Bowling has played a huge role in John Sires’ life and, if not of an illness that cut his career short, he’d likely still be turning heads today.
But Sires’ biggest achievement in the sport may be what he did outside the alley.
The Iowa State USBC Bowling Association will induct Sires into the state Hall of Fame on Saturday. He joins Kay Burke of Marshalltown, Don Meisner of Burlington, Steve Gronshorowski of Dakota City, Neb., Margene Makinster of Waterloo and Paul Roxlau of Burlington in the 2020 class.
Sires, of Marion, rolled his first 300 game in 1962 at the age of 18 and always was one of the top bowlers locally and statewide.
He also owned Sires Bowling Pro Shop, creating a program for youth bowlers to trade in their used equipment for new as they grew. He also coached youth and young adults and always made sure he had time to help — then and even now.
Sires also has sponsored the Sires’ Holiday Tournament for the youth, which will celebrate its 40th year in 2020.
Sire’s highest average was 236 in 2004-05 and he held 200-plus averages since 1975-76. He owns nine 800 series (866 highest in 2009), 13 299s, 15 300s and numerous 11-in-a-row awards. He has competed in numerous local, state and national tournaments.
His current USBC Open Championship average is 220.
Sires was inducted into the Cedar Rapids Bowling Hall of Fame in 1992.
On Jan. 13, in the May City Majors league at May City Bowl, Nguyen Enterprises rolled a city record for high scratch game of 1370.
The previous high game was 1365, also at May City Bowl in 2013.
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Nguyen Enterprises found the line fast and lit up the overhead monitors with massive amount of strikes. They recorded 50 strike and 10 spares. The team had individual games of 258 (Tim Johnson), 279 (Keith Chesmore), 279 (Joel Donner), 256 (Jared Miller) and 298 (Darrin Dohlman).
Nguyen Enterprises shot a scratch 3700 on team games of 1370, 1136 and 1194. The five individuals all had a great evening — Johnson had games of 258, 255 and 245 for 758; Chesmore went 279, 228 and 242 for 749; Donner rolled 279, 223 and 258 for 760; Miller had games of 256, 212 and 226 for 694; and Dohlman rolled 298, 218 and 223 for 739.
The team just missed tying the No. 10 scratch team series of 3712 by 12 pins. The top team series is 3875, set in 2014 also at May City Bowl. It was the highest in the nation that season.
Lane Lafler is a director, Hall of Fame committee member and public relations committee member of the Cedar Rapids USBC Bowling Association.