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The Bowling Report (12/10/2006)

For some, tossing a 300 game is the ultimate high in bowling.

For Brian Fakler, it's become a monthly ritual so far this year.

In the first three months of the 2006-07 season, the Winona Bowl owner already has five perfect games under his belt. It started the first night of the City League when he rolled a 300 in his first game. He's added another one in the City League, one in the Blue Ribbon League, one in the Legion League, and one in the Mixed Nuts League.

Tuesday night, he almost threw his sixth one, but came up a pin short for a 299.

"It doesn't get old," Fakler said. "It's fun from the first one I threw to the last one. It's enjoyable. I don't leave 10 pins here. It's all about angle entry.

"I can't explain it. I've had a 300 with three different balls. I've had 800s with two different balls. I was trying to figure out what's different this year, and I can't pinpoint it. I'm so much more comfortable throwing the ball in the same area. It's basically the same lane conditions as the last six years. It's the same shot we've always had."

For those of us who watch Fakler, seeing him reel off 12 straight strikes is nothing new. When he rolled his second one in the City League, it was like "Ho hum, Fakler just threw another 300." Not even his teammates got too excited.

"I get no respect any more," he joked. "In the Mixed Nuts, I threw a 300 my first game and then Steve Walters threw one the second game. I got a spackling of cheers for mine and everyone was clapping for Steve's."

So far this year, Fakler has the only two 800 series in Winona in league play. He tossed an 815 earlier this year and finished with an 803 on Tuesday night. Fakler also has six other scores of 760 or better.

He's averaging 234 in both the Blue Ribbon and Mixed Nuts League, 226 in the Legion League and 217 in the City League.

Fakler, who's been co-owner of Winona Bowl since 1988, says he got a big boost of confidence in late October when he took part in the USBC Masters Tournament in Milwaukee. He finished just eight pins out of making the top 25 percent and advancing to the second round in the 450-person field, which included the top professionals and amateurs from around the country.

"I haven't made the cut yet, but I'm still beating out 75 percent of the people there," Fakler said. "That makes me feel pretty good about my game. That's a big confidence booster. You really test your game there. A house shot is very easy. In the Masters (which uses the sport condition), you have to hit your mark. It's more of a mental game. Counting your hotel, you've got $800 on the line trying to make the cut with the best bowlers in the world."

At one time in his career, Fakler held the city record with an 841 series. That was broken a few years later by John Glowczewski's 843. And two years ago, Geoff Schewe set the bar even higher with an 869.

"In Winona, we've got Geoff Schewe, Jeff Hubbard and Josh Wenzel," Fakler said. "I'm not ready to give it up. I think I can get Schewe's record. That keeps me inspired."

High school team 4th

The Winona/Cotter/Lewiston high school bowling team placed fourth last weekend in the Minnesota High School Bowling State Tournament in Little Canada.

Winona was seeded eighth after the 10 games of qualifying in the 22-team field, but started the double-elimination tournament with a loss to Austin/Southland. Coach Roxy Kohner's team then defeated Springfield, Hutchinson and Bloomington before losing to Owatonna.

Superior, Wis., won the tournament, with Eden Prairie taking second, Owatonna third and Winona fourth.

Who's hot?

Shirley Benedict and Keri Prigge led the way for the ladies this past week, each tossing a 670 national honor count. Benedict's came Monday in the Pin Topplers League at Westgate Bowl, while Prigge rolled hers in the Sunsetters League at Westgate on Wednesday.

Did you notice all the big women's games on Wednesday? Maggie Stockhausen led the way with a 279, Gwen Fakler shot 268, Diane Marley added a 266, and Karen Ciszak carded a 254. Ciszak's big game led to her first career honor count with a 615 series in the Sunsetters League.

Krystal Dorman enjoyed a big week with scores of 633, 626 and 617 in the past week. Marley (616, 606) and Stockhausen (629, 600) both added a pair of 600s.

For the men, Fakler's teammate on Tuesday night, Tod Walters, rifled a 767 honor count in the Blue Ribbon League. Walters also had a 702 in the Mixed Nuts League.

Turning in their first 700s of the year in the past week were Scott Schultz (738), Mike King (735), Darrin Aarre (717), Jon Rector (706) and Greg Cierzan (702). 


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