Olympia’s John Mathias Records Career Bowling Night


“It is what it is.”  Those were John Mathias’ words after shooting his personal high series of 866 (267-299-300) and 20ish 300 game in the WOW league at Bowlero Lanes in Lakewood on September 15.

John, a Thurston County resident, rolled 34 of 36 strikes, leaving only two 10 pins. John bowls with Drew Robertson and Tim and Kandice Britton. John’s score led the team to the second highest team game in the nation this year, 1,034, and first high series (for 3 men and one woman) of 2,990 (a 249 per person average).

“The night was like any other night. I start with a positive attitude and just do my best. ‘It is what it is’ is a phrase you’ll hear from me often. I tend to not make a big deal about mine or my team’s mistakes. I just focus on the next frame. I love bowling and am grateful my mother, Gail Woods, was able to be there that night for motivation,” John reported.

john mathias bowling
John Mathias helped propel his team to the second highest score in the nation.

John grew up across the street from a bowling alley on the east coast, which fostered his love of the game. He has been bowing for nearly 30 years and has acquired more than twenty 300 games and now his second 800 series, the first being 20 years ago. The bulk of his bowling was done in his 20’s while living on the east coast.

John continued, “I haven’t been an avid bowler these last few years. I only bowled about a half season last year, but I have remained passionate about the game. Just two years ago I opened a Papa John’s pizza franchise on the Westside of Olympia. Being a local business owner has had me place weekly bowling aside. I have bowled with some great bowlers in the past and had once aspired to go professional.”

“I felt good and loose that night. I made good shots and carried the hits. Drew bowls anchor and started with 290. I had 267, with a missed 10 pin and 11 strikes. Kandice started with 256, and Tim added 221. We were all smiles knowing we were over 1,000,” recalled John. “Kandice and Tim are young, but have already proven their ability to shoot great scores. It’s awesome to have a female that is fearless, confident and can string strikes.”

“The first game was a really good start but you never know if it will continue. At Bowlero, it is your typical house shot. I’m a big guy and put a lot of hand in the ball when I throw it. I got a new ball (Brunswick Brute Strength) this season, after I was invited to bowl with the Britton’s and Drew. Dan Brathovd of Olympia’s Aztec Lanes drilled them up for me. He did a great job. I shot a 300 in practice the first time I used it,” John said.

bowling high school
The team of Drew Robertson, John Mathias, and Tim and Kandice Brittan snapped a photo of their national ranking score.

Drew added, “Tim and I have been bowling together for the last three years on some very high average teams. We heard about this league and its guaranteed $25,000 pay-out. But it is a mixed league so we needed a female. It was a no-brainer to add Tim’s wife, Kandice, a solid 210 average bowler. She shot 300 and 771 at Westside Lanes two seasons ago. Also, none of our other regular teammates could bowl that night and we were fortunate to find John was available at the last minute. He just started bowling again last year after a five year lay-off.”

“The team started the night with the 1,034 – Tim at 221, Kandice at 256, John at 267, and Drew at 290. John and I threw 11 strikes each with the team striking on 39 of 48 shots,” continued Drew. “The second game was 100 pins lower, but still a very good 928. John starting with the first 11 for 18 strikes in a row before a 10 pin stopped the 300. In the last game, the team rebounded with a 1,028 – Tim at 246, Kandice at 193, John at 300, and Drew at 289 – giving us the current highest four-person series in the nation for this season, 2,990. The all-time USBC record for a 3-man, 1-woman team game is 1,147, and 3,162 for series (a 263.5 avg/person).

“Curtis Messer helped me with my thumb pitch. He could tell my pitches were wrong. I asked him drill me up a ball – his choice. He drilled me up a Hammer Nail. It’s not a popular ball, but the first time I used it I started with the first 17 strikes for a 300/802. That’s the ball I used for the 289 game. I used the Roto-grip Outlaw the first two games,” explained John.

Bowlero Lanes re-opened last year after it was closed mid-season two years ago.  The league includes 28 teams.

Drew Robertson, a lefty, will be teaching some bowling clinics locally during the season this year.

Tim continued with his impression of the series. “I’ve learned one thing bowling with Drew, anything can happen. In the last three years, we’ve shot some of the highest 5-man team scores in Olympia history. Each night we bowl, we know we can shoot a record. Even though it’s a handicap league, we put full effort into each shot. We have fun, and it’s a lot of fun stringing strikes.”

Tim chuckled, “I’m averaging 230 for the first month of league and haven’t shot a 700 yet. I just haven’t found the right angles yet to keep the strings going. I shot two 830+ sets in the Oly Match game tourney a few years ago. It will come again.” Tim bowls with DV8 equipment drilled by Curtis Messer of Axis Point Pro Shop, now at All Star Lanes in Silverdale.

Kandice, recently married to longtime sweetheart Tim added these comments. “I’ve been hearing about these high scores from Tim for years now. And since I work the desk at Westside Lanes with Tim, I’ve seen many 300’s and 800’s. Most league bowlers average under 170. So being on a team like this, with guys that can shoot 300/800 any given night is awesome. Tim and I bowl together every year, but I’ve never been part of a team like this.”

“I got some really great equipment from Axis Point Pro Shop, plus some important instruction from Curtis,” continued Kandice.  “My consistency and scores have gone up dramatically in the last two years. Instead of just bowling socially, I want to ‘compete’ now.”

“It’s a pain bowling with Drew, being lefty and all, it’s so easy on that side,” Kandice joked. “But if you gotta have a lefty on the team, he is the one you want.”

Drew is a certified level one coach and will be conducting multiple instructional clinics in Olympia for the Thurston County USBC throughout this season. A schedule of clinics will be posted on the TCUSBC Facebook page and posted in the bowling centers.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email