The Herald Bulletin

October 11, 2013

Hughes' 300 game family affair

The Herald Bulletin

---- — The first 300 of the season has been rolled. On Tuesday night in the Charlie Cooper Memorial League Justin Hughes found perfection.

Hughes started the night with a 238 and 196 then found his groove with the 300 for a 734 series. Congratulations Justin!

This is Hughes’ first perfect game since losing his father this summer. I am sure dad is very proud of his son. Randy Hughes was a long-time bowler and established himself as one of the best in the area in his prime.

Hughes had a premonition on Tuesday. Visiting his father’s gravesite for the first time since the Aug. 22 funeral, Justin delivered Colts decals and blue and white flowers.

After leaving the cemetery, Hughes had a feeling. Telling a friend, “I am going to bowl a 300 tonight!” Okay, we all go out thinking that tonight will be the night and we all strive for that perfect game. This night, Hughes was right. Being surrounded by friends of his and his dad’s made the night very emotional.

Hughes has bowled multiple 300 games. In 1996, he became the youngest bowler to ever bowl a perfect game. Since that time, he has had his successes, but this time meant the most to him. Feeling dad was with him every step of the way rooting him on.

Although Randy Hughes had been unable to bowl himself for quite some time, he kept his passion of the game through Justin. He enjoyed the success of his son’s bowling accomplishments even more than his own.

As with most sports, bowling seems to be passed down from generation to generation. It is an activity that families can participate in no matter what the age. A young child in the beginning stages of his bowling career is able to get out on the lanes with a grandparent. Very few sports are able to have multiple generations participating at the same time.

A commonality is found and memories are made.

Not every person who bowls comes from a family of bowlers, some pick it up from a friend or co-worker. A fun night out can sometimes lead to a regular outing. A league is joined and a new family is formed.

Family isn’t just about blood. In the bowling community, individuals come together week after week usually for at least 32 weeks out of the year. Bowling teams sometimes see each other more often than their family members. They become, in a sense, a type of family.

We share the details of our every day. We miss them when they are not there. We look forward to our weekly get- together. We care for our “bowling families.”

Over time, the oil patterns on the lanes may change, our bowling styles change and our averages sometimes seem to be on a roller coaster, but we continue. We embrace our passion for the sport, for better or worse.

After all, isn’t that what families do?