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Norwalk's Kuhlman rolls perfect game

By RON SIMPSON • Updated Nov 29, 2017 at 9:14 PM

NORWALK — Most of us strive for perfection every day, but the majority of the time it eludes us.

It didn’t elude Jack Kuhlman on Nov. 15 at Kenilee Lanes, as he bowled his first career 300 game. Jack has bowled so consistently good this year, having a 600 or better almost every time out. He’s also thrown a pair of 700 series in the mix.

Kuhlman, 49, of Norwalk, talked about his 300 game.

“I started thinking about it after the seventh frame, when I hit it in the pocket a little light and the pins mixed it up,” he said.

Asked how he felt about the ninth and tenth frames, Kuhlman said “I was OK, but I took a lot of deep breaths. I was feeling pretty good, and I had been in the pocket every time. The first two balls, I shattered the pins. When I got up for the last ball, a guy two lanes down didn’t realize this was my last ball for a 300, and he bowled, so I stepped off, took a couple more deep breaths.

“I pulled the last ball just a little,” he added. “It was in the pocket, but just a hair heavy. I would have deserved it if it would have stood up. I think I squealed like a girl when it carried.”

A teammate and friend of his, Gary Rock, 48, of Norwalk, is credited with calming him down a little towards the end of the game.

“All I could hear in the background was Gary saying keep your speed up, keep your speed up,” he said.

Rock talked a little about the 300 game.

“It was awesome to be there … I’ve only subbed twice with Jack, so to see your good friend and one hell of a good guy achieve his first 300 makes it all the more special,” Rock said. “I’m sure my big mouth helped keep it from being too quiet in there.”

Kuhlman, employed by Certainteed, is married to Trish, and between both of them have five kids, and four grandkids. He’s also the youngest of 11 siblings. The one thing Kuhlman regrets is not having his son Gage there when he rolled his 300, saying his son had to work that night.

Kuhlman has been a lifetime bowler, beginning around the age of 10. He recalls his mom taking him up to the old Maple Leaf Lanes on Friday nights and he would bowl a whole sheet of games by himself.

Kuhlman also fondly remembers bowling in a league in the mid-1990s for a few years with four of his brothers, calling the team The Kuhlman Brothers. He bowled until 2002, then took several years off, and came back to Kenilee Lanes in 2009.

Asked what he’s done to improve his game lately, Kuhlman said he’s had a ball change recently — but the most significant improvement has been his ability to hit his mark almost every single time he throws the ball.

He also remembers some advice from a few years ago about looking further down the lane when the ball is hooking too much, and he’s used that advice to this day.

His previous high game had been a 288 about four years ago, using the same ball he had used for his perfect game. Jack averages 196 in the K of C league on Wednesday night at Kenilees, and 214 in the Fisher Titus league on Monday nights.

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