Gold medal winner Jo Ann Lonadier (center) is flanked by bronze medal winner Martha Shaw (left) and silver medalist Juanita Tucker after the smoke cleared in the women 70-74 age group of Northwest Louisiana District Senior Olympics Bocce Ball event April 29.
Alice Marlow and Minnett McElhannon completed 5-player round robins unbeaten to claim gold medals in their age brackets Friday as the Northwest Louisiana District Senior Olympics staged its Bocce Ball competition at Bettye Virginia Park on a picture-book pretty day.
Marlow won the gold for women 55-64. McElhannon claimed the richest reward in play for women ages 65-69. But elsewhere there were regular cat fights. It took a point differential to separate Jo Ann Lonadier and Juanita Tucker in 70-74 and Jeri Lancaster, Fern Bolton and Bette Turner in 75-79.
On the sun-splashed morning, 34 competitors took part in the game created by the ancient Egyptians and later popularized in Italy and Sicily. “This was the biggest Bocce Ball turnout we’ve ever had and it protends a bright future for the game in our schedule,” said Doyle Blasingame, District Coordinator. He also pointed to the fact that the District opened doubles play in Bocce Ball and added it was so successful that it will be included next year with singles play and doubles played on seperate days.
Men’s singles golds went to first-timer Dennis Bamburg (60-69) and old hands Chuck Lancaster (70-74), Les Brossett (75-79) and Dick Hainey (80-plus).
Tandem titles went to Dennis and Margie Bamburg (60-64), Geneva and Harry Strain (65-69) and Chuck and Jeri Lancaster (70-79).
FEMALE: 55-64–Alice Marlow Gold, Margie Bamburg Silver, Betty Dark Bronze. Also Beth Turner, Juanita Pinion. 65-69–Minnett McElhannon Gold, Jan Bennett Silver. Sindagale Cason Bronze. Also Geneva Strain, Patricia Robichaux. 70-74: Jo Ann Lonadier Gold. Juanita Tucker Silver. Martha Shaw Bronze. 75-79: Jeri Lancaster Gold. Fern Bolton Silver. Bette Turner Bronze. 80-84: Lessie Cooperrider Gold. Jackie Conner Silver Silver. 85-89: Sunshine Cobb Gold. Frances Hutton Silver.
MALE: 60-69–Dennis Bamburg Gold. Harry Strain Silver. 70-74–Chuck Lawrence Gold. James Rossom Silver. 75-79–Les Brossett Golf. Gerry RobichaUX Silver. 80-89–Dick Hainey Gold. Robert McCain Silver.
DOUBLES: 60-64–Dennis and Margie Bamburg Gold. Alice Marlow-Lessie Cooperrider Silver. 65-69– Geneva and Harry Strain Gold. JoAnn Lonadier-Janice Bennett Silver. 70-79: Jeri and Chuck Lancaster Gold. Jackie Conner-Dick Hainey Silver. Jacque Wall-Frances Hutton Bronze. Also Juanita Tucker-Fern Belton.