For one local league player who bowled a perfect game, much of the excitement came from simply having his dad see him achieve it.
Nick Bowers recently bowled his first 300 game, just a few weeks after his dad, Mike Bowers, bowled one. Nick’s excitement came not only from finally obtaining that elusive perfect game but from Mike being there to see it.
“I’m very happy that my dad was here to see my first one, that’s what’s important to me,” he said.
Mike, who knocked over a chair and turned around a table in his zeal to get to his son after Nick threw the 12th strike in a row, threw his own perfect game on May 28. He said that evening, Nick told him of his desire to achieve the same as his dad.
“(He told me) Dad, maybe one day, you’ll get to see me shoot one,” he said.
Both men said they began bowling at a young age. As Nick grew older, Mike said he would try to help him improve his game, but Nick wouldn’t always listen right away. Later, his son would tell him how well he bowled after incorporating Mike’s tips, but he would never do it in front of his dad, Mike said. Now, he said, Nick listens to his tips more quickly. Nick said his desire to listen came with maturity. He also wants to continually improve so he can beat Mike on a regular basis.
Mike helped get his son through the perfect game simply by trying to keep Nick’s mind off the situation. When one finds themselves in such a situation, Mike said he finds it best to just “talk bull.” Never ask serious questions, he said. Keep the conversation light. This will help the bowler keep their mind where it should be.
“When you get up there to bowl in those pressure situations like that, time stands still and your mind races so fast about everything that’s going on,” he said.
Nick’s perfect game came at the beginning of a four-game series. He bowled a 214 on his second game due to his continued excitement from his 300. Mike said, hindsight being 20/20, he should have done more to calm his son down. Nick said it took to about the fifth frame for him to calm down and get back into the game. Nick shot a 269 and a 266 in his third and fourth games to complete a 1,049 series, higher than Mike’s all-time high of 1,033.
During his perfect game, Nick said he didn’t really think about it until the eighth frame. Then, he said, he realized he stood a chance. When he got to the 10th strike, he said he turned to his dad and smiled. After his 11th strike, he said it became all about business.
His heart started racing, he began shaking, his legs felt like concrete blocks, Nick said.
He kept his head down and bowled.
“It was a little difficult for me to throw that 12th ball, but once I got past that and rolled it and threw it, I ended up getting them down … no major drama in getting them down,” Nick said.