At 22, Chris Barragy has already achieved something many avid bowlers never get to experience-- perfection.
The Clear Laker recently threw a perfect game while competing in men’s league play at Mystic Lanes in Mason City.
Barragy said he knew he had a good game going, but hadn’t really given much thought about being on tract to throw a 300. Looking back, that’s probably how he did it.
“Usually, success is mental,” he said. “The trick is not to over think your next shot.” He tries to combine that advice along with other tips he has learned through the years in his quest for perfection. His next goal is an 800 series, he says. He has already surpassed a 700 series score and his highest has been 755 while playing at The Rose Bowl in Mason City.
“I used to throw straight and hard,” said Barragy, recalling his days participating in the youth bowling league at Lake Lanes. Mentors were on hand at the Saturday youth days to introduce youngsters to the sport and hopefully instill a lifelong love of the sport in them. It definitely worked for Barragy.
“They finally got it through my head to slow down and move the ball. Since then I’ve studied where to stand, how much to move to adjust. There’s probably not a week I don’t go and throw six to 10 games-- sometimes 15 or more.”
Barragy said he doesn’t remember exactly how he was introduced to the sport of bowling, but he credits the youth league at Lake Lanes, along with high school physical education classes held at the former business, for providing him with opportunities to try the sport and realize it was something he could excel in. He participated in the State Youth Bowling Tournament as a teen and has gone on to compete in a pair of City Tournaments offered to North Iowa bowlers. He currently bowls on a team sponsored by the Clear Lake Mirror-Reporter team in men’s league play at Mystic Lanes.
He misses the chance to bowl locally, but notes that Mystic Lanes has become a quality alley. Owners Devin and Michelle Broerman have made several improvements to provide a good atmosphere at their business on the east edge of Mason City, including building new lanes and installing underground ball returns. They must be doing something right-- there are 23 reports of bowlers scoring a 300 game, 800 series, or 11 in a row during the 2012-13 league season which began in September.
Barragy said he is averaging a score of 199 so far this league season, but hopes to bump it upward in these final weeks. Fueled by his 300 game on Feb. 27, he might do it.
The league will wrap up play in April, but Barragy is certain to continue spending time at the alley.
To mark his perfect game, the United State Bowling Congress (USBC) which is the governing body for 10-pin bowling, will award Barragy a ring denoting his achievement.