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Wagners keep family tradition rolling along

For Larry Wagner, bowling is a family affair.

Wagner, met his wife, Barbara, when both were looking for a doubles partner, and they have three bowling daughters. One of them has two 300 games.

The perfect performance seems to run in the family.

The 58-year-old patriarch has six 300s and is looking for an 800 series. Larry rolled a 300 on Nov. 3 at Spring Hill Lanes. He also shot a 247 and 246 for a 793 total.

Missing the 800 series is getting on his nerves.

"I shot a 792 on Dec. 22, and it was annoying," Wagner said. "I miscalculated. I probably could have had a 257 in the last game. I played it cautiously."

Wagner is from the Bronx in New York City. He worked as a policeman there and in Rockland County, N.Y. The Wagners have been married for 35 years.

"Same woman, too," said Larry, laughing.

Wagner said he met his wife in 1965 because she needed a doubles partner, and they were married in '69.

Wagner served as an Army military policeman in Qui Non, Vietnam, in 1967.

His daughter, Laurie, 32, lives in East Northport, N.Y., and her husband's family owns a bowling alley. Larry said she is an excellent bowler, averaging 210.

Wagner's other daughters are Katie, 28, who lives in Westfield, Mass.; and Jenny, 25, who resides in Spring Hill.

Wagner, who worked for the police department from 1969-1990, moved his family to Spring Hill in '94. He also umpires slow-pitch softball in an over-55 league and does men's and women's softball in Pasco County.

Even after nailing six perfect games, Wagner finds a thrill in the 300.

"It's always great to shoot a 300," he said. "There are a lot more shot today than when I got my first in 1981. That was in Rockland County."

Wagner competes in Kevin's Pro Shop League at Spring Hill Lanes. He laughs about his 227 average.

"That's ridiculous," Wagner said. "I don't practice. We do shoot two or three tournaments a year."

Wagner has been in the sport since he was a youngster.

"I took up bowling when I was 5 years old," he said. "I enjoy it. It is a night out with the guys. I enjoy the competition. I took it up because I could do it with the family.

"All of my girls bowled," Wagner said. "Katie shot a 279 when she was 13. That was the third highest game in the country for a 13-year-old. She gave up bowling because she has real little ones."

Perhaps one day Katie will teach her two boys to bowl, then they can start pumping out perfect games. It's worked for grandpa.

SPRING HILL LANES: The new Thursday Nite Live League will start at the center Feb. 17.

It will be 9-pin no-tap competition. The cost for the mixed league with four team members is $10 per week.

For information, call (352) 683-7272.

+ The Valentines Tournament at Spring Hill Lanes is scheduled for Feb. 13 at 1 p.m.

This is a scotch doubles format, and the doubles team alternates shots. The entry fee will be $18 per squad. First prize will be about $250.

BEVERLY HILLS BOWL: The Super Doubles Tournament is set for Saturday.

Check in is at 6 p.m., with bowling at 7. For information, call the center, (352) 527-1200; or Bob Hacker, (352) 465-0828.

LEAGUES STARTING: There are two leagues beginning at local centers.

The Tuesday Nite Mixed League starts today at 7 p.m. at Beverly Hills Bowl. This is a four-person league that lasts 17 weeks. For information, call (352) 527-1200 or Dee Smith, (352) 212-6133.

There will be a Monday Nite Mixed League at Parkview Lanes in Holder. The four-person league opened Monday. For information, call C.H. Crockett, (352) 489-6933; or Smith.

MANATEE LANES: The Citrus County Scratch Shoot-out Singles Tournament is scheduled for 11 a.m. Sunday.

The singles champion could win as much as $750. The doubles champ could split $650. For information, stop by the center or call (352) 795-4546.

_ If you have bowling announcements, information or comments, contact Larry Bugg at