Randy Allen can’t help but think he had a little help bowling a 300 game during last week’s Wednesday league play at Pin Splitter Lanes in Princeton. It’s hard not to believe it wasn’t heaven sent.
Five days after laying both his mother and father to rest, who died just two days apart, Allen went to the one place that helped take his mind off things, the bowling alley.
He struck for 12 straight strikes, bowling his second 300 of his career.
Truth be told, Allen didn’t even feel like bowling that night with every thing he’d gone through the past week. His wife, Shannon, convinced him it was something he needed to do.
He said everything just clicked that game, but was afraid he’d blow it in the last frame.
“I got to the 10th and told my wife to watch me screw this one up again,” Allen said. “The first (ball) was easy as was the second. And the last one, something told me to just stand there for a minute. I took a couple of deep breaths and then I buried it, too.
“First time I never had jitters getting to that point. And there’s been plenty - 18 games of 297 or better, but only two 300s.”
But something happened and he knew what it was.
“I just had a bit of help (from above), and I’ll certainly take every bit of that I can get,” he said.
Allen’s gem was one of three 300s on the night, joined by young guns Chris Layton, 25, and Michael Camp, 23, who rolled their eighth perfectos of their young bowling career.
It is believed to be the first time there has been three 300s in the same league night.
“We were bowling against Chris so I knew what he was doing, but I had no idea what Michael was doing,” Allen said. “After they were done, I grabbed both of them and told them it was too bad it took an old man to get them going.”
Layton was thrilled to share the stage with Allen, who’s been a mentor to him.
“I grew up with Randy and my dad (Allen) as my coaches and watched them bowl forever and wanted to be just like them. So to be able to do something like that while bowling with him was pretty cool,” Layton said.
Not to be outdone, Randy Gibson followed with a 300 of his own on Sunday, his third overall. He’s proving the older he gets the better he bowls.
“They say the older you get you lose it. I got my first one at 52 and this one at 55,” he said.
They will all take aim on the Princeton Masters Tournament, which kicks off Saturday at Pin Splitter Lanes. Don’t bet against Allen, because he’s likely going to have some more help from above.
Bear down: Bears super fan John Hansen and family, who I wrote about last week, saw a big Bears win in Jacksonville Sunday. His grandson, Brady Byers of Princeton, came away with a game-worn stocking hat of Bears star Allen Robinson II as the Bears were leaving the field after the game and tossing an assortment of items into the crowd.
Brady’s mom, Krista, said his long arms helped make the grab and he was so excited he was shaking.
Condolences: In closing, I’d like to offer my deepest condolences to the family of Jeanna Bourquin, wife of legendary Manlius and Bureau Valley football coach Kenny Bourquin. She was former BV and Princeton coach Dave Moore’s mother-in-law, and grandmother to the Barnas boys.
Kevin Hieronymus is the BCR Sports Editor. Contact him at email@example.com