SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas —
George Chewens has good bowling genes. He has seen his father roll big numbers time after time.
But that didn't make the 15-year-old Wichitan any different than any other bowler getting to the final frame with a perfect game on the line. With a crowd around the lane, even as they all encourage success, the nerves kick in. The pins can often get more stubborn. It's the frame where perfect games go to die.
But Chewens beat those odds and rolled his first sanctioned perfect game in the same week his father, also named George Chewens, rolled his 11th-career 300 game. Both events came at Sheppard Air Force Base South Lanes. Younger sister, Breana, wasn't left out, either, as the 13-year-old had a career-best 268.
"With her handicap of 32, that makes it 300," a proud father, George Chewens, said.
It was about a perfect week on the lanes but it hasn't been an easy time for the Chewens after losing their mother and George's wife, Jennifer, in March 2016.
"I know she is up in heaven looking down on us and is very happy," said Chewens, who works as a recreation aid at the South Lanes.
Back to the younger Chewens' bid for perfection. He's likely to score more 300s in the future but probably won't forget his first.
"Well, I got up on the 10th ball like it was just another shot, then I looked around and saw I was attracting a crowd of friends and fellow competitors," he said. "It hit me right about then, the nerves started to kick in. The 11th shot was nerve-racking considering it was high flush for a trip 6."
Cool, but it's not a 300 without a 12th strike.
"The 12th shot was probably the hardest one, I was shaking like a leaf on a tree," the younger Chewens continued. "Coach Ray Moore, a good friend, came up behind me and told me to breathe. That made me even more nervous. I was just thinking inside of my head, 'just lay the ball down where you want it.'
"I threw the ball and basically called it off my hand as a strike, and there it happened. The 12th one just buried the pocket for a clean strike with 10 in the pit. It was extremely nerve-racking to get to that stage but as the pros say, the first one is always the hardest."
He finished with a 732 series. His sister had a 615 series.
The 54-year-old Chewens said the first of his 11 perfect games came in 2004. They may be old hat but he'll remember No. 11 for sure.