Every Thursday morning, Donna Mohr looks forward to two things: seeing friends and trying to beat her bowling score from the previous week.
“Getting out of the house, being with people. It’s always fun to win and try to improve yourself, and do better with your bowling,” she said. “Every week you come with the attitude that I want to do better than I did last week.
“Especially at our age, it keeps us active.”
Mohr is 73. Her husband, Ron Mohr, is 76. They bowl together in the Senior Keglers league at Southern Bowl in Greenwood.
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Teammates on the Outlaws, a mixed league for seniors 55 and over, the Mohrs are one of 104 bowlers who participate in the Thursday morning league.
Avid bowlers with 100-plus years of experience between them, the Greenwood couple enjoys the social side of the game and, as their decades of league bowling reflect, they love the game itself.
Donna has bowled for 55 years. Ron has bowled for 50 years.
“I like the competition and getting together with other people, the camaraderie,” said Ron, who averages an impressive 190. “It can be pretty aggravating sometimes, but it’s a fun game.”
Ralph Shannon, whose team is the Late Comers, enjoys the bowling in the senior league for many of the same reasons.
An active bowler in his younger days, Shannon, 70, gave up the sport 30 years ago but joined the Senior Keglers league at the suggestion of a friend.
He’s very glad to be back.
“I thought, well, I need something to do in the winter and get out and get a little more exercise,” said Shannon, and Indianapolis resident. “I think I enjoy the the socialization as much as the bowling.”
Sandy Lawson, the league’s president, joined the Senior Keglers in her first year of eligibility. She was 55.
She’s now 74 and having a much fun as ever.
“Most of us just bowl because we like to bowl and have a good time with everybody,” Lawson said. “It’s a very friendly league.
“It’s a fun league.”
Comprised of 26 four-person teams, the Senior Keglers has players ranging in age from mid-50s to 80s. Some years, the league has players in their 90s.
But regardless, most players have two things in common: a desire to stay active and a desire to spend time with friends.
“Some of these people who don’t have their wives or husbands, it gives them a day out to enjoy mixing with people instead of going to bars or somewhere,” Ron Mohr said. “They can come to the bowling alley and enjoy some companionship.”
And have fun in a sport that has no age or skills barriers.
“You definitely can do it for as long you can walk,” Donna Mohr said. “Some of them are just barely (walking), but they can throw the ball.
“They’re still here and they’re getting out and they’re having a good time, and I think that’s what it’s mostly about.”