David Noll and his Graham Tire bowling team entered the Iowa State Bowling Tournament in Waterloo hoping for a few good scores, and a good time.
Instead, 1,200 of the state's top bowling teams wound up getting more than they bargained for from Noll's team, which also included Steve Vossburg, Reas Hoops, Jake Noll and Jamie Butler. All are Storm Lakers, except, Jake Noll, who lives in Sioux City.
Paced by a 727 series from Hoops and two series in the 680s, Graham Tire surprised the tourney field by taking home the state championship.
"It's something that we never really expected or anticipated, a complete surprise," Dave Noble said this week. "It just happened that a couple guys started clicking and the other guys followed with good scores."
In firing his 727, Hoops had eight strikes in a row in one game, Dave Noll said. Butler came within a nose of a second 700 series, firing a 685. Jake Noll, Dave's son, bowled a 681 series.
"Jamie and Reas were the first to put up some great scores," Dave Noll said. "They got on a hot streak, and the other guys on the team followed that same type of streak."
Dave Noll shot 56 pins better than his average, pitching in with a 639. Vossburg fired a 521.
The team's total score of 3342 was a new state record and beat the second-place team by over 150 pins.
"(A state championship) is always nice to have for anybody, because you can always say you're won at the state level," David Noll said. "It's a feather in our team's cap, but also a feather in the caps of all Storm Lake Bowlers."
To set a state record is especially satisfying, Noll said, but nobody on the team saw it coming.
It's easy to see why. Dave and Jake Noll, Butler and Hoops all average around 190, which would expand to a series average of 580. Vossburg, meanwhile, averages about 160.
Dave Noll added that his team will go for a second straight state championship this winter.
"We have some bragging rights until then," he said with a chuckle. "But we feel defending our championship is something we should do.
"We know other teams will be shooting for us, but we're just going to relax and have fun, which was what we did this season," Noll added.