By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
Thirteen-year-old Nick Blythe of Keizer rolled a 300 game in the Junior-Major youth league at Town & Country Lanes Saturday, March 17.
A month earlier, the phenom rolled a 296 in practice, but his highest game in league competition until last week was a 279.
Nick has been bowling since he was two years old and part of league competition since he was six. As a result, he has a growing collection of bowling balls and picked out a ball he hadn’t used for a few months before heading to the lanes on Saturday.
“A friend gave it to and I’d bowled a 280 with it, but I hadn’t used it since,” Nick said. He asked his father, Jeff, to buy him some tape for his thumb to make it a better fit before getting started.
Nick knew he was on a roll when he laid down all ten pins for the sixth consecutive frame, but it was the tenth frame that gave him the closest call.
On his tenth ball, the four pin stood up and wobbled before finally keeling over. Then his ball got stuck in the return creating an unwanted break to his flow.
He had a quick talk with his coach, Scott Miller, and then went to sit back down with a friend while a growing crowd tittered around him. Nick hit flush pocket on the 11th ball and a little light on the twelfth, but all 10 pins went down.
“I guess it was just meant to be,” Nick said.
The game was Nick’s first perfect score and he became the youngest bowler to reach the milestone at Town & Country.
He also bowled a 211 and 182 for a 693 series on the day, which leaves room for improvement.
“My next goal is an 800 series,” he said.
Nick maintains a 192 league average in league competition.