Minnesota bowler is only second ever to make 36 consecutive strikes for 900 series
ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- Brady Stearns of St. Cloud, Minn., never thought he would see a 900 series, let alone bowl one of his own.Now, he's happily wading through a flood of congratulatory messages after becoming the just the second Minnesota bowler ...
ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- Brady Stearns of St. Cloud, Minn., never thought he would see a 900 series, let alone bowl one of his own.
Now, he’s happily wading through a flood of congratulatory messages after becoming the just the second Minnesota bowler to roll 36 consecutive strikes in United States Bowling Congress-certified competition.
The 23-year-old right-hander tossed three perfect games Tuesday in the city league at St. Cloud’s Southway Bowl to join Darin Pomije of New Prague as the only Minnesotans to achieve the score. Pomije recorded his 900 series in December 2004.
Stearns treated the night as a series of hurdles, rather than focusing on the end result, and that seemed to keep the nerves at bay.
After starting the night with the 18th perfect game of his career, Stearns kept striking and started to think about back-to-back 300s, something he had never done. As the strikes added up, his attention turned to the center’s strike jackpot, but he still didn’t let the idea of 900 creep into his mind.
“When we got to the last game, I did my best to treat it like another game and just concentrate on making good shots, one at a time,” Stearns said. “I knew I had the strike pot around the eighth frame, and after that was the first time I thought about the possibility of 900. At the time, I didn’t want to worry too much about it. Whether I did it or not, my life wouldn’t change too much, and I’d still be going to work in the morning.”
Stearns did go to work Wednesday to assume his role as the manager at the local Little Caesars, but he felt a little different after all, more so as the messages rolled in and the magnitude of the accomplishment continued to sink in.
It turns out the owners of the store he manages are bowlers - and both were at Southway Bowl to witness his success Tuesday night.
They support Stearns’ passion for bowling and allow him to have weekends off to compete, which he has done for the past few years alongside some of Minnesota’s top performers.
Stearns learned from his father, Bob, a former Professional Bowlers Association tour player, who was part of the team that brought Southway Bowl into existence in the early 1970s.
Bob taught Brady and his brother, Scott, how to bowl about 10 years ago, and Brady has worked hard to get better.
Stearns’ bowling success has him more motivated than ever. However, he’s not quite ready to give up his day job.
“I’ve been fortunate to be able to bowl with some great bowlers the last few years, and it definitely has helped me improve,” Stearns said. “It has been a progression, thanks to bowling more and against better competition, and it has me wanting to get even better and learn as much as I can. In a perfect world, I’d be able to go bowl on the Tour, but for now, I’ll continue working” on his game.
Stearns’ achievement is pending approval from USBC and would be the 33rd USBC-approved 900. It marks the fourth perfect series of the 2016-2017 season and third of 2017.
The first USBC-approved 900 occurred Feb. 2, 1997 when Jeremy Sonnenfeld rolled three consecutive perfect games in Lincoln, Neb.