Craig bowler notches perfect game

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For some, perfection comes easier than others.

That was the case Wednesday for Craig resident Richard Arquette, who bowled his first 300 game after bowling for four years.

Arquette lit up Thunder Rolls Bowling Center for 12 straight strikes.

Even he was surprised by the feat.

“It was disbelief,” Arquette said. “I got quite a few lucky shots in. All I could hope was, you know, let’s just keep it going. Once I got into the 10th frame is when things got hairy.”

After eight strikes, Arquette said a friend of his came into the bowling alley, but he wasn’t going to speak to him just yet.

He did everything to stay focused on the task at hand.

Arquette bowled 10 straight strikes before, but the perfect game fell apart after that. He used that experience to carry him through the 11th and 12th balls.

“I relaxed too much the first time," he said. "I told myself that time to relax, and I did it too much, and so I let the ball go wrong and it came in hard and left me with a big 7-10 split. It was ugly."

This time around, Arquette relaxed the right amount.

His 11th strike was a strong one, and that added more pressure.

“You don’t want to look around," he said. "You already know everybody’s behind you watching because everybody wants to see one thrown. So all you can do is take a couple deep breaths and say, ‘Just one more, just hit your mark.’”

When all 10 pins fell to Arquette’s final ball, he was surprised but excited. He gives the credit for his swift success in bowling to his father-in-law, Les Shirkey, who has coached him the past four years.

Shirkey has notched three perfect games at Thunder Rolls, the most recent in November 2010.

“I told him as soon I threw it, ‘That’s you, that’s all you,” Arquette said. “I was just the monkey throwing the ball, everything else was him.”

Arquette said the feeling for the rest of that night was surreal, and it’s one he’d like to have again.

He even talked about passing Shirkey’s mark of three someday.

“I hope to pull one every night. It just doesn’t happen sometimes because you have a bad night, you get a bad shot, you get unlucky," he said. "I think it might be something I’m doing again here soon. I’m trying to catch up to Les on the wall. I figure he’s got three, if I can get four then he’s taught somebody well.”

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