DYER | During his younger days, veteran bowler Chuck Sons Jr. didn't have a textbook backswing.
He didn't even have a comic-book one as it was hard to illustrate let alone describe.
"I was just trying to put more speed on the ball," said the right-handed Sons, who used to curl and nearly cup the ball behind and above his head before sending it down the lane.
"People were always telling me I should fix it, but I thought of it as my own unique style," Sons said.
It was hard to argue with success. Even during the days of spotty lane conditions and lower-tech equipment, Sons was a consistent top scorer with a resounding strike ball backed by reliable spare marksmanship.
"But I got a little smarter," Sons said. "I knew I couldn't keep throwing the ball the way I did.
"I'm a little more conventional now. There's still a twist to my backswing, but not much."
The 47-year-old Dyer man is enjoying the best season of his league bowling career. In Tuesday Night Men's League action at Stardust III in Dyer, Sons has thrown two 300 (perfect) games. And while rolling with the Thursday Night Memorial Men's League, also at Stardust III, Sons has a 223 average.
"That's the highest of my career," said Sons, who has nine sanctioned 300 games as well as 12 award rings.
"I think it's my equipment (Sons uses Track bowling balls) and the much better lane conditions," Sons said. "Houses put more oil out there to preserve the lanes better than they used to."
Sons also credits the guidance from Wally Galka, owner of Galka's Pro Shop in Dyer, his longtime friend and former league teammate Mark Timmons, "who has been one of my biggest supporters," younger brother Mike, and his father, Chuck Sons Sr.
"He's the one who introduced me to bowling and got me started," Sons said of his father. "He doesn't bowl any more, but I've been bowling for 37 years and he's backed me all the way."
Sons doesn't plan to stop rolling soon as his voice-mail greeting indicates.
"I'm either bowling, golfing or at work, but leave a message and I'll get back to you soon," the recording says.
"Yeah, I love golf," Sons said, "but I'm a much better bowler."