Bradshaw is a chip off the old block

Bowling is all in the family for the Bradshaws of Campbell River

Scott Bradshaw

Like father, like son proved to be the rule at Campbell River Bowling Centre for the 2014-15 season.

Scott “Bear” Bradshaw claimed the Monday men’s tenpin league title with a high average of 196, while his father, 67-year-old Allan “Papa Bear” Bradshaw, won the senior men’s high average title with a 181.

Indicating the apple — and the pins — don’t fall far from the tree.

“It was a good year,” said Scott, who began bowling at age 10 and came up through a junior league coached by his father when the family lived in Abbotsford. “Dad really helped me keep calm and relaxed.

“I can get sort of emotional sometimes.”

Allan shrugged off his contribution to the season, in which the two played together on the same Monday Night League team.

“Sometimes when he gets upset he’ll slam his hand on the table,” said Allan. “I told him, ‘If you’re gonna do that, use your left hand; you don’t want to break your bowling hand.”

All kidding aside, the twin titles may well prove to be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence for the father-son duo. Allan Bradshaw moved to Campbell River last year to begin his life in “semi-retirement. Son Scott, a chef who has lived in Campbell River for five years, is planning to relocate to Dawson Creek with his fiancé this fall and take a new job when she begins teaching there.

“I guess I’m going out on top,” Scott joked about his high average award in Campbell River.

The bowler had been been a fixture near the league leaders for the past several years, but only reached the pinnacle after the centre underwent a renovation and installed new, hardwood lanes for 10-pin bowling last autumn.

“I kind of took it as a personal challenge,” said Scott, who had complained the condition of the old lanes did not fit with his style and approach to the game. “With the new lanes, I had no excuses.”

This was just the second time the pair had competed together on the same team. The first came in Abbotsford, where Allan had assumed duties heading the local junior bowling program. In his late teens, Scott joined his dad in the local men’s league, where the two had a friendly rivalry within their quartet.

“Over the course of the whole season, we played 96 games,” said Allan. “He beat me by 11 points.

“I stopped coaching him when he got beyond my level.”

Scott rolled his first perfect game at age 16, while competing in a tournament in Seattle.

“I called it my coming-out moment,” he said. “After that, I started getting invited to join the teams of the other guys I was down there competing with.”

He also mulled the idea of pursuing a professional bowling career, but the demands of time and money interceded, and he instead focussed on attending the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts and eventually securing his Red Seal certificate as a chef.

When he moved to Campbell River, where he is working as sous chef at Key West, his parents helped him with the transition.

“We fell in love with the area,” said Allan, who moved here with his wife a year ago upon his retirement from an accounting career. He has since taken on part-time work around the bowling centre, doing general maintenance, and expects to eventually put his expertise to work on its finances, as well.

“I basically clean the floors, then I’ll clean the books,” he joked.