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Great Falls' Quinby family racking up perfect games at the lanes

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Posted at 5:09 PM, Apr 15, 2021

GREAT FALLS -- Many good bowlers will never roll a perfect game in their lifetimes - but the Quinby family of Great Falls has reached the 300-game milestone a combined six times in the past eight months alone.

Steve Quinby (age 32) and John Quinby (35) have torn up the lanes in Great Falls this season, each posting three 300-games.

“I got one in September, one in October, and then John shot three since February, and then a week later I got my third of the year,” Steve said. “It’s been pretty awesome. Not a lot of people can say that they've done it three times in a year, let alone two family members do it three times in a year. It's pretty cool.”

Steve hit the 300-point milestone for the first time in 2016 before rolling three more this season bringing his lifetime total to four. John reached 300 for the first time on Valentine’s Day of 2021 at Little's Lanes in downtown Great Falls and couldn’t contain his emotions after the final frame.

“As soon as that ball hit and all 10 of the pins went back, I just lost it. I honestly started to cry a little bit,” John said. “It was one of the greatest feelings I've had in my life. My kids being born was definitely better. But to finally get that first one, it just felt great.”

But it’s no surprise to one veteran bowler, their father Wayne (63), who was quick to embrace his kids after each game.

“I’m a proud papa, I guess you could say, because they'd tried so hard for a long time to get it,” Wayne said. “There’s a ton of good bowlers in Great Falls, a ton of them. And to see my boys up there and both of them are high-caliber now, they're doing something right.”

But John and Steve have a long way to go before they reach dad’s record of 11 perfect games in sanctioned events during his time stationed in North Dakota and retiring to Great Falls. Mostly John and Steve are just glad that Wayne and their mother Debbie passed on their love of the sport to them.

“Actually in our basement, when we were growing up, we made a bowling lane. We took some masking tape and marked out a lane in the basement,” John said. “And we used to use my mom's hair drier as a pin setter. We put bowling pins in it and turned it on to sound like a pin setter making noise. It’s been a family affair our entire lives.”

And the Quinby family bowling legacy might add a new chapter soon. John’s 5-year-old daughter, Charlotte, has tried her hand in junior events at the lanes. And it might not be long before she puts up a perfect score..

“Oh yeah,” laughed John. “Maybe by the time she's 10 or 11.”

Though the brothers are close, there’s a bit of a sibling rivalry. Steve has more career 300 games, but John has more 800 series.

But that competition and camaraderie keeps pushing the family to get better.

"They want a bowl 300 every game,” Wayne laughed. “My goal is to beat them, at least one game out of a three-game set every time we bowl together. And lately I've been able to get them at least one game.”