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Senior Wii Bowlers Go All Out

DALLAS -- There were no sounds of crashing pins or the heavy rolling of bowling balls down a lane, but the competition was no less fierce during last week's Wii bowling tournament at Dallas Retirement

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Bessie Skeleton of the DRV Village Alley Katz watches her ball roll down the lane.

DALLAS -- There were no sounds of crashing pins or the heavy rolling of bowling balls down a lane, but the competition was no less fierce during last week's Wii bowling tournament at Dallas Retirement Village.

The competitors were Dallas Retirement Village's "Village Alley Katz" and Monmouth Senior Center's "The Wii Four."

The two leagues play for a traveling trophy that would belong to the winning team -- that is until the next of the monthly tournaments, in which the other league could be victorious.

The friendly competition started in May, with the Dallas team winning the first tournament. On Thursday, June 10, the Monmouth squad was looking to take possession of the trophy.

Alas, they fell short by 15 pins in the four-game event.

Beth Caldera, the activities director for the independent living centers of DRV, would like to see more groups or retirement communities interested in creating a Wii league.

"I think it's a great way for people to stay active," she said.

Residents at DRV have played Wii informally for a couple of years, but earlier this year the league joined the National Senior League Wii Bowl national competition. The Village Alley Katz were the only team from Oregon to participate in the national tournament, conducted online in April. They placed 17th, just missing a chance to be part of the final 16 leagues.

League members, which sport black and pink Village Alley Katz bowling shirts, took the tournament seriously, especially after earning a playoff spot.

"My group is very competitive," Caldera said. "They would practice everyday three to four times a day."

Local competition started when Monmouth Senior Center bowlers heard that other senior groups were playing and called DRV to offer some competition.

"I love to bowl with other people," said Alice Guffey, a member of The Wii Four.

She said she participated in a bowling league with her husband for 32 years. After his death, she stopped. Then she was invited to play Wii at the senior center a couple of years ago. Now she is part of a team again.

Sue Teal, the coordinator at the Monmouth Senior Center, said the league would like to recruit more members to become "The Wii Eight."

Harlan Skelton of the Village Alley Katz said he and his wife, Bessie, joined the team for much the same reason.

"It's fun and competition," Skelton said. "It's just something to do, and I like sports."

Skelton may sound nonchalant, but he is quite the competitor in Wii bowling. In tournaments and practice, he has bowled 178 perfect games so far this year.

"I want to try to have one (perfect game) a day for the year," he said.

His score in the first game of the tournament was a little less than perfect -- 248 -- but he still led the competition.

The game held in DRV's activities room in the center apartment complex attracted a small crowd. Everyone was supportive of the players regardless of which league they were on. But underneath the impeccable sportsmanship, there was a battle going on.

"It's neat to see the competitiveness .... They're so nice about it" said Zac Metzker, the marketing manager for Independence Health and Rehabilitation Center, the Monmouth team's sponsor. "Nonetheless, they still want to win."

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