PARKERSBURG — Whether it’s helping coach at the high school or youth level or rolling 300s and 800-plus series, when a Watson is in the house fellow bowlers usually take notice.
Brian Watson, the older brother of Brent Watson by a span of three minutes, joined his twin last month as inductees into the West Virginia State United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame.
Brian, who drilled the ball which Brent used in February 2022 to roll a 275-300-289 city series record of 864 to break the 1983 mark of 856 established by Marty Brandjes, has 68 sanctioned perfect games and 35 career series of 800.
“That’s right. That’s right. I did it at my shop,” quipped Brian, who like his brother was more than honored for the selections.
The twins might always try to one-up the other, but neither has what they consider to be a true sibling rivalry.
“We really don’t talk about it,” Brian admitted. “We’re both good bowlers and that way it doesn’t cause any hard feelings either way.
“A lot of people try to bug us about it. I don’t like to make it a confrontation. We both accomplished a lot.”
When Brent had his career-best series at Emerson Lanes, the perfect game he rolled that night was the 43rd of his career. He now has 49 perfect games and is at 34 series of 800.
“That was a huge honor,” said Brent, who like his brother works at DuPont. “The local association is nice and very warranted, but the state is the biggest honor you can get really for bowling. It’s pretty awesome.
“We’ve been highly competitive all of our lives and we’ve bowled some really good bowlers in West Virginia, and it’s nice to be recognized. We spend a lot of time in bowling alleys.”
“It’s always an honor. The city level is one level, but the state level, it meant a lot more to me. Not to discount Parkersburg, but it means a lot because all your peers across the state accepted you and it means a lot more to me and it does to my brother, also,” admitted the elder Watson. “Over the years we’ve traveled everywhere. I think I’ve bowled in 22 states. We’ve bowled in the USBC national tournament every year. We bowl a lot in Ohio. I don’t just stay in good old Parkersburg.
“The cool thing to me is I have a lot of friends and I got to meet a lot of people when I travel with bowling. I still talk to people across the United States. What they are drilling. What balls they are using. It’s been cool over the years to develop that relationship with people. It’s been a good run so far. I just think, for me and my brother also, we’re big team guys. I’ve got eight state scratch titles for teams. I always liked doing team and I always liked coaching the youth and giving back. That’s me. I like helping all the kids. I’m pretty big on that.”
Brent said his parents bowled a lot and that’s how they got involved with the sport when they were young.
“You get into something and we just got addicted to it,” Brent admitted. “We were competitive and we kept at it. Really, me and my brother and Jay (Hines), we’re just going to help our youth. My son is a very avid bowler now and my brother’s son bowls, too.
“Really just give back to the sport and coach the kids, and especially our sons since they have to carry on the Watson name. You can get a lot of scholarship money for college now, but they didn’t have that back when we bowled.”
Brian has a pro shop at his house that he admits “keeps me pretty busy doing the balls for the kids, my buddies and their kids.”
Of course, Brian would like nothing more than to best Brent’s city record, but the younger Watson is more focused on the PBA Senior Tour and going after a spot in the elusive 900 club.
“They will never let up. We’re always being compared. It is what it is,” Brent said of people continuously pondering who the best Watson is on the lanes. “As long as one of the Watsons win, that’s all that matters. We bowl in a tournament on Friday nights and both of our sons bowl. That’s the goal. Watson has to win every night, so we got four chances right there. That’s just all fun and games.
“When I’m 60 and retire my goal is to bowl on the PBA Senior Tour. I ain’t been close since that day. I shot another 800 again, but not 864. That’s a lot. I can say I had the record for a year at least because no one has broken it yet, but 900 is still the goal. If I shoot 900 I’m going to retire. It ain’t going to happen. It’s just almost impossible to shoot 900.”