LAKE PLACID - Special athletes from Highlands, Hardee, and Okeechobee Counties competed in the Special STARS District Bowling competition on June 29 at Coz's Bowling Center.
Bowlers competed in singles, doubles, teams and ramps. Medals and ribbons were presented and a lunch was served after the competition. Cracker Trail 4-H Club was also on hand to assist with the awards.
The event opened with the Lake Placid Elks Lodge presenting the flag while Marti Capodiferro sang the national anthem.
Out of 70 bowlers competing, Highlands County took home 31 medals while Okeechobee won 17 and Hardee captured 15. Highlands won five gold, 15 silver and 11 bronze medals. Okeechobee had 12 gold and five silver medals. Hardee had five gold, eight silver and two bronze medals.
Amazingly enough, Okeechobee only brought 17 athletes and every one of them returned home with a medal around their neck. This included its gold medal winning team of Joseph Berry, Nathan Perdue, David Westgate, Joe Borg, Mike Spelts and Tom Gorney. The group combined to bowled two games with a total of 1,759, factoring in their handicap. Highlands County had two teams that bowled against them in the competition but they received silver and bronze.
The Highlands County silver medal winning team consisted of Gerald Bass, Eddie Thomas, Katie Gibson, Travis Moss, Greg Robinson and John Smith, which finished with a score of 1,690. Bronze winners included Eva Monk, Ricky Marino, Larry Rivers, Annie Horn, Beth Horn and Nicole Lewis. Their team finished with a score of 1,610.
In doubles, Okeechobee once again swept the field to take first place. Jodi Main and Rhonda Crews took first in their division while Joanna Austin and Roger Smith won the top spot in their bracket. Kandi McFarland and Ashley Berry teamed up in assisted ramp bowling to win gold. Okeechobee also won silver in doubles with Jessica Roby and Sara Jo Hill in one heat and Connie Doyle and Steve Kotch in another.
Hardee County's Jack Garnett and Lewis Simpson won bronze in doubles. Highlands County's Jacqueline Furry and Becky Anders also won bronze in their respective division.
In unassisted ramp bowling, Highlands County athletes Tony Bock and Alan Kufnowski took gold while Hugh Sims and William Dickson won silver. Tim Johnson and Jim Kentfield won silver in assisted ramp doubles.
Other Highlands County athletes who won gold were Beth Blanchard in singles, and Edrei Lopez in bumper bowling. Silver medalists were Robert Lengyel, Billy Owens, Tammy Furman, Emily Harrison and Carlita Hawkins. Bronze medalists were Brian Harrison, Helena Spies and Carl Smith.
Other Hardee County athletes taking home gold medals were Ronald Cottrill, Edwin Suggett, Kevin Wyche, Beatrice Van, and Carolyn McClemore. Silver medalists included Ruth Whitfield and Robert Greer. LeMichael Harris, Lisa Tuell, Susan Egnoski, Robert Jetzer, Mike Webb, and Bruce Brummett rounded out the bronze winners.
For Okeechobee, Ronnie Crews captured silver in singles bowling.
Anyone wanting more information on STARS or how to get involved can call Coordinator Cindy Marshall at (863) 452-1295, ext. 124.