Friday 18 October 2019
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David Shaw : In A Lane All His Own

story by Katrice Williams
photos by Tonya Perry
David Shaw has been in the local area for about 30 years. He has been bowling for over 25, as the sport is both a rewarding pastime and a fulfilling career. David has been the Bowling League Coordinator at Frames N’ Games in Pooler since 2010. He, too, is the president of a league there, he is well-acquainted with many individuals from various leagues in the surrounding area.
“I know most people in the association; we’re a huge family,” he said.
After bowling for a couple of years, David began working at AMF Savannah Lanes in 1997.
“I liked to have fun. I started working there and started learning,” he said. Further, he joined his first league, a retail league while he worked at Montgomery Ward Store. A fellow store employee, Mary, who bowled twice each week in Pooler, encouraged him to participate with her league. He really enjoyed himself and appreciated the thrill of the game.
Afterwards, David moved away for a couple of years, as he pursued additional interests. He eventually moved back to the area after learning that his mother was ill, prior to her passing away. Soon after, he began his tenure at Frames N’ Games.
Looking back, David did not actually develop his bowling passion early on but definitely acquired it honestly, as both his mom, dad and two grandfathers were skilled bowlers. Over the years, David has grown to have a true appreciation and respect for the sport.
“My parents were avid bowlers. That was something that I didn’t get into until I was in the retail league. There’s more to bowling than just throwing it down the lane,” he commented.
What’s more, David has gone back to school, with the drive to complete his degree in accounting. This, too, will be an enormous feat for him, as he has long maintained an impressive acumen in the field.
“If there’s something you want to do, you need to do it while you have the chance; life is short,” he declared.
Over the past eight years, David has enjoyed all that he has been able to experience and learn as the league president and league coordinator at Frames. He considers it his home away from home and has a great deal of gratitude for his work family.
Appreciating all of their support over the years, he mentions, “They’ve been really good, especially when my mom passed. It’s really good when you can count on your team,” he said.
As the league coordinator, David handles a variety of tasks, including league scoring, online activity, scheduling and promotions. As each league is made up of several teams, David is responsible for promoting the leagues in order to get more teams in to bowl.
“My big thing is promote, promote, promote, promote,” he stated.  David explains that the overall national bowling league count has dramatically decreased over the past few years.
About 22 teams (one on each lane) visit Frames N’ Games each week on MondayThursday evenings, bowling a total of 36 weeks each year (September-May). They stroll in ready to show off their skill and competitive spirit. The teams are composed of individuals from a variety of demographics, both male and female. Many teams are non-business, including those composed of doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers or bowling alley employees themselves. Corporate teams make up a huge portion of the league. Whether Gulfstream, AT&T, International Paper or many others, individuals get a chance to take a real load off after a long week.
As the league coordinator, David humbly feels that it is the people who are important and strives to serve them in the best way possible.
“This is their league; this isn’t my league,” he said.
The overall goal of each team is to collectively score the most points possible for their league. Besides competing against other teams in their own league for prizes, they can go against other league teams. In addition, high-scoring leagues are able to compete in various local and national tournaments. As trophies and other similar honors were given in past times, monetary awards are presently most common, as the amount is typically based on points earned. There are a variety of competitions, like the Southeastern Tournament (includes 10 states) and the Georgia State Tournament. Teams are often required to bid for some of the competitions, as acceptance is based on overall points. Nationals are normally held in Las Vegas.
Whether bowling near 700, 600 or eleven in a row, David has numerous achievements under his belt. However, he consistently practices to improve his own game, as he is a part of his league at Frames N’ Games. Even so, David feels that the people that he has the opportunity to help bowl and bowl alongside is what makes it all worthwhile.
“I enjoy the people; I really do. I’ve known most of them for a long time,” he stated. David mentions how wonderful it is to see the excitement on someone’s face when they bowl their first 200 or 300; he feels privileged to share in that moment. Likewise, he feels that it is a tremendous honor to see the children of some familiar bowlers grow up over the years and take the mantle themselves.
David likes to support “a good cause.”  He really enjoys participating in the March of Dimes Tournament in Charleston, South Carolina, at a local gun club.
“It’s a sanctioned tournament for a good cause. You go up there to bowl and to have a good time. Savannah goes up there two weekends in February. The guy that runs it and the people at the gun club are just awesome,” he commented.
Speaking of noteworthy causes, David has enjoyed helping The Navigators, a group of young people from Effingham ranging from young children to older teens. The group is made primarily of special-needs individuals. Accompanied by their parents, the group is able to bowl two games each Saturday morning throughout the summer.
“They look forward to coming and bowling; they’re so much fun to watch. It’s worth it,” David said. He even mentioned the “real good job” done by the two ladies who lead the group of young people.
Besides bowling, David appreciates the seemingly little things in life. All-in-all, he certainly enjoys his sport, along with having tons of fun with friends and family.

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