Bowling: Brother and sister headed into GCABA hall together
By Anthony Nasella Post-Tribune correspondent November 28, 2012 1:36AM
Siblings Colleen Lidster and Mike Kubacki are being inducted into the Greater Calumet Bowling Association together on Sunday at Dynasty Banquets in Hammond. | Steve T. Gorches~Post-Tribune
Based on sheer numbers and notoriety, Griffith natives Mike Kubacki and Colleen Lidster could easily be considered the best brother-sister duo in region bowling.
Already honored once together in their careers during the same year — 2007, when Kubacki was named Post-Tribune high school coach of the year and Lidster was P-T women’s bowler of the year — the two will again share the spotlight when they’re individually inducted into the Greater Calumet Area Bowling Association Hall of Fame at Sunday’s banquet at Dynasty Banquet Hall in Hammond.
Both admit the induction will be bittersweet because their mother, and greatest supporter, died in 2010. Kubacki started bowling 30 years ago and later got his sister into the sport on his team in an adult-junior league at Bowl-Arena in Griffith.
“When I knew both Mike and I would be inducted together, Mom was the first person I thought of,” Lidster said. “She would be eating the whole thing up and would be so proud of the both of us.”
Kubacki’s accomplishments are exhaustive: High averages in the 230s with urethane and reactive balls, notable tournament titles at the association, state and USBC level, as well as some impressive efforts at the U.S. Open, and recent success as the Calumet College men’s bowling coach.
“It’s thrilling and satisfying,” he said. “It’s the one thing in my life that I’ve given more time and energy to than anything else. Aside from the love for my family being first, bowling has always been my motivation for helping me maintain my health to the best of my ability. It’s a peaceful place for me.”
Lidster’s career includes 15 300 games, averaging 200 or better for the past 27 seasons and rolling a triplicate 279 for her high series of 837 — which is the highest triplicate ever bowled by a female.
“I was pleasantly surprised by the induction, even though I found out about it through Facebook,” Lidster said. “Mike first asked me to bowl in that (adult-junior) league because they needed handicap — which I was. But I picked up the game and got good real fast. Having success within two years made me like it more.”
Kubacki said pot games with mentor Ron Johnson, Mike Kozy, Kenny Parks and other greats toughened and sharpened his game significantly. Other friendly rivalries against the likes of Bob Kammer Jr. and John Riffle are also legendary in region bowling circles.
“In those pot games, I kept coming back and kept getting better,” he said. “Some phenomenal players came out of those days because that was when both shots mattered; you couldn’t always strike. But they definitely didn’t make easy for me.
“I always tried to bowl where it was the toughest to score. For me, it was always about cashing consistently in the U.S. Open, winning in the state tournament, or bowling six-, eight- and 10-game sweepers and coming home the winner. Tournaments were where it was at for me.”
While Lidster admits that her tournament success is nowhere in the realm of her brother’s, she relishes one specific tournament — the 1997 Post-Tribune Tournament — in which she was able to mentally and physically rise to the challenge and defeat one of the region’s top women’s bowlers for the title.
“I qualified first and had to watch Sandy Postma move up the stepladder and just crush everybody,” she said. “I sat there and initially got nervous, but I beat her. Winning against Sandy was memorable, especially as hot as she was bowling that day.”