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Bowling: Nocky Roach near perfection

One of the best male bowlers in the valley is Enoch Roach or more commonly known as Nocky Roach.

"€œIt'€™s his consistency,"€ said Dale Bystedt, who has been bowling at the Nugget Bowl since it opened. "€œHe throws the ball the same way every time."

Nocky is modest and says he is one of the top three.

Roach has recently been in the spotlight because he has bowled eight 300 games this season and reached the milestone of 40 perfect games in his career.

"€œI have done eight and now I am shooting for 10 in a year,"€ he said. "€œI am at forty 300 scores for my life and am now shooting to get 50."

Roach is called Nocky because his sister couldn’t pronounce his name and ever since it has stuck. The top bowler learned to bowl from his family at the early age of 3. A sign that he was becoming a good bowler was when as a teen he beat his father.

His bowling evolved even more when he was in the Army and made the all-Army team in 1987. At the time he was stationed in Hawaii.

"€œThe military has a lot of good bowlers, a lot more than you would think,"€ he said. "€œA lot of pros come out of the military. I turned pro for a couple of years and was living in Arizona."

He said lack of sponsors made him drop professional bowling, but not being a professional has not slowed down his bowling.

Roach now bowls five leagues, which he fits into his night work schedule at the Roadhouse.

Since he has started bowling he has developed tennis elbow and at 46 his doctor said he shouldn’t be bowling, but he does.

"€œI guess you can say I have slowed down to just five leagues a week,"€ he said with a smile. "€œI bowl through the injury because I love bowling so much. I just wear a brace. I get some tingling in my arm and some swelling and that'€™s it."

Bowling is everything to him and one could say he is even married to the sport.

"€œI am single now. I once was married but my ex-wife didn'€™t bowl as much as me,"€ he said.

What makes him such a good bowler?

"I just have the drive and love for the sport," Roach said. "I compete with myself. I have my own style. I worked on that in the Army. I was always tweaking something. At first I worked on consistency, then on my feet work and then my release. My shots are always changing."€

He adds that he is superstitious.

"€œI will do the same thing every time the same way,"€ he said.

Roach said bowling is very much a mind game and he says not much rattles him when he is playing.

"€œIf people try to rattle me and get into my head, this just gets me going even more,"€ Roach said. "€œBowlers try to get to you by their comments. I remember during a regional tournament this one guy came up to me and asked me, ‘How do you keep on getting strikes with your elbow bent?"€™ I just returned the favor by asking him, '€˜How do you keep getting strikes with your knees bent?'"

Roach said the key to him becoming a better bowler is patience and wisdom.


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