ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Since 1996, when he turned 15, Chuck Fischerkeller has bowled 51 perfect games in league or tournament bowling along with 36 sanctioned 800 series.
His latest sanctioned 300 game came last Tuesday during league action at St. Clair Lanes.
Fischerkeller, 32, was introduced to the sport at age 11 by Keith Craycraft, owner of Bruce Lanes in New Martinsville. Craycraft was a successful bowler as a member of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) tour in the 1970s.
The first perfect game was the most exciting, Fischerkeller said. It came just just four years into the sport when he was a student at Magnolia High School. He credits his success to the tutelage of Craycraft.
"He spent a lot of time working with me, teaching me technique and correcting my form,"Fischerkeller said.
The St. Clairsville resident travels to numerous regional tournaments each year, including a couple in Las Vegas and has made it into the prize money at a PBA tournament. His latest venture was to the Proprietors Cup held mid-July at Beaver-Vu Bowl in Beavercreek, Ohio, which is a suburb of Dayton.
A member of the Turbo Grips All-Stars that bowled in the Ace Mitchell Team Challenge, Fischerkeller bowled with PBA legend Wayne Webb, Mason Brantley, John Postle, and Ron Napiewocki. The team finished in sixth place out of 64 amateur and professional teams at the Ace Mitchell Team Challenge, bowling a 3,893.
In the Proprietors' Cup, Fischerkeller bowled his way back from a rocky start to earn 17th place to make the cut into the finals but faded that Sunday and settled for 23rd place.
Fischerkeller has won numerous West Virginia state titles, including three doubles titles, all with different partners. His first W.Va. crown came when he was in high school and it won him a ticket to the nationals in Reno, Nev. In addition, he has been a member of two state champion teams and was All-Events Champion in 2012 winning the combined title on singles, doubles and team scoring.
His wife, Katie, is the bowling coach for Union Local High School and also coaches youth leagues during the summer months. She admits she never bowled before meeting her husband but has become an avid participant and both encourage others to take up the sport, especially children.
"It is a great sport," Chuck said. "It is an activity that a family can enjoy together."
He aspires to someday make the PBA circuit, but for now continues to practice and improve his game and volunteers his time to help his wife tutor local youth bowlers.