Smith reflects on record 878 series
PARKERSBURG — Perhaps it was the Spring Equinox that helped align everything just right for Duane Smith, who back on March 20 broke the United States Bowling Congress Parkersburg city record for high scratch series with an 878.
Smith, one of the four owners at Pike Street Lanes, was bowling in the Holiday Inn Express league when he rolled games of 279, 299 and 300 to establish the new city record.
“It’s just funny. It was one of those nights where everything went right,” recalled Smith, who usually carries an average in the 230s. “I was working the counter and bowling back and forth. I think that kind of helped me keep my mind off what I was actually doing.
“I threw two practice shots before we started that night. I’ve kind of got accustomed to where I work and bowl. It was just one of those things. As the night went on, you could tell I had a great look and felt most of the shots I threw were pretty much no-doubters.”
Bowling on lanes 13 and 14, Smith left a 10 pin in the eighth frame of his first game on lane 14 and had to settle for a 299 when the 10 pin stood strong on his attempted 12th strike in game two on lane 13.
“Could they have carried? I’m sure,” Smith admitted. “But there were others that shouldn’t have carried. That’s the sport of bowling. You get a lot of breaks.”
Smith said he’s had somewhere between 18 and 20 sanctioned perfect games and “I’ve had a lot of 11 (strikes) in a row and probably had another eight to 10 299s or some eights and sevens.
“I do believe that made my 13th 800 series. I’m not a numbers statistics guy like some guys.”
The beauty of Smith’s record is he took down the 857 record set on Nov. 12 of 2015 by his older brother Darren, who nipped the former mark of 856 held for more than three decades by Marty Brandjes.
“Somebody had texted him and told him and he was there shortly after to congratulate me,” Duane Smith said of his brother. “That was only my ninth or 10th time bowling all year. That’s what made it even more unique that it did happen. It was kind of neat to beat your older brother. He’s just as happy that it was someone in the family that beat it.
“He was very humble, just like I am. I knew going into the 10th frame (of game three), I had a chance to beat Darren’s record. I think throughout the night it just kind of helped calm the nerves a little bit running back and forth and keeping your mind occupied off what you were doing.”
The state record three-game series of 889 was set back in 2015 by Charleston’s Billy Comer.
“There have been several people shoot 900 in the United States and no one has ever shot 900 in West Virginia,” Smith added. “It takes something very special, talent and luck, to be able to shoot a 900.
“I had 34 out of 36 strikes. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the opportunity to shoot a 900. I’ll take an 878. I teased Darren. I let him have the record for a year and a half.”