Bowling a perfect game is rare.
At Thunder Rolls Bowling Center, only five bowlers have rolled a 300.
Only two have done it more than once.
Only one has done it twice in the same season.
Les Shirkey achieved his dream of bowling a 300 on Dec. 10, 2009, after more than 30 years of striving for perfection.
The wait for his second was much shorter.
Shirkey, 65, accomplished the feat Feb. 24 at Thunder Rolls, becoming the first bowler to achieve perfection twice in the same season.
Just like his last perfect game, Shirkey said he wasn’t thinking about getting his name on the wall of fame.
“I was having a good night,” he said. “Both of my first games were good, and in my last game I hit my mark and they just kept falling.
“I wasn’t thinking 300, but I was thinking about a really good series.”
Jim Wells is the only other person to bowl two perfect games at Thunder Rolls, but he accomplished the feat twice in three years.
Having already faced the pressure, Shirkey said he was better prepared for his second 300.
“I tried to get the same mindset,” he said. “It takes 12 strikes, and where everybody messes up is in the last three.
“That’s when all the pressure comes.”
Shirkey said he was able to stay relaxed in his second 300 game.
“I tried to get in the same frame of mind that I had during the first one,” he said. “And just have fun. I was having fun that night.”
For his first perfect game, Shirkey bowled on lane nine.
On Feb. 24, Shirkey was bowling on lanes 15 and 16.
“Those are supposedly the worst lanes in the house,” he said. “But they were cool for me that night.”
Another major difference between the first and second perfect games was the ball Shirkey used to knock down every pin in front of him.
“I was using the ball I bowled my 300 with, but they changed the oil pattern (on the lanes),” he said. “I was struggling to make my average. I ordered a new ball, and I bowled with it (Feb. 24).
“It was a good match. The ball matches me, and it matches the lanes. The second time I threw it, I bowled a 780. So, it’s been a good investment.”
For the year, Shirkey’s team, which is sponsored by Yvonne Gustin at Country Living Realty, is sitting in fifth place.
“By the end of the season, I’d really like to see us in first,” he said.
The season lasts from September to May, which gives Shirkey two months to try to bowl a third perfect game in the same season.
“I’m not going to even think about that,” he said.