Three generations of the Schultz family enjoy sport of bowling
JANESVILLE Bowling is a cherished hand-me-down for Janesville’s Schultz family.
The sport has been passed from father Carl to his sons, Steve and Dennis, who passed it on to their sons, Stevie, Zach and David.
The three generations of Schultzes bowl together at RiversEdge in the Wednesday Independent League.
“It’s a good time and a lot of fun bowling with my dad, grandfather and uncle,” said Stevie, 27, a 2003 Parker High graduate and a former starting quarterback for the Vikings.
Although Stevie, who began bowling in men’s leagues after high school, downplays the competition, he does enjoy rolling better numbers than his father.
“There is a little bit of competition between my father and me,” said Stevie, who works for a heating and cooling company in Madison. “It’s nothing extreme, but we try to beat each other, and more often it’s me beating him.’’
Stevie has rolled five 300s and four 800 series and was the 2011 city scratch singles champion.
“It was pretty cool,” Stevie said about winning his city title. “My dad was there to watch me. I got a lot of praise from people, and it made me feel good about myself.’’
Stevie’s dad holds a 201 average on Wednesdays, and Stevie maintains a 220. Carl holds a 158. Dennis and David are team substitutes. Zach, 24, is a Fond du Lac policeman and no longer bowls with the family.
Steve, 53, said his father, Carl, 72, who has bowled for 50 years, brought him to the old Franklin Gardens when he was 4 years old to learn to bowl. In 1976, Steve began bowling with his father in the Sportsman’s 800 League at El-Ra.
“Back in the ’70’s, my dad held the high series of 640 and 650,” Steve said of Carl, who bowled with his wife, Jeananne. “He’s proud of his first 300. He used a rubber ball.’’
Steve’s bowling career has included an appearance on the old Bowling with the Champs television show staged in Milwaukee on Sunday morning.
“I still have the tape,” Steve said. “My whole family was there, and Tom Jones (RiversEdge proprietor) was in my corner.’’
Steve rolled the first of his three 300s bowling with his wife, Jean, in a couples league in 1986. Steve has rolled a pair of 800 series, a half-dozen 299s and “a basket full of 279s.”
Like his father, Steve packed up his boys and registered them in youth bowling.
“The kids went through junior bowling at RiversEdge, and Zach did high school bowling for a couple years,” Steve said.
“I went when I was 5,” Stevie said. “We would get down (RiversEdge) early, and I’d help blow up the bumpers.’’
Jamie Jones, RiversEdge manager, remembers bowling with the Schultz boys and values the friendship built with the family through the years.
“We’ve been friends for a long time,” Jones said. “I’ve bowled with Steve and Steve Jr. at the state tournament. It’s good to call them my friends.’’
Besides the weekly bowling, the Schultzes enjoy competing in the state bowling tournament.
“We went to the state tournament in Green Bay, and a bowler was surprised to see three generations bowling together,” Dennis said. “He said, ‘Wow, you don’t see this often. It’s a rarity to see a whole family on a team.’’
Family bowling is a perfect game for the Schultz family.