Editor’s note: Lane Lafler is the Cedar Rapids USBC Bowling Association director.
By Lane Lafler, community contributor
CEDAR RAPIDS — Strength in numbers.
Most Eastern Iowans would be stunned to learn that on any given week there are more than 4,000 individuals across the greater Cedar Rapids Metro area bowling in a variety of leagues.
Five of those 4,000-plus recently accomplished an amazing feat, breaking a record that had stood since March 2005. The Lancer Pro Shop team bowls together just once a week, but scored a combined scratch series of 3806 on Feb. 7, 2014 in the May City Majors, beating the previous record by 24 pins and missing a state record by 17.
Lancer Pro Shop carries a team average of 1157. The members, all from the Cedar Rapids area, are Kirk Hauskins, Marcus Mitts, Mike Robinson, Eric Schild and team captain Andy Staub. The five have been bowling together for the last four years and call themselves “naturally competitive.”
They all bowl in several leagues each week.
“We just want to win,” Robinson said of the team’s success.
While the members of Lancer Pro Shop have changed over the almost 20 years the team has existed, Robinson said it has “always been the team you want to be on.”
The city record consisted of team games of 1237, 1298 and 1271. Hauskins led the team with games of 279, 289 and 279 for an 847 series. Staub wasn’t far behind at 816 with games of 237, 289 and 290. Robinson shot 229, 258 and 238 for 725, Mitts rolled a 713 series with games of 257, 225 and 231 and Schild rolled a 705 (235, 237 and 233).
The 3806 total ranks third nationally this season.
“There’s a strategy to it,” Mitts said of the team’s success. “We help each other by communicating the lane conditions.”
Robinson said “veterans like Eric, Andy and Kirk are really knowledgeable on reading your ball reaction and helping you make adjustments.
“Depending on who we’re bowling and how that team likes to play the lanes will also change our plan,” he added. “The other challenge is that we’re usually up against significant handicap due to our high team average. Our goal is to always knock off the handicap fast.”
It’s not all business, however.
“I do it more for the friends,” Mitts said.
“It’s not nearly as fun if you’re not bowling against people you’re friends with,” Robinson said.
More than friends, it’s a family affair.
“Our wives come out and watch,” Robinson said. “A lot of times they might not have any idea if we’re bowling well or not.”“Yeah, I shot 300 the other night and my wife didn’t even come down to congratulate me,” Mitts said.