Craig man sets series record at Thunder Rolls with 4th 300 |

Craig man sets series record at Thunder Rolls with 4th 300

Les Shirkey stands in front of the lanes where he bowled his fourth 300 at Thunder Rolls Bowling Alley last Friday. He also posted a record series for the Craig lanes of 827.
Nate Waggenspack

— On the Thunder Rolls Bowling Center Wall of Fame, Les Shirkey’s name sits highest in the three-game series records, with an 817. Shirkey’s score is no longer the best bowled at the lanes, but the Craig man will remain atop the list after he beat his own record.

Shirkey, 69, bowled his fourth 300 game at Thunder Rolls last Friday and surrounded it with two more excellent games to bowl 827, the highest-ever series at the Craig lanes.

He was almost perfect in his first game of the night, missing one pin midway through to finish with 279. But Shirkey struck out that game and kept it going through the entire second one for a perfect game.

“Sometimes, you just have a good night,” he said. “I had a really good night Friday.”

Friend and fellow bowler Leon Walker said he had taken notice of Shirkey’s form during the first game and made sure to keep an eye on him the rest of the night.

“He didn’t miss his mark all night,” Walker said. “I watched every ball he threw. I saw him in the first game and I said, ‘Uh oh.’”

Between the three games, Shirkey threw a strike 23 straight times, his best streak ever. But beating 817 was still no easy task, as he hit spares in the sixth and seventh frames, then another in the ninth to keep things close.

He stepped up and struck out the 10th frame to get 40 points and set the new record.

“Every shot, I was thinking about it,” he said. “I think I tightened up a bit, but I told myself to relax and got it.”

The record series came during Thunder Rolls’ Friday Night Mixed Nuts League, against the best possible group of opponents. Shirkey’s team was bowling against a team with two daughters, his son-in-law and granddaughter.

“She was happy for me that I bowled a 300, but she was mad that I beat them every game,” Shirkey said.

His name is all over the Wall of Fame and above the lanes for 300 games and 800 series, and Shirkey attributes it all to his 71-year-old brother Larry, who he said still can bowl well also.

“He gets a little bit of the credit,” he said. “He taught me how to bowl and where to stand for certain things.”

Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or

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