TEAM 4 N PURSUIT – IN PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE
Jun 04, 2012
James Dixon knows who he is, and is a great example of the influence an Ebonite bowling ball can have in attracting new bowlers to the sport.
Dixon, of Anderson, Ind., took the Pursuit Challenge to a new level by purchasing an Ebonite Pursuit prior to joining his first organized bowling league. What started out as a once-a-week challenge match between his wife Nikki and his parents has become an obsession with bowling.
“We were looking for an activity after church, and we got hooked,” said the 38-year-old pastor of Providence Christian Church. “We would bowl for bragging rights, nothing serious. But we went every Sunday for a couple of months. The folks at the control desk noticed and asked us about joining a league.”
The Dixons travel an hour each way to Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis to bowl. And when they joined the 55-team Meridian Lodge Summer League, there was only one team name that would fit: 4 N Pursuit.
That is because everyone on the team rolls the Ebonite Pursuit bowling ball. Team members Brooke Edison and Terrill Willhoite joined up with the Dixons and purchased the Pursuit. Team 4 N Pursuit took the lanes for their first session recently, with each team member equipped with the Ebonite ball, and wearing T-shirts that read 4 N Pursuit.
“We won the first game by 257 pins, the second by 189, and the third by 124!” said Dixon of his first organized bowling experience.
Opposing bowlers took note of the entire team rolling the Ebonite Pursuit. After bowling the first week of league, two of the opposing team members went to the pro shop to consider purchasing the Pursuit.
“We’re all down and in players, and the Pursuit works great for us,” said Dixon. “All of us except for Terrill. He likes to swing the ball quite a bit, which is why he likes the Pursuit-S.”
The Dixons have shown great improvement since picking up the Pursuit. An experienced bowler recommended the ball for James, and offered some advice on the basics.
Mike Riggins of The Bowlers Shop in Anderson drilled Pursuits for the Dixons, has given them lessons, and been a witness to their improvement. With practice and the Ebonite Pursuit, James’ average raised nearly 60 pins in a matter of months.
“I can remember when 123 was my high game,” said Dixon, who’s up to 182 in the Meridian league. “Nikki’s average improved as well. She’s up to a 173 average.”
Observers couldn’t help but notice the increase in their scores. Dixon claims that the first time he used the Pursuit, five people watching rushed to their local pro shops to purchase the ball and saw improvement in their games as well.
Dixon’s improvement has some in amazement and others in denial.
“I had no idea what a sandbagger was,” said Dixon, who was accused of purposely keeping his average low to gain an advantage. “My response to them has been, ‘Paper or plastic?’”
Dixon’s story is all the more astounding when people learn about him being an amputee survivor. His right leg was amputated at age 11, yet he still played high school basketball, and earned a college scholarship.
“The great thing about bowling is that you never have to retire,” said James. “Bowling allows me to be competitive. I’m glad that basketball gave me an outlet to prove that my physical disability wasn’t a limitation. I use that mental approach to prove that handicap is a bowling term, not a description of me.”
“James is so athletic, you’d never know he was an amputee,” said Lucy Brasher, secretary of the Meridian League. “You can see the enthusiasm their team has when they bowl, and it’s fun to bowl with them.”
It may be fun to bowl with 4 N Pursuit, but Dixon says they have one goal in mind…. winning.
“Bowling started as a fun activity, but it’s more than that now,” said Dixon. “We’re going to be more than competitive. Winning is contagious, and with Ebonite, we Bowl to Win!”
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