Windahl follows tradition

The Mining Journal's reporter Steve Brownlee receives a Good News Awards from Bishop James Garland during a lunch and awards ceremony Wednesday at the Landmark Inn in Marquette. (Journal photo by Dave Edwards)

It’s all in the family for Western Michigan University student Tyler Windahl.

Windahl, a 2014 graduate of Negaunee High School, bowled his first perfect 300 game during a session of the Tuesday Major League at River Rock Lanes the week before Christmas.

He’s home on semester break right now and had only rolled three or four games previous to his league session this season while at the Ishpeming center a few days earlier.

Windahl bowled on the Ishpeming-Negaunee high school bowling team for his first three years of high school, following older brother Jordan Windahl, who I believe was on the team for four years.

Mom, Diana Windahl, had the highest women’s three-game series in the Upper Peninsula for more than a decade. Her 779 is still the highest bowled in this area.

And then there’s his dad, Steve Windahl. I’ve lost count lately, but I know his 300 total numbers in the 20s while his three-game series of 800 are in the teens, including what held as the area’s and probably U.P.’s best of 857 for nearly two decades.

“Yeah, it’s neat because it’s a tradition for my family,” Tyler Windahl said about his own 300.

He added that he’s seen one of his father’s perfect games in person.

In addition, Tyler was substituting for his father that night on the Windahl Construction team his older brother is also a member of. And Tyler used a ball that used to belong to his dad.

“I’m not exactly sure what the name of it is, but it’s a pearl (cover),” Tyler said, adding his father gave it to him about a year ago.

The 300 was the opening game of a 707 series that was followed with 191 and 216.

“I was good until after I threw the first ball in the 10th (frame),” Tyler said about keeping his nerves in check.

“I started to shake a little when I got up to throw the 11th one, then it got real bad for the 12th one.”

Though No. 11 was a tad heavy in the pocket, he said all three strikes in the 10th frame fell pretty quickly.

He credits getting through the nerves to some high school sports experiences in similar situations.

“The closest I can compare it to is being at Ford Field or the Breslin Center,” he said, referring to several trips with the Ishpeming High School football team at the state football finals in Detroit, and in his senior year with the Negaunee High School basketball team to the state semifinals at Michigan State.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net