Devyn Bartlett has bowled the best game ever at the lanes in Hay River.
On Feb. 22, he rolled 425, which is the highest score for five-pin bowling recorded at Lizard’s Lounge & Lanes since it opened in the mid-1980s.
A perfect game would be 450, meaning 12 strikes in a row.
“I got 10 strikes in a row,” said Bartlett. “So the first frame and the last ball I didn’t get a strike, and that was it.”
The previous record at Lizard’s was 418, which was rolled by Len Klause on March 31, 2000.
Bartlett’s highest previous score was 329, which made the 425 all the more unexpected.
“I just really didn’t believe it,” he said. “I got the first 300 ever for me this year. My previous high score from last year was 299. So for it going to 300 and then straight to 400, it’s kind of surprising for me.”
And the 18-year-old has no real explanation of how he leapt up to 425.
“I was just on the middle, and just felt good,” he said.
Such a high score also gives Bartlett a new target whenever he will bowl in the future.
“It’s always going to be in my mind that maybe I can beat it today,” he said. “It’s not likely it will happen anytime soon, but it doesn’t hurt to think that.”
Now that he has hit 425 is a perfect 450 a possibility?
“I hope so,” he said.
Bartlett has been bowling since he was four years old and he bowls as much as he can.
“I just find it fun,” he said. “I’ve been to multiple events across Canada for bowling. So it’s just an enjoyable thing for me, an enjoyable sport.”
Bartlett will be competing in Ottawa later this month and at the nationals with the NWT team in Oshawa, Ont., in May.
“It’s more or less bowling for fun and going to competitions when I can, if I make it,” he said.
There is a sign above each of the six bowling lanes at Lizard’s marking the highest score on that particular lane.
Bartlett rolled his near perfect game on lane three, which previously had a record of 387 from Feb. 19, 1992, also by Len Klause.
When Devyn Barlett’s name is placed above lane three, he will be joining a family member with a name above the lanes.
“My Dad’s name is on lane one,” he said. “When I first started bowling, I noticed his name was up there. And I just decided that I wanted to beat that.
“It’s been 14 or 15 years now that I’ve been trying to beat his game. So I’m glad I can say I finally did it.”
His father, Ken Bartlett, rolled a score of 385.
Tina Gauthier, the manager of Lizard’s Lounge and Lanes, said it was exciting when Devyn Bartlett rolled his 425.
“That’s all star,” she said.
Gauthier confirmed that there has never been a perfect game at Lizard’s Lounge & Lanes.