Spectator sport: Wednesday night bowling at Gibby’s Lanes

Bowling may not be considered the ultimate spectator sport. But if you want to see some damn fine bowling, stop down at Gibby’s Lanes in New Richmond on Wednesday nights this winter.
There are several top quality leagues in New Richmond, but in terms of eye-popping scores almost every week, none can top the men’s Wednesday night league at Gibby’s.
The season is barely a month old and there have already been two 300 games out of the Wednesday night league. Derik Thibodeau and T.J. Huber have had the perfectos so far and they likely won’t be the last.
The age range of the bowlers in the league starts around 18 and reaches 80. And they are all highly capable bowlers. League secretary Scott McDermott said last year the league average was a 185.
Think about that for a minute. A bowler has to be pretty committed to get up to an average of 185. And in this league, that’s just what 185 is. Average. In every league there are going to be some less experienced bowlers who aren’t going to carry as high an average. To bring up the collective league average, there has got to be some pretty lofty numbers.
The top average in the league so far this season belongs to Bob Gillis. So far he’s averaging a 240 in every game. His only problem is his farmwork. He’s had to miss a couple league nights because it’s the harvesting season. You’d think a couple of his teammates might jump on a tractor during the day to help him, so they have his 240 average available on league night.
In a league with an average this high, there are a bunch of bowlers who are threats to roll 300 games on any night. Some of the top threats are younger guys like Doug Peterson, Ben Gaard, Chris Heinbuch and Mike Elwood. Some of the more seasoned bowlers like McDermott, Mark Schroeder and Bob Newville are still regulars on the weekly leaderboard. Even some of the oldest of the bowlers, like the Oldenburg brothers, heck the whole Greaton’s Jewelers team, can still come up with a score that any 20-something would be jealous of.
With Gibby’s Lanes being smoke free, it is a pleasant atmosphere to bowl, or to watch some of the best area bowlers in action.