After hiatus, Doug Brueske rolls a perfect game

It's the second time this Wadena resident has bowled a perfect 300 game

Doug Brueske of Wadena has several accolades from his career in bowling, with the most recent being a second perfect game, which means 12 strikes and 300 points.
Barbie Porter / Wadena Pioneer Journal

WADENA — After an extended hiatus from bowling, Doug Brueske stared down the lane at the last 10 pins standing between him and a perfect game.

“The pins went down – boom, boom, boom,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting to bowl a 300. I hadn’t bowled in two months, and that was my first time out.”

Unlikely as the 71-year-old’s 12 consecutive strikes may have been that fateful night in early March, it wasn’t his first perfect roll.

“I think because it was my second 300, I didn’t feel the pressure,” he said. “I just knew I had to go slow and be deliberate. And, do the same thing I had been doing.”

Brueske’s first 300 game came about when he was playing in three leagues – rolling every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday night.


When Brueske’s second perfect game came to be, his circumstances had changed. He decided to end his league status to free up time to see his granddaughter’s hockey games. However, he offered to play as a substitute instead.

Doug Brueske can pick between a ring or a plaque for his most recent perfect game bowling. He has a ring, but hasn't decided which he will pick.
Barbie Porter / Wadena Pioneer Journal

“I only had 33 games in this season,” he said. “But, I figured out something with the delivery; how to be slower and more deliberate.”

That tweak improved his bowling average, and he believes set him up for another perfect game.

Bowling offers friendships and fun

The retired rural mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service began bowling while in high school. After farm chores were done, the Bertha native lit up the lanes with his friends. The enjoyment of the sport continued throughout his life. Brueske joined men’s leagues, and after marrying his wife Deb, he added mixed-league play to his schedule.

While his skill increased, he kept his first ball, a black Ebonite, that provided a straight-line aim.

“I still use it to pick up (the remaining) pins,” the Wadena resident said, noting he added a second ball to his roster that he unleashes out of the gate and offers a hook.

Regardless of skill level, Brueske said new league members and teams are welcome and can be competitive as there are handicaps that even the playing field.

“Sometimes the novice players help the team more than the big rollers because of the handicap,” he said.


He suggested anyone interested in joining a bowling league stop by the Wadena Lanes and Proshop, 24 Birch Ave. NW, Wadena.

League play starts the first week after Labor Day. Teams can be from three to five members.

Aside from enjoying physical activity by playing a low impact game, Brueske said the league play offers the opportunity to foster or build friendships, as well.

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