Kegler Kings: Viking Bowl sees two 300 games in six months

By Cara L. Dempski

COLFAX — Very few are ever fortunate enough to bowl a perfect 300 game.

But that’s what a pair of Colfax bowlers did.

The Viking Bowl and Lounge in Colfax has produced two such bowlers in just the past six months.

Logan Whinnery and Tom E. Knutson, both of Colfax, are the two most recent bowlers to earn perfect games at the Colfax bowling alley. Whinnery’s 300 game came October 13 of last year and Knutson scored his perfect game and a 770 series this past month on February 23.

Whinnery, whose grandparents owned the original Viking Bowl, said he has been bowling since he could walk but only bowled his first perfect game ever last fall.

“I’ve had some close ones, but it can get nerve-wracking,” Whinnery said. “It all needs to come together in the 10th frame. You hope it doesn’t get too quiet because a lot of people like to watch.”

The bowler said the night of his perfect game, everything seemed like it was coming to him very easily. Whinnery explained he was grateful his fellow bowlers more or less minded their own business, because he said he would have gotten even more nervous if he knew people were watching him.

While Whinnery is glad to have gotten his first perfect game, he does not think he will see another one any time soon. He bowls in several leagues at Viking Bowl, and used to bowl in a Chetek league as well.

Knutson has been bowling for approximately 35 years, but did not see his first 300 until last month. 

“You can get eight (strikes) in a row, but after that it’s tough to get,” Knutson said. “Everything has to roll right.”

He indicated the 10th frame can be particularly nerve-wracking, because usually everyone at the alley is watching by that point. Knutson said he has seen as many as 40 people watching other bowlers inch closer to the perfect bowling score.

Knutson said he started in bowling because one of his friends needed him to substitute for him in a league and he has been bowling ever since. Knutson too has bowled in Chetek in the past, but seems content to stick with bowling in Colfax now.

Knutson laughed and said he cannot play softball any longer, so he bowls. You can be any age and still be good at it, and he noted there are several people playing in leagues at Viking Bowl who are in their 80s.

“It’s a great game, and we’re lucky to have a great bowling alley,” Knutson finished.