Winnebago Bowl-O-Rama Mamas
The Lucky Lanes bowling alley in Winnebago recently recognized three women who have bowled in the Strikette League for a combined total of over 140 years. That is a lot of bowling.
Those women are Marian Ziegler, Barb Schaible and Yvonne Hanks. The trio of bowling veterans were awarded with commemorative lifetime achievement bowling pins for their commitment and enthusiasm for competing at Lucky Lanes.
While Schaible and Hanks both celebrated over 50 years in the Strikette League, Ziegler celebrated over 40 years of participation in the Wednesday night bowling league.
This has not been the first time Lucky Lanes has honored three of their most loyal patrons. In 2000, Hanks was inducted into the Winnebago Area Women’s Association Hall of Fame. Schaible and Ziegler earned similar recognition in 2001 and 2004 respectively.
In addition to their years of experience at Lucky Lanes, the three bowling enthusiasts, who have all been longtime Winnebago residents, have also competed at the Minnesota State Women’s Bowling Tournament for a combined total of over 80 years.
As Ziegler explains, bowling with Schaible and Hanks, as well as the 21 other competitors in the Strikette League, provides a fun and competitive atmosphere.
“It’s challenging and we like the comradery. It’s a good bunch of people. What cheaper fun can you have,” Ziegler quips.
For all three women, the love of bowling has been passed down to the younger generations. Hanks’ granddaughter, CharLeigh Hellman, who lives in Florida, has taken an interest in bowling. Hanks explains the social atmosphere is what made the sport of bowling such a family affair.
“The girls on all the teams were very compatible, and we were out just to have fun,” Hanks says. “It was girls night out and all the husbands would babysit,” she chuckles.
Meanwhile, Schaible tells an antidote of a conversation with her 14 year-old granddaughter, Kylie Johnson, which centered around participating in the family tradition of bowling.
As it turned out, the conversation has motivated young Kylie to continue bowling for the past three years.
“My dad Ralph bowled for so many years, so I told Kylie that when I retire, she’ll have to carry it on,” Schaible says. “So she walked over to (Lucky Lanes owner Bob Van Note) and said ‘can I join your junior league? I’ve got to learn how to bowl.'”
This summer at Lucky Lanes, Schaible’s daughter Rhonda, along with granddaughter Kylie, will all be bowling on the same team, representing three generations of bowlers from the same family. Schaible’s husband, Chuck, is also a regular at Lucky Lanes.
As for Ziegler, all five of her children, three boys and two girls, all enjoy bowling. In fact, Ziegler’s oldest son, Chris Petersen, who lives in Mankato, has bowled a perfect score of 300 on nine occasions. Ziegler’s husband, Paul, also shares a deep passion for bowling
As far as technique is concerned, Hanks, Schaible and Ziegler all have their own specific bowling style. While Hanks primarily throws a straight ball from the middle of the lane, Schaible has had success lining up on the right side and throwing a ball which hooks back towards the middle.
Conversely, Ziegler is known as a backup bowler. In other words, she lines up to the left side of the lane and throws a right handed ball which hooks back towards the middle. She credits current Lucky Lanes owner Van Note, as well as previous owner Duane McVenus for helping her refine the unique strategy.
“I used to throw to the right,” Ziegler says. “But the way my ball was going, Duane thought it was a good idea to move me over to the left, and I’ve shot it from there ever since.”
Despite their vast experience on the bowling lanes, none of the women have ever bowled a perfect score. While Hanks and Schaible have each bowled career high scores of 268, Ziegler has come the closest with a career high of 288. Of the group, Ziegler remains optimistic she will attain the elusive perfect score one day.
“We’re not as good as Bob, but our time is coming,” Ziegler laughs.