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Greg Haase, Head Coach

As the head coach of Lucky Lanes Junior Bowling, I'd like to share some of my reflections on this season.  We almost to the end of another season.   We have had so many new bowlers this year and it has been a joy watching our new bowlers learn about the sport of bowling.  Each week I have seen at least one of these new bowlers do something outstanding on the lanes.

Of course, I also watch your veteran bowlers continue to grow and become awesome bowlers.  It is such a thrill to watch the progression of our bowlers.  Those that started in the Bumper Buddy program and could barely hold the ball are now rolling the ball with a lot of power and energy.  That's probably what I love most about this program.

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My Bowling/Coaching Story

I started bowling when I was 9 years-old.  I was on a team called Hotliners at Red Dot Lanes in Sheridan.  The next year, I transferred to Central Lanes in Dunkirk.  I bowled there until a fire ripped through the center and it was torn down.  That brought me to Lucky Lanes.  I finished my junior bowling there.  I also bowled in high school.  First for the Mindszenty Monarchs and, then, the Dunkirk Marauders.  

As an adult, I got into a league with my high school friends at Astro Lanes (formerly Red Dot).  Since that time, I've bowled on so many teams with so many other bowlers.  I can't even begin to count them all.

Currently, this is my 51st consecutive year bowling.  I bowl on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

I earned my Level 1 coaching certification from YABA (Young American Bowling Alliance) in 1988.  I did some coaching that year, but had just became a dad for the first time and needed to spend time with my daughter, Samantha.  Two years later, my eldest son, Alex, was born, so I put off coaching a little longer.  In 1994 I got my two children into a league at Astro Lanes and resumed coaching, I've coached ever since.

I realized that the structure of the youth program at Lucky Lanes would be a better fit for my young children, so I signed them up for the Bantam league.  In the summer of 1998, Lucky Lanes took on a new look with computerized scoring and the Brunswick settee areas.  I couldn't wait to see the new look and took my children to the lanes as soon as they opened for the season that August.  Annie, Samantha, Alex, and I went to practice - more like experience the new atmosphere at Lucky Lanes.  Our youngest son, Elisha, was just started to walk, so he didn't bowl that day, but joined us for the experience.  That day changed my life forever.

On that day, Sy Reading was there.  Sy was the head coach, the man in charge , of Lucky Lanes Junior Bowling.  I vividly remember Sy walking over to us.  He said he was getting ready to give up the junior program soon.  He told me/us that he thought I'd make a good replacement for him.  He asked me if I'd like to take over the program.   I don't think I spent more than one second to reply.  I told him I would love to do it.

At the beginning of the '98 - '99 season, I became Mr. Reading's apprentice.  I worked along side of him helping and learning everything I could about the program and how to run it.  A little more than half way through the season, Mr. Reading had decided to retire a bit early from the program due to health issues.  He told me, "I can't do this any longer.  It's all yours, kid."

Here we are, some 26 years later, and I'm no longer a kid.  Time flies when "Bowling is Fun". 

 

And now I've come to a point in my life where I feel it is time for me to pass the torch.  As I reflect on my 26 years of running the show, all I can do is sit and smile.  It has been great!  I'm not going away.  As my brother Gary said at one of the banquets last year, I'll be around for a long time.  However, next season will start a new era of Lucky Lanes Junior Bowling.  I will be there as a mentor and a coach.  Someone else will be calling the shots.  Someone else will be running the show.  It's time for a change.  Change it good.  This change will be good.

 

I still plan on being at the lanes each week, as I have for the past 26 years.  However, I will not be the person in charge.  I'm just going to coach.  Don't worry, I will always be there to remind you that "Bowling is Fun!"

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