov. 21 at TOBC. After Thanksgiving, the second session will feature a one-day tournament Dec. 7, for the Commander's Cup. Williams said he expects that all the brigades will field teams for that tournament.

League bowler Staff Sgt. Margaret Anthony, Optical Fabrication Lab noncommissioned officer in charge, is a member of the Professional Bowlers Association and annually bowls in the nationals at Reno, Nev. She said she joined the league for the fun of it, and to maintain her average of 164.

"There's a lot of cohesion among the bowlers, and I wish the season was longer," she said.

Bowler Sgt. Chad Caldwell, 15th Transportation Company, 100th BSB, said he has always enjoyed the sport.

"The post does this for soccer, basketball and football, and so it's nice that they are doing it for bowlers, too," he said.

Interested Soldiers should contact their brigade bowling team captain or coach.

Page last updated Thu October 31st, 2013 at 11:32