The adage that “father knows best” came true in staggering fashion as Deck went out and delivered strikes on all 36 balls he threw that night to record a 900 series during the Summer Chase the Cash league at Rose City Bowl in New Castle, Indiana.
Deck, a 44-year-old right-hander, has been a competitive bowler for many years, carrying a 200-plus average across multiple leagues and participating in several local and regional tournaments as well; however, until Monday, honor scores had been relatively tough to come by as Deck had just one 300 and one 800 (812) on his bowling resume up to that point.
“After I shot 300 the first game, I thought I had a chance to beat the 812 series I had a couple of years ago, and that was as far down the road as my mind was going at that point,” Deck said. “When I went into the 10th frame of Game 2, I was expecting a 10 pin or something like that to pop up like it usually does, but that just didn’t happen.”
It didn’t, so Deck continued striking as action got underway in Game 3. However, when he reached the middle of that game, the nerves and emotion of all that had taken place so far started to catch up to him.
“When I got to the fifth frame of the third game, I thought I was going to pass out; I felt like I was just about to collapse,” Deck said. “But then it felt like something took over for me. It may sound crazy, but it was like my dad got into my body and threw the last five-six shots for me.”
When those final shots were thrown and all of the pins had fallen, Deck was left to come to grips with the enormity of what he had just accomplished, which is something he is still trying to do several days later.
“I never would’ve thought in a million years that I’d shoot a 900,” Deck said. “When it happened, I knew it would be a big deal, but I never imagined anything like this. It means the world to me to be part of such a small number of bowlers to have done it.”
Deck has always wondered what it would be like to give professional bowling a try as he’s had multiple friends and fellow bowlers suggest that it’s something he should consider. Deck acknowledged that shooting 900 doesn’t automatically mean that he’s ready to bowl with the pros; Nevertheless, he also pointed out that his accomplishment did land on the radar of some of the Professional Bowlers Association Tour’s biggest stars.
“EJ Tackett and Ronnie Russell reached out to me, and they said that they’d be nervous for something like that to happen to them, so for them to contact me shows that this is an even bigger achievement than I thought,” Deck said .
The only problem that Deck has now, from a bowling perspective, is figuring out where to go from here.
“I don’t feel like I’m better than anybody because I bowled 900, but this does make me wonder what my standards should be,” Deck said. “I’m trying to make sense of it all, but I can’t.”
No matter what path Deck’s bowling career follows from this point forward, nobody can ever take away what he accomplished in shooting 900 and the role that his father’s memory may have played in helping him do so.
The series is pending approval from the United States Bowling Congress. If approved, it would be the third perfect set in Indiana and 40th USBC-approved 900 overall.
Bob Kammer Jr. of Crown Point was the first to roll a 900 in the Hoosier State; he accomplished the feat in January of 2011. John Buchanan III of Evansville achieved the perfect set in January of 2017.
The first USBC-approved 900 occurred Feb. 2, 1997, when Jeremy Sonnenfeld rolled three consecutive perfect games in Lincoln, Nebraska.
For more information on any USBC records, visit BOWL.com/Records,
USBC-Approved 900 Series (40)
Jeremy Sonnenfeld (R), Lincoln, Neb., Feb. 2, 1997
Tony Roventini (L), Greenfield, Wis., Nov. 9, 1998
Vince Wood (R), Moreno Valley, Calif., Sept. 29, 1999
Robby Portalatin (L), Jackson, Mich., Dec. 28, 2000
James Hylton (R), Salem, Ore., May 2, 2001
Jeff Campbell II (R), New Castle, Pa., June 12, 2004
Darin Pomije (R), New Prague, Minn., Dec. 9, 2004
Robert Mushtare (R), Fort Drum, NY, Dec. 5, 2005 and Feb. 19, 2006
Lonnie Billiter Jr. (R), Fairfield, Ohio, Feb. 13, 2006
Mark Wukoman (R), Greenfield, Wis., April 22, 2006
PJ Giesfeldt (R), Milwaukee, Dec. 23, 2006
Rich Jerome Jr. (R), Baltimore, Dec. 22, 2008
Chris Aker (L), Winnemucca, Nev., Oct. 30, 2009
Andrew Teall (R), Medford, NJ, Nov. 2, 2009
Andrew Mank (R), Belleville, Ill., March 18, 2010
William Howell III (L), Middletown, NY, Oct. 21, 2010
Matt Latarski (R), Medina, Ohio, Nov. 28, 2010
Bob Kammer Jr. (R), Crown Point, Ind., Jan. 8, 2011
John Martorella Sr. (R), Greece, NY, April 12, 2012
Jimmy Schmitzer (R), Riverside, Calif., April 20, 2012
James Williams (R), Pawcatuck, Conn., (bowled in Wakefield, RI), April 16, 2013
Joe Scarborough (R), Charlotte, NC, (bowled in The Villages, Fla.), April 21, 2013
Todd James (R), East New Market, Md., (bowled in Laurel, Del.), March 18, 2014
Amos Gordon (R), Colorado Springs, Colo., April 11, 2014
Earon Vollmar (R), Toledo, Ohio, Jan. 19, 2015
Hakim Emmanuel (R), Stoughton, Mass., Feb. 19, 2015
David Sewesky (L), Dearborn, Mich., Jan. 10, 2016
Dale Gerhard (R), Mill Hall, Pa., Jan. 12, 2016
Sean Osbourn (R), Houston, Nov. 21, 2016
John Buchanan III (R), Evansville, Ind., Jan. 11, 2017
Sam Esposito (R), Homer Glen, Ill., Feb. 3, 2017
Brady Stearns (R), St. Cloud, Minn., March 28, 2017
Joe Novara (R), East Patchogue, NY, Oct. 16, 2017
Jonathan Wilbur (R), North Clarendon, Vt., Jan. 14, 2019
Jeremy Milito (L), Holbrook, NY, April 25, 2019
Wesley Low Jr. (L), Palmdale, Calif. (bowled in Glendale, Ariz.), July 19, 2020
Cody Schmitt (R), Elkhart Lake, Wis., Nov. 16, 2021
Stephen Kosela (R), Ambridge, Pa., March 13, 2022
Bryan Deck (R), New Castle, Ind., June 20, 2022**
,Pending formal approval by the United States Bowling Congress