“Moline bowler Randy Hawk was on strike Saturday at the Family Fun Center. But instead of holding out for more money like Major League Baseball players, the 16-year-old Moline High School junior was holding nothing back as a huge crowd looked on.
Hawk hit on 32 of a possible 36 strikes in action at the Foul Play Junior Youth League, capping a record-setting series of 864 with the second 300-game of his young career.
“I don’t know what happened. Something just got into me,” laughed Hawk, who started the series with games of 279 and 285.
“It was kind of weird. I didn’t think much about shooting an 800 series. I was more focused on the 300 game. I kept on striking and kind of lost track. I kind of amazed myself.”
Hawk’s out-of-sight series set the Illinois state YABA record, breaking the previous mark of 846. It also ranks in a tie for fifth on the all-time YABA national list — 888 is the all-time best — and the 864 might even stand as the best score ever rolled on a local lane, junior or adult.
“As far as we know it’s a Junior Bowling record locally,” said Cal Whitmore, a longtime Q-C bowling secretary who for the past 17 years has written a bowling column for The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus.
“I’m the secretary of the best league in town and an 837 has been our all-time high. And, truthfully, I don’t recall any of the local adults bowling anything higher than this.”
When told his series might rank as the area’s all-time top effort, the right hander showed his age.
“That’s pretty cool,” said Hawk, whose all-time high had been a 715 last October, when he rolled a pair of 700s in a week.
The folks at the Family Fun Center thought the youngster’s effort was “pretty cool” too. It seems once word spread that Hawk was on a roll, a crowd began to gather.
Yet Hawk kept his cool.
“It’s hard to describe really. It was nuts. Everybody was going crazy, cheering. People were really excited,” he said.
“I got a lot of high fives and hugs after the 300 game. It was a crazy, great atmosphere.”
Standing among the euphoric masses was Randy’s dad, longtime local bowler Rod Hawk.
The elder Hawk, a career 200 bowler and one of the finest competitors in the area, grabbed headlines a few years back for stringing together a Q-C record 17 strikes during one series.
But, it seems, even Rod Hawk was speechless after his son’s super series.
“Dad really didn’t say much,” laughed Randy, who has been following in his father’s bowling shoes since he was 9.
“All he really could get out was `Wow!’ I guess he couldn’t believe it either.”
Later that afternoon, Randy admitted he was “still kind of in shock” while competing in his Saturday afternoon league.
But while Randy rolled “just” a 527 to follow up his super morning series, it was still a near-perfect day for the Moline teen.”
-The Rock Island Argus
September 19, 1994