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Bowling: Big scorers in Southland? They’ve got it covered

Chris Schuch (from left) KevKullman Tom Finnen Jr. | Tony Baranek/Sun-Times Media

Chris Schuch (from left), Kevin Kullman and Tom Finnen Jr. | Tony Baranek/Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 28, 2014 6:17AM



Tom Finnen Jr. shot his first 300 game when he was 16 years old. On Jan. 10, at age 45, he shot his 89th.

Chris Schuch threw a perfect game at the 2013 United States Bowling Congress Open Championship in Reno, Nev.

Kevin Kullman was the Chicagoland Bowling Association Bowler of the Year in 2010.

Together, they represent the very best of Southland league bowling at the halfway mark of the 2013-14 season. Each is averaging 243 at his respective house: Kullman at Centennial Lanes, Schuch at Orland Bowl and Finnen at Lynwood Bowl.

Finnen, of Orland Park, has seven 300 games and three 800 series this season. He carries the 243 in the Al Motz Classic League at Lynwood.

Finnen, who was a student at Andrew High School when he tossed his first perfect game, chose bowling over baseball.

“Bowling was just more fun, to be honest,” Finnen said. “I just had more fun being at the bowling center than being outside. When it’s summer out, I enjoy the weather. But when it’s cold outside I need something to do. Bowling was the way to do that.”

In 2010, Finnen won the annual Beat the Champions competition, with games of 298, 194, 287 and 279 at Classic Bowl in Morton Grove.

“It was the greatest feeling in the world not only winning, but with my family being there,” Finnen said.

Schuch, 28, has 19 career perfect games and 24 career 800 series. The Oak Lawn resident was a varsity bowling team member at Brother Rice from 2000 through ’04, competing in the state finals all four years.

He bowls with a two-handed delivery.

“I’m not the strongest guy in the world, so it’s easier for me to throw that way,” said Schuch, who competes in the Wednesday Men’s League at Orland. “The advantage is that I have a higher rev rate than normal players, and I have a higher carry percentage.

“Everybody always asks, ‘Why don’t you bowl regionals and bowl PBA tournaments?’ But a good saying I use is that I’m the Reggie Miller of bowling and the pros are Michael Jordan, and as many know Reggie doesn’t have titles and M.J. has six.

“I bowl because I love the friends I have made during the many years I have bowled. It’s just a hobby that I love, and it just so happens I’m naturally good at it.”

Kullman, 26, said his experience in bowling in PBA regionals — most recent in the PBA World Series of Bowling — has translated into the highest average he’s ever carried in his Thursday night Miller Men’s League at Centennial.

“The PBA patterns are a lot harder compared to your Monday through Friday league patterns,” he said. “They make you throw quality shots and be more consistent.

“Another thing is that I’ve got really good teammates, guys I’ve been bowling with for eight years. They know how hard I work to be where I am, and they don’t let me settle for anything less.”

The T.F. South graduate and Lockport resident has 40 perfect games and 19 career 800 series. He owns the house series record (876) at Orland Bowl. On Feb. 16, he shot back-to-back 300 games en route to a Beat the Champs 856 series. Kullman also has a second-place finish in the 2013 PBA Mike Jankovsky Allstate Agent Midwest Open.

No-tappers notice

Palos Lanes is taking entries for the 26th annual February No-Tap Doubles Tournament. There will be three divisions, based on entering averages. Rules and entry forms are available at
www.paloslanes.net.

For information, call (708) 974-3200.



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