Tim Smith is in the process of making high school bowling history, and it is time to start paying attention.
The West Islip senior has thrown an unprecedented three 300 games this season and has a Long Island-best 252.87 average through 30 games.
No bowler in state history has thrown more than two 300’s in a season, according to the United States High School Bowling Foundation record book. The highest average in a season by a high school bowler nationally is 252.1, according to the USHSBF. That was set by Nick Sommer of Winnebago County, Illinois during the 2015-16 season.
The top average for a season in New York is 244, and was accomplished by Plainview Old-Bethpage JFK’s Matt Farber during the 2011-12 season.
"It would mean a lot to set the national and state record for average. That is my biggest hope for the season," Smith said. "I’ve still got a few more matches to go, and I hope to perform great in those matches to achieve my goal."
West Islip has four matches remaining. It will face East Islip at AMF Babylon Lanes on Tuesday and Bay Shore on Thursday at Bowlero Sayville. The team will conclude its season with contests against Copiague on Tuesday, Jan. 25 at Babylon and against Central Islip on Thursday, Jan. 27at East Islip Lanes.
Smith’s first 300 of the season came on Dec. 9 in Game 1 against host East Islip. The second was on Dec. 16 in Game 3 against Copiague at Babylon, and the third occurred on Jan. 11 in Game 2 against West Babylon at Babylon.
He rolled an 847 series against West Babylon with a 268 in Game 1 and a 279 in Game 3. It is the highest series on Long Island this season and the fourth-best three-game series in state history, according to the USHSBF.
"Knowing the amount of practice I put in makes the 300’s feel even better than they already are," Smith said. "They’re still very nerve-wracking and they always will be. I am filled with joy and happiness, especially with how crazy and hectic this year has been, as I try to figure out my future."
Smith has improved his average each year on varsity. He recorded a 210.60 in his freshman season, a 217.33 as a sophomore and a 223.59 as a junior.
"Knowing that this was my last year to go out with a bang, I have put myself on the lanes more than ever before," Smith said. "I was also able to lose over 80 pounds during the course of the last two years and got myself in better shape to perform at a higher level."
How much higher can he go?
Mr. 300’s and 299’s
In addition to Smith’s three perfect games this season, there have been four other 300 games in boys bowling on Long Island. East Islip’s Matthew Sundberg, Patchogue Medford’s Jason Bennett and Central Islip’s Zackary Tolan and Stephen Russell each accomplished the feat this winter.
There have been two more close calls this season. Smithtown’s Joshua Bholan and Bethpage’s Brian Lunetto each rolled a 299. Bholan and Lunetto each had 11 strikes in a row to begin their games, prior to knocking down 9 of 10 pins on their final throw.