Bowling a perfect 300 game is a rare feat. No one, since bowling became an IHSA sport in 2003-04, has ever bowled a perfect 300 game in Columbia’s history.
But the Eagles saw themselves seeing double last week as two of their athletes, Dallas Schroeder and Reid Glaenzer, bowled perfect games in back-to-back days.
“It was nerve wracking,” said Schroeder, a swing bowler, who was bowling JV that day. “I treated it like a normal game and when it came down to the end I just got it.”
Not only was this Schroeder’s and Columbia’s first 300 game, but it came on his birthday. And with a bit of suspense.
“My legs were shaking. It was really, really nerve wracking,” the junior explained. His nerves rose closing in on the 12th strike, when he threw his last ball of the game.
“It was the eight pin and it was wobbling. I didn’t know if it was going to fall down or not. When I saw that it fell it was a sigh of relief. I went back and celebrated with my teammates.”
But the celebration didn’t stop there. In one of the rarest occasions ever recorded in local bowling history, Schroeder’s teammate, Reid Glaezner, bowled the second perfect game for Columbia in two days after coach Kevin Nowak substituted him in the second game of the following day’s match.
“I haven’t been bowling very good lately. So when it was happening I was like, ‘Oh yea, this is pretty cool’,” explained Glaenzer who said it was sort of an out-of-body experience for him.
“It went by really quick. It was awesome,” he said, adding that the nerves were there for him as well.
“I was actually more nervous in the middle, in the fifth and sixth frame, more than the last because my legs were really shaking in the middle.”
“The tenth frame was the easiest for me. It was smooth and it felt natural.”
Much like his teammate, the accomplishment came on a special day for Glaezner as well.
“It really meant a lot because it was my last home match at West Park and I am a senior.”
Their coach said he was feeling the nerves those two days as well.
“I wouldn’t even look,” Eagle coach Kevin Nowak said. “When (they) got to the ninth frame I wouldn’t even look until after (they) threw it.”
“It’s kind of a superstition thing.”
Glaezner agrees. He says he got a new ball the day before and hadn’t even thrown it or practiced with it.
“It could be a lucky ball.”
Two other Eagle bowlers came close to 300 games last week as well. Becca Krebel and Cameron Touchette each bowled a 279, nearly perfect.
Prior to bowling becoming an IHSA sanctioned sport, it was considered a club sport, and Columbia’s Tony Carver was the only Eagle to ever bowl a perfect game, according to Nowak.
However, the Columbia boys were not the only ones achieving perfection last week.
The Lady Eagles completed the regular season 12-0.
As a result, the zero-loss team finished atop the Cahokia Conference and recorded a two- year team record of 23-1.
“It was an exciting week to be a coach,” Nowak said.