Article by Racine Journal Times
Article originally appeared on January 15, 2009.

Burlington sophomore Cotie Holbek had the day of his life at Towne & Country Lanes last week.

The 15-year-old bowler shot his first 300 game and national honor series Jan. 7 while bowling in the T&C Majors junior league. He opened his 829 series with the perfect game, shot 230 in the second game and came within a pin of another perfect game in the third game with a 299.

He has shot 300s and 800s in practice, he said, but since this was for league play, he was excited. “I came in the office after the first game and said (to Theresa Riemer, the general manager of T&C) ‘I did it,’ “ Holbek said. “She said ‘you have to be kidding,’ I was shaking. “I knew about it ahead of time that it didn’t count, but I knew Merrill (Draper, the owner of T&C) would recognize it.”

But that’s the only recognition he will get for his achievement.

His name and score is on the honor score board at Towne & Country and the score counted for league play, but because he didn’t bowl with the rest of his league — he had to attend a funeral during the regular league time Saturday — he is not eligible for awards from the United States Bowling Congress.

Holbek’s previous high was a 779 series that included a 290 game. He was averaging 202 in the league through Jan. 3.

Holbek works part-time at the lanes as a counter person and a pinchaser and learned to bowl through his late grandfather, Ed “Frito” Wagner, who passed away June 2. Holbek is a member of the Burlington varsity boys bowling team, which is fourth in the latest Wisconsin High School Bowling Club District 3A standings posted at Holbek, who bowls the anchor position for the Demons in the Baker format, ranks second in strike percentage (64.6) and sixth in spares fill percentage (89.0) in the district.