He’s rolled, by his count, 15 400-games in his 40-plus year bowling career.
But number 15 may have been the most special for Barry Koenig.
The Vernon native, who lives in Salmon Arm where he works as a warranty administrator for Gemm Diesel, rolled a 401 in the second-to-last week of league bowling at Lincoln Lanes with his dad Tom, 79, watching.
“My dad had never seen me do it and my mom (Marci) passed away before I rolled my first one, so, yes, this one was quite special,” said the affable Koenig, 51. “Dad coached me in YBC (youth bowling) and I’ve learned a lot from him. He can dissect a game like nobody’s business.”
The latest 400 came in the third of three games on Koenig’s regular Thursday night league outing. The right-hander began with nine straight strikes, which included corner pins wobbling in frames six, seven and eight, but falling.
He threw, in his own words, an excellent ball in nine for a strike, and, now, just three strikes away from a first-ever perfect game, Koenig’s first of the last three balls in 10 was right down the middle.
The left corner pin wobbled, but this time it didn’t go down. He missed the pin with his second ball in 10, leaving Koenig at 399, but picked it clean with his last ball for a 401.
“Leaving the corner pin is part of the game and I was disappointed in not getting the perfect game,” smiled Koenig. “It would have been nice, but I still get excited about rolling 400.”
Even though he missed an official perfect game (12 strikes in same game), Koenig finished the second game with five straight strikes, so he did roll 14 consecutive strikes over two games.
And while he may have been disappointed at not getting the perfecto, his father was thrilled with his son’s 400 effort.
“He’s getting better all the time,” laughed Tom Koenig. “It was pretty neat to watch it.”
Barry Koenig finished the year with a 245 average. Witnessing the 401 game, besides his father, were Team Aflac co-horts Dawn Gilbert, Roger Knox, spare Matt Eisenhauer and Koenig’s younger brother, Rod.
“They are a complex variety of individuals,” laughed Barry about his teammates. “Bowling with Rod is excellent. When I moved to Salmon Arm, the only time I would see him would be at the (family) cabin (on Okanagan Lake). He needed a spare for a month, I filled in, then somebody quit, so now I see Rod every week. I come in every Thursday and my team is simply a lot of fun.”