Back in the years when Kim Streer worked at Victoria Lanes (now 11th Frame) in East Aurora, she would let her son, Dan, occupy himself by bowling at the lanes while she did her job.
The youngster grew to be devoted to the sport. Now 15, Dan bowled the first 300 game in the history of boys bowling at Iroquois Central High school at 11th Frame. It came in a 6-1 victory over Pioneer in an ECIC match. That outcome reversed an earlier defeat by the same score against the Panthers.
No surprise Streer was named Athlete of the Week at the school, known for fielding strong teams across the board.
Was he nervous as his perfect game got closer to reality or did he adopt an if-it-happens-it-happens attitude?
“A little bit of both,” the sturdily-built Iroquois sophomore said. “Once I hit the seventh I was a little nervous.”
The 300 game opened Streer’s three-game series. He followed that with a 170 and a 254 for a 724 series.
This is Streer’s third year on the Iroquois team. He averaged 162 last season when he was No. 3 in the order. Now he is carrying a 198 average and bowling anchor.
”He’s kind of quiet but he’s a great kid,” said William “Bud” Rider, long-time coach at Iroquois. Streer hadn’t come close to a 300 before but Rider was not surprised.
“A 265 was his closest but he runs six or seven strikes in a row all the time,” Rider said.
Although his mom afforded him the opportunity to bowl “she let me do my own thing” as far as learning the mechanics and fundamentals of the sport, Dan Streer said. He credits his grandfather, Dan Kostuta, with providing encouragement and some pointers.
Streer bowls right-handed and throws a “big hook” which he’s learned to control more consistently with experience.
Rider is a legend himself at Iroquois. Now 81, he retired as a full-time teacher in 1990. He started at Iroquois in 1958 at the beginning of the school’s athletics program.
He’s kept his hand in it by coaching the bowling team and doing other jobs in the school system on a part-time basis.
”It’s a great atmosphere at Iroquois,” Rider said. “We have 12 bowlers on the team and six on the practice squad. Letting us have a practice squad is a big help in developing for the future.”
Besides Streer, Rider sees potential for freshman Jake Zelasko, who has broken through with a 185 average. A third threat in the lineup is senior Chris Bitterman.
In addition to bowling for the school team, the improvement of Iroquois bowlers is helped by participating in a Saturday morning recreational league at 11th Frame and the junior program at AMF Lancaster Lanes.
Ciminelli in Japan
Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga and other PBA Tour pros will be back in action this weekend in the Round1 Japan Cup. The tournament across the Pacific resumed after not being held the past two years in the aftermath of the disastrous tsunami that hit Japan in 2010. The finals of the 26th event will be aired live on Sunday at 3 p.m. on ESPN from Tokyo.
Besides Ciminelli, among the contingent of 20 invited PBA Tour stars are defending champion Tommy Jones, trying for his fourth Japan Cup title, Chris Barnes, Dom Barrett, Jason Belmonte, Norm Duke, Mike Fagan, Mikz Koivuniemi, Wes Malott, Amleto Monacelli, Rhino Page, Osku Palerma, Sean Rash, Bill O’Neill, Ryan Shafer, Pete Weber, Stuart Williams, Walter Ray Williams Jr. and 2013 PBA World Championship winner Parker Bohn III. Bohn has won a record four Japan Cups, including three in a row from 1998-2000. Walter Ray Williams has competed in all 25 editions of the tournament.
U.S. pros have won the last 21 titles against a field which includes top Japanese and Korean bowlers. The last Japanese winner was in 1988.
• Audrelle Gospodarski and Eric Michalski of Niagara County CC were individual winners and the ECC women and NCCC men were the team winners in the Red Baron Invitational in Elmira last weekend. Gospodarski averaged 180 while Michalski hit the pins at a 217 clip.
• The Greater Buffalo USBC Association’s 26th Annual Youth Team Championship will be held today and Sunday at Broadway Sports Center. There will be competition in three divisions, scratch and handicap, with $125 scholarships going to each of the Division A champions, and a team entry to the State Youth Team Sectional Tournament to the first and second-place teams in all divisions. There will be squads at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. today and noon, 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday.
A year ago, the Airport No. 4 team of Melanie Hannon, Andrew Herbert, Eric Michalski and Tyler Molina took the Scratch (Division A) title with a 2,680 score.