LaSalle-Peru's Stubler rolls to state title, record showing
The school of hard knocks has taught Nate Stubler well.
Last year, as a junior, the LaSalle-Peru bowling star led the field after the first day of the ISHA state tournament, only to slip a bit on day two before ultimately allowing his yearlong goal of a state title to fall by the wayside. He posted a fourth-place finish overall.
All this season, Coach Bob Stubler has seen a different side of his son, and that change of attitude was never clearer than at St. Clair Bowl in O’Fallon for the state tournament.
“He’s had the eye of the tiger all year and his intensity has only been building,” the coach told the Illinois Valley Times.
In easily lapping the field, Nate Stubler became the first bowler to roll back-to-back 300 games and back-to-back 800 series in tournament history, setting both state and national records with each mounting strike.
He opened the tournament with games of 269, 269 and 300 for a three-game record total of 837, then finished up with games of 300, 278 and 227 for 805. His overall six-game cumulative score of 1,642 (273.7 average) easily broke the six-game, first-day state record of 1,575, paving the way for his runaway 213-pin victory.
Stubler also set a national high school scoring record for four games (1,137) and five games (1,415).
During one otherworldly stretch, he rolled 34 straight strikes, even impressing his sometimes hard-to-please self with the accomplishment.
“I was just trying to make sure I threw one ball at a time,” Stubler said. “Normally I concentrate on scoring but for this tournament I wanted to make sure I didn’t get too far ahead of myself. I wanted to make sure I was right there in the moment.”
After last year’s day two drop-off, Stubler wanted to make sure to leave absolutely nothing to chance.
“Last year, I may have relaxed a bit because I thought I had such a cushion,” he said. “This time around, I approached each day like we were restarting the tournament again, where everybody was all even.”
And with that, Stubler accomplished his dream of a state title, a goal he’s had since he was a freshman -- and really since he began bowling at age 2 at the Super Bowl of Peru bowling alley his parents own.
"They built it almost 30 years ago, and I think I’ve been in there every day I’ve been alive,” he joked.
From here, the young bowler will be taking his talents to St. Ambrose University in Iowa, where he plans to major in accounting and continue specializing in bowling.
“Watching him out there in the state tournament, I was definitely more proud to be his dad than his coach,” Bob Stubler said. “With what he doing, throwing strike after strike, it wasn’t about coaching him anymore. But through it all, I get to be one proud father.”