What’s in a name?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 11, 1999

ERIK SANZENBACH / L’Observateur / December 11, 1999

LAPLACE – The name of a sports team usually reflects the attitude of a team and its members. For example, the Minnesota Vikings conjures up animage of looting, pillaging, rough-and-tough marauders, which is the perfect icon for a hard-hitting, smash-mouth professional football team, (then again, you have the New Orleans Saints, but that is a different story …).Now, one would expect the same for the names of the local bowling teams that compete at the River Bend Lanes in LaPlace, right? As one peruses the list of competitors in the paper, there are the logical bowling team names like the Gutter Gang, the Split Doubles, the Scatter Pins, the Bayou Cajuns, the Pigsuckindogs . . .The Pigsuckindogs? Yep, and they play in the league called the Wednesday Midgets. Oh, thesemust be some really nasty, beer-guzzling, politically incorrect guys with a really black sense of humor. They probably take over the River BendLanes on Wednesday night, terrifying the other teams into submission.

Anybody with a name like Pigsuckindogs are people you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley or even in broad daylight for that matter. Theyprobably all drive Harley hogs and sell drugs to school children.

Well, this reporter smells a story here. This might be something reallyhard-hitting and exclusive. An expos on the seamy underworld of LaPlacebowling.

He walks into River Bend Lanes and with a shaky voice asks the lady at the front desk where he might find the team known as the Pigsuckindogs.

She points to her right toward the last five or six lanes where a whole bunch of children are bowling.

The lady says, “They’re the two near the end.”The reporter notices a small blond girl and a boy with a crew-cut bowling with almost perfect form.

“You’re joking, right?” The lady shakes her head. “Nope, that’s the Pigsuckindogs.”The reporter walks over and sees several ladies sitting at a table near the two bowling kids.

“Are those two really Pigsuckindogs?” he asks the ladies.

A lady with short blonde hair nods and points at one of the other ladies at the table. “Yes, and she is the mother of one of them.” She smiles, “Infact, we are the original Pigsuckindogs.””Excuse me?” The blonde lady, Ramona Lockwood, explains. “Robin Lloyd, her husband,Jeff and I used to bowl as the Pigsuckindogs,” Lockwood says.

“Well, when River Bend Lanes started the children’s league, the Wednesday Midgets, our kids wanted to be the Pigsuckindogs, so we let them have the name, and now we bowl as Pat’s Deli.”And where did the name come from? “Oh that,” Lockwood laughs. “That’s from a Steve Martin movie called ‘TheJerk’,” Lockwood explains. “Everytime something would go wrong, SteveMartin would yell, ‘pigsuckindog!’. We yell it everytime we roll a gutterball or don’t pick up a spare. Like that.”She points out at a lane where Ashley Ingram has just rolled a gutter ball.

“Pigsuckindog,” yells this sweet-faced little girl in frustration.

Ashley Ingram and Garreth Lloyd are the new Pigsuckindogs. Lockwood’sdaughter, Mandi, used to be on the team, but the league has been split up into eight two-person teams, and Mandi had to go bowl with another girl on the team, the Brats. Lockwood says that Mandi is still upset about it. She really enjoyed being a Pigsuckindog.

Not to mention being in first place. After 14 weeks of league play, thePigsuckindogs are at the top of the League with a record of 39-13.

Ashley and Garreth are some really hot-shot bowlers. Last week, Ashleyhad the highest bowling average for the girls with a 127.2 and the highestscoring game of 168. Garreth had a three game series score of 329. Ashley, is 12 years old and has been bowling since she was 3. Her motheris the manager of the River Bend Lanes and Ashley does get a bit more time to practice her bowling than other kids.

“I bowl just about every day,” says Ashley.

Her personal high is a 225 which she bowled when she was 11 years old.

A sixth-grader at Ethel Schoeffner Elementary in Destrehan, Ashley says that bowling takes up most of her free time.

“I sorta want to be a pro bowler when I grow up,” she says.

Garreth, who is a 10-year-old fifth-grader at East St. John Elementarydoesn’t bowl as much as Ashley, but still has bowled a personal high of 170.

A bowler since he was 8 years old, Garreth likes all kinds of sports.

“I would like to be a pro bowler,” he says, ” but I would also like to play pro football too.”Among his other hobbies are soccer, shooting pool and playing Nintendo video games.

While Garreth is talking, Ashley bowls two strikes in a row.

At the end of the game, Ashley has a 157 and Garreth’s score is 114.

Ashley shrugs. “That’s not one of my better games.”Lockwood really likes the idea of having a children’s bowling league.

“I wish more kids would come out,” she says, “it really is good for them.” Asked about the team name, both of the kids smile.

“I don’t want to change the name,” says Ashley “I don’t care.” Garreth shrugs.Well as the Bard once said, “A rose by any other name still smells just as sweet.”Go Pigsuckindogs!

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