Longtime York County women's bowling record withstands serious challenge

Kerry Smith
  • Kerry Smith had the top female bowling average in York County for last season.
  • Smith had a 235 average over 95 games at Laser Alleys.
  • Smith fell one pin short of the all-time county female record of 236, set by Lindy Decker.

For the second year in a row, Lindy Decker's long-standing York County record for a high average by a female bowler (236) has withstood a serious challenge.      

Kerry Smith, a 36-year-old right-hander, fell one pin shy of Decker's record, which was set during the 2008-2009 season. Smith averaged 235 for 95 games at Laser Alleys for the 2020-2021 season.

Two seasons ago, Jen Sparks averaged 235 for 104 games at Colony Park North before the coronavirus abruptly ended the season with seven weeks remaining.

"It's nice to know that I was close to the record," said Smith, who had no idea of what the county record was. "Leading the county is a special accomplishment, and it makes me feel good. I take a lot of pride in my game and my spare shooting."

More:Familiar name again on top of York County bowling average list for 2020-2021 season

While many Yorkers may not be familiar with Smith, the Lititz, Lancaster County, resident is well known across the state. A member of the Professional Bowlers Association and the Professional Women's Bowling Association, Smith  has led Lancaster County women in high average on seven occasions. Her high average is 239.

She's also been a member of the Pennsylvania women's state championship team five times and a member of the Pennsylvania mixed state championship team six times.

Smith and her husband, Jeff, competed in a league at Laser Alleys the past three seasons.

"We heard the Monday night league was a good, competitive league, and we decided to give it a try. Our main goal was just to have fun," she said.

After some discussion, the couple decided not to compete in the York County league this season.

"We're taking a break, and we will re-evaluate our decision at the end of the season," said Smith, who didn't rule out taking another shot at the York County record.

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Smith is looking to fill her schedule with PBA and PWBA tournaments. She plans to travel to Reno in October to participate in the PWBA Fall Series, seeking her first PWBA title. She also plans to compete in a number PBA East Region tournaments.

Looking ahead to 2022, she said: "I want to bowl as many PWBA events as possible."

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.

York County Women

Top bowling averages for 2020-21

(Minimum of 60 games)

Each bowler is listed with her average, games rolled and center.

Kerry Smith, 235, 95, Laser Alleys.

Jennifer Sparks, 228, 68, Colony Park North.

Stephanie Whipple-Miller, 225, 60, Suburban Bowlerama.

Kristen Gessner, 210, 87, Hanover Bowling Centre.

Khrystyna Liske, 210, 98, Laser Alleys.

Delicia Brown, 208, 96, Suburban Bowlerama.

Melissa Pickett, 208, 90, Hanover Bowling Centre.

Chelsea Poff, 207, 75, Colony Park North.

Kristin Wernig, 207, 102, Suburban Bowlerama.

Brooke Bowers, 206, 93, Suburban Bowlerama.

Shelena Paice, 205, 99, Suburban Bowlerama.

Becky Daigle, 204, 72, Colony Park North.

Rebecca Cable, 202, 72, Suburban Bowlerama.

Denise Beachtel, 201, 69, Hanover Bowling Centre.

Chyanne Shoff, 201, 90, Suburban Bowlerama.

Samantha Schnur, 199, 87, East Lincoln.

Amy Gross, 198, 69, Suburban Bowlerama.

Brittany Ilgenfritz, 197, 87, Suburban Bowlerama.

Jackie Jameson, 196, 87, Colony Park North.

Lisa Benedict, 194, 96, Suburban Bowlerama.

Kaitlyn Nicewonger, 194, 96, Suburban Bowlerama.

Sherry Keller, 192, 87, Suburban Bowlerama.

Julie Wernig, 191, 99, Suburban Bowlerama.

Deann Michener, 189, 98, East Lincoln.

Erin O'Dell, 188, 60, Colony Park North.