Dom Strauss’ father, Ryan, is a longtime league bowler who carries an average above 200.
“He’s a pretty good bowler,” Strauss said. “Just recently, I finally passed him up.”
Join the club, dad.
Bowlers of all ages are having difficulty keeping up with the St. Charles East sophomore, who underscored his striking progression with a whopper of a series on Tuesday against St. Charles North.
Strauss rolled a 299 in Game 1, coming one stubborn 10-pin short of his second career 300 game. He proceeded to notch a career high 783 series in East’s victory against the North Stars at Bowling Green Lanes in West Chicago.
As Strauss closed in on a perfect game, Saints and North Stars alike gathered around while East coach Steve Dessauer took video.
“Even some of the North players were giving me high fives and stuff,” Strauss said. “They were friendly and cool about it, I guess you could say.”
While the 300 didn’t materialize – Strauss said his final shot was slightly low in the pocket, leading to the standing 10-pin – already having one perfect game under his belt softened the sting of coming so close on Tuesday.
Strauss rolled a 300 as a freshman last season in a match against South Elgin, and also recorded a previous 299, notched in preseason practice this year.
Strauss was already one of the Saints’ top bowlers as a freshman last year, averaging about 210, and is substantially improved this winter.
Strauss is averaging about 225, just a couple pins ahead of senior Alex Garza.
“We have a real good team this year,” Strauss said. “It’s very helpful to have other bowlers that are just as good if not better than me on the team.”
While Strauss’ sophomore season has been remarkable, his bowling prowess is a long time in the making. He recalled being teammates with his dad, his mother, Patti, and younger sister, Georgia, when he was 8 years old in a family league at St. Charles Bowl.
“I don’t have too many memories of it,” Strauss said. “But what I remember, it was a lot of fun.”
Strauss’ dad is friendly with David Tamraz, a prominent local bowler, and Tamraz worked with Strauss as he prepared for a high school career that could put him in position to take additional steps in the sport.
Strauss hasn’t yet determined whether he wants to pursue college or professional bowling, but he’s on the path toward giving himself plenty of options.
“I had some goals for this year that were set pretty high, and I’ve passed them already, and the season is not even over,” Strauss said.
About a month away from sectionals, there is still time to add a few new objectives. At this point, the sophomore can think big.
Even for a proud bowling family like the Strauss clan, he’s reached uncharted territory.
“I think [my dad] has been very proud to see me get as successful as I’ve gotten at the sport,” Strauss said.
• Jay Schwab is sports editor of the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5382 or firstname.lastname@example.org.