Local bowler rolls four perfect games in one season

For most bowlers, rolling a perfect game of 300 just once is a rare accomplishment, and bowling two perfect games is a lifetime achievement to strive for. But rolling four perfect games in one season would be incredible.

Well, for local bowler Stephen Townsley, he has experienced that remarkable plateau by rolling four perfect games this season and has come close to getting an 800 series at 799. He bowls three nights a week and has an average of 232 on Wednesday for the Easy Reiters team and a 234 on Thursday for the Moncur Farms team and on Friday for the AMCOL team, as well.

So how did Townsley accomplish this incredible feat of four perfect games in one season? By having a lot of practice and experience in the sport of bowling.

Stephen Townsley
Stephen Townsley

Townsley, 32, was born in Bakersfield, Calif., and has enjoyed bowling his whole life.

“Growing up, it was something I wanted to do,” Townsley said. He started bowling in youth leagues and youth tournaments. “I did pretty good at the YABA tournaments,” he said.

He was also inspired to bowl by his father, Rick Eades, who has been bowling since he was in the eighth grade.

“I’ve been in and out of bowling alleys for 40 years,” Eades said.

“Stephen is a natural bowler and loves the game of bowling,” Eades said. “He wants to be a good bowler and he is very good at it.” When asked about his reaction to Townsley’s first 300 game, Eades said, “It was about time. Once he shot his 300, the doors were open.”

Townsley also won a scratch tournament in Lovell in November, and he placed in the top five in the same tournament the previous year.

When Townsley achieved his first 300 game and won the scratch tournament, he said, “I kind of got what I wanted to accomplish.”

Townsley had to work hard to get where he is today.

“I had lots of practice and have been to lots of tournaments and it’s also a matter of learning to adjust,” Townsley said. When asked what it takes to get an 800 series, Townsley said, “It takes a lot of experience and practice.”

When asked if he has a favorite bowler he watches on television, he mentioned that has doesn’t have a specific favorite bowler but likes to use the ball that the pros are using.

Mike Verdetto, owner of Rose City Lanes, said about Townsley, “He’s becoming quite the bowler; he’s consistent. We are waiting for him to do a 900 series.”

“He loves to bowl. He listens and practices a lot,” Townsley’s coach, Chester Gilliam, said. “He is the most accurate bowler we have. Once he got his first 300, he was too good not to get (more of) them.”

“I’m thrilled for him,” said Mike Kitchen, who has been the manager of the men’s association for 12 years. “Once he got his 300, I knew there would be more perfect games for him. That (four) is the most I have ever seen for any bowler since I have been manager in one season. I’m proud of Stephen. He has been so consistent in bowling. He just has gotten better and better as he goes along.”

When asked what advice he would give to others who are interested in bowling, Townsley said, “If you want to be a good bowler, you have to practice at it.”

So with a lot of practice and hard work, any bowler can strive to be like Stephen Townsley, who has accomplished this season what many bowlers can only dream of in a lifetime. And he has even more goals to reach as he continues to bowl in the Lovell Men’s League.

His strong bowling continued Feb. 9-10 when he captured first place individually in the singles scratch division and first in the all-events scratch division. He also rolled a 784 series in singles, as well as a 717 series in team competition.

By Sam Smith