Killdeer bowling team breaks North Dakota record

When Ron Fettig threw his first warm-up ball before a league match-up at the Paragon Bowl/Champas Sports Club on Dec. 20, 2016, it was a strike.


It was no big deal. In fact, it was kind of routine for the longtime bowler from Killdeer.

But there was nothing routine about what happened to Fettig and his teammates that night. They made history by setting a state record high score in a single game as a team.

The team – Dynamic Homes, which is sponsored by Killdeer Mountain Contracting – combined to roll a 1,318 score, the highest mark in a sanctioned United States Bowling Congress event in North Dakota since 2002. The old mark was 1,301 and was set by a team from Williston on Oct. 31, 2012.

It was one of those nights that will be talked about for years to come.

Dynamic Homes – made up of Fettig and Dennis Freund, both of Killdeer, and Dave Halvorson, Ed Shypkoski and Dave Ermish – was preparing for a matchup in the Major League, which is made up of 12 teams that bowl on Tuesday nights. On this night, Halvorson was filling in for Gary Oversen.

With the thundering sound of bowling balls rolling downs the freshly waxed lanes, and then the explosion of pins being knocked over, Dynamic Homes set the course for a dynamic night.

“We just bowled,” Fettig said.

Indeed. And on this night, they bowled out of their socks, each surpassing their averages by 50 pins or more to post a scorecard for the ages.

Shypkoski and Halvorson averaged in the 190s, but posted scores of 246 and 247 respectively. Ermish rolled a 269, while Freund had a 277 and Fettig capped it off with a 279.

It wasn’t until the ninth frame that Fettig realized the team had the chance to do something special.

“It got to like the ninth frame. We were bowling good and I told the guys that we had a chance at thirteen hundred,” Fettig said.

The state record was not mentioned. They didn’t even know what the record was. But they knew what they needed to eclipse 1300.

They would need a monstrous final frame. And they responded with a near-perfect frame.

Halvorson struck out, meaning he got three strikes.

Shypkoski got a spare and a strike.

Ermish followed … strike, strike, strike.

Freund, ditto.

That left it up to Fettig.

By this time, news of Dynamic Homes run at history had spread like wildfire throughout the bowling alley. All eyes were on the cool-headed but red-hot Fettig.

Pressure? Sure.

Nervous? Not a chance.

“I’ve done a lot of bowling,” he said with a smile.

He’s been bowling since the mid-70s and some say he’s kind of a local legend. Facts prove that.

He’s a member of the Dickinson Bowling Association Hall of Fame and the North Dakota State Bowling Hall of Fame. He’s rolled 17 perfect games and eight times posted an 800 series. He’s also competed in 33 national tournaments, including the U.S. Open.

With a smooth motion, the left-handed Fettig rolled his first ball and it curved perfectly into the pocket and plowed through the pins with a vengeance.

The second ball was a carbon copy of the first.

And the third? The action stopped as they watched Fettig help his team cement its spot in history.

“Even when we bowled it, we didn’t know until somebody came up and told us about the record,” said Fettig. “Another bowler on another team bowling next to us, came over and told us we set the record.”

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