by Mickey Dale – Imperial Valley USBC
A goal for many bowlers is to put together the perfect game, 12 strikes for a 300. One would expect some excitement when that goal is achieved for the first time. For Michael Curtis, he hit the milestone 6 years ago at the age of 17. Up until the first of the year, he added 9 more perfect games.
On January 16th, Michael started out in the Mixed League at Strikezone in El Centro with his 10th perfect game and followed it with a bunch of strikes and a bad-break pocket 7-10 split to post a 234. The night turned extra special as he rolled a second 300 game in the series. How emotional was it?
“I didn’t know how to react,” the El Centro resident confessed. “The first 300 was cool. The second one never crossed my mind. I was focusing on an 800 series. When I got 9 (strikes) in a row again, I told my dad. He was excited and said to just keep throwing. One frame at a time.”
His dad Fred is his mentor and co-owner of Leo’s Pro Shop at Strikezone along with his mother. When together at the center, father and son talk between every shot.
“First, we talk about it,” Fred explained the conversations they’ve had since Michael was 8 years old. “This is what’s working on the lane. When you see the motion of the ball, you make adjustments.”
“The lanes weren’t easy that day,” said Michael. “I was doing some different things, a little loft. I usually change balls in the third game. This time, I used the same ball in all 3 games.”
For the record, the ball used on this night was a Motiv Forza bought and drilled at Leo’s Pro Shop. “It’s my comfort ball,” Michael said with a smile.
Michael started bowling at age 7. It was because of family.
“I used to bowl before,” Fred reminisced. “It was Father’s Day and I asked my family if they’d like to bowl. The next week, I started in a league. It’s a sport we could all play.”
Proving once again, that a family surrounded by bowling, is a happy family.