MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII - More than 20 people aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii competed against each other Jan. 6 and 13, 2014 at K-Bay Lanes in two of four tryout games to earn a space on the Marine Corps team for the 17th annual Hawaii All-Military bowling tournament.
During the tournament, teams representing four military branches, retirees, reservists, National and Air Guard will compete in six games a day, from April 1 through 4, at Hickam Bowling Center, K-Bay Lanes, Pearl Harbor Bowling Center and Schofield Bowling Center. Tournament categories include mixed doubles, doubles, singles and team. Trophies will be presented to the top six men, top four women, one male and female top all-events winner, and one male and female with the high game for the tournament.
“We have some really good bowlers that can maybe take (the) HAM tournament this year,” said Elden Doi, the manager of K-Bay Lanes.
On the four Thursdays in January, bowlers trying out for the Marine Corps team play six games each day. Six men with one alternate and four women with one alternate who scored the highest during the tryouts will join the bowling team.
All seven men and three of the women from the 2013 HAM Marine Corps team are trying out again this year. Irene Kukino and Brad Rehrig are returning competitors. Kukino, a fiscal accounting clerk with Marine Corps Community Services, has been bowling for more than 20 years, and has competed in multiple women’s tournaments. After twice initially declining to try out for the team, the Kaneohe, Hawaii, native tried out and made the 2013 team, and is coming back for more.
“I got a taste of it,” Kukino said. “Now I want it.”
Rehrig, the drum major for the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band, played on the team in 2012 and 2013. The native of Lehighton, Pa., has been bowling since elementary school, and has played in leagues at his previous duty stations. Rehrig said in he placed eighth in 2012, and placed seventh in 2013. If he makes the team this year, he hopes to at least place among the top six males. However, competition is not everything for Rehrig. Through competing in the HAM tournament, he has made new friends from the other services, and he and his teammates support each other with tips on how to improve their game.
“We’re all just there to have a good time,” Rehrig said. “I will still try my best, but (also) have as much fun as I can.”
Chris Muni, a signals intelligence electronic warfare officer with 3rd Radio Battalion and a native of Buffalo, N.Y., made the team last year, but was unable to attend due to a command event. Muni, who averages a score of 180 per game, has also been bowling for more than 20 years.
“I look forward to being able to participate this year (if I make the team),” Muni said. “(There are a) lot of good people, (and a) lot of strong competition.”
In addition to the veterans, new bowlers are also trying out, like Donald Jones, a hospital corpsman at Naval Health Clinic Hawaii. Jones, of Baytown, Texas, has been bowling since high school. On Jan. 6, he said he was nervous trying out for the first time, though he felt it went well.
Doi said he plans to announce the members of the Marine Corps team by early February. For more information about the tournament, call Millie Gomes at 473-2651.