On March 11, Craig resident Frank Schmedeke looked at his scorecard at Thunder Rolls Bowling Center.
With nine frames down in the first of three games, Schmedeke had a strike in every frame.
“I didn’t even notice until the ninth frame that I was going for a perfect game,” Schmedeke said. “I thought, ‘Holy crap, I haven’t missed yet,’ and then went down and told my brother who also bowls Friday nights.”
Schmedeke, 37, bowls with his wife, Tiffany, and friends on the Friday Night Mixed Nuts league.
Sitting between lanes three and four, Schmedeke said friends told him he shouldn’t be bragging about nine strikes in a row because he would mess himself up.
“I told everyone I wasn’t bragging, I was just thinking, ‘Wow,’” he said.
When he went to bowl his 10th and final frame, Schmedeke said he didn’t sweat the first two balls.
The third ball, however, is when reality started sinking in.
“On the last ball, I knew I had one more shot to get a perfect game,” Schmedeke said. “When I threw it, I knew I hit my mark and all the pins were wiped out.”
The final score in Schmedeke’s row on the scorecard read perfection — 300.
“It was actually a relief because the nerves were gone,” he said. “I had bowled a 279 about two or three years ago, but never a 300.”
Schmedeke’s game makes him the eighth person to bowl a perfect game at Thunder Rolls.
The first call Schmedeke made was to his father, Larry Schmedeke, the man who got him bowling when he was young.
At 4, Schmedeke said he grew up with his dad competing in bowling leagues in Atlanta.
“I have been around bowling my entire life because my dad was always playing,” he said. “Through the years, I have experimented with different ways to bowl, but my dad taught me the basics.”
About 15 years ago, Schmedeke starting competing in bowling leagues in Grand Junction.
When he moved to Craig 10 years ago, he continued with the sport.
Schmedeke, who is a police officer for the Craig Police Department, said he approaches each roll the same way.
“I set up by standing on the same mark and then I stare at the pins,” he said. “I then look at the same arrow in the lane and never look back at the pins. I take my approach nice and slow because if I go fast, I will mess something up.
“I always tell everyone the slower you go the more control you will have.”
Tiffany said when the final pin fell in the 10th frame for Schmedeke, the entire team was excited for him.
“He had a grin from ear to ear,” she said. “We all knew we would hear about it the rest of the night and probably games to come.”
After the perfect game was in place, Tiffany said her husband had to tell everyone.
“He texted my whole family that night,” she said. “It was a big accomplishment for him and now he has to move on to his next goal.”
Heading into the night, Schmedeke said he wasn’t trying for a perfect game, rather a 700 series.
A 700 series is when the combined scores from all three games in a series add up to 700.
His total score for the night was 624.
“I actually don’t think a 700 series will be as hard as the perfect game,” he said. “You can bowl a 233, 233 and a 234 and be dead on 700.”
Schmedeke said the 700 series would give him something to shoot for now that he has a perfect game under his belt.
“I never really aimed to get a 300 because once you get it, there is nothing to shoot for except to match that score in a single game,” he said. “But, now that I am over that hump, I am going to keep trying to get the 700 series and then the 800 series.”
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