Teenager rolls 12 strikes for perfect tenpin bowling score
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018
A Norfolk teenage tenpin hotshot stunned competitors by rolling the holy grail of the bowling alley: a perfect 300 points from 12 strikes in a row.
Jake Everitt, 14, drew gasps and cheers as he sent the pins flying on his way to the highest possible points total during an adult league match at Namco Funscape bowling alley in Bowthorpe.
The Wymondham High School pupil, who has been tenpin bowling since the age of four, was congratulated by team captain Jonathan Banks and mentor Adam Léefé after achieving the rare feat usually reserved for adult professionals.
He said: 'The reaction was amazing everyone was clapping and giving me handshakes and hugs. It's something I've dreamed of doing. I have had 11 strikes in a row before but only having messed up on the first, so when I got down to the last couple of shots I was pretty nervous.'
His grandmother Margaret Jones, who coaches him and takes him to national tournaments, said: 'Everyone stopped and watched, even the opposition, so it put him under a lot of pressure. He normally bottles it after about eight strikes but he actually held it together. He was so calm. Afterwards he said his heart was going, and I said so was mine!'
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A 300 point total is achieved by bowling a strike in the first nine frames, and three more in the tenth frame.
'Very few people get 300 perfect games,' said Mrs Jones. 'You get the pros that play for a living but it's pretty rare for a junior to do it. There has been one or two in the country.'
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The teenager, who lives in Wymondham with his mum Stephanie Everitt, regularly plays for Norwich Youth Bowling Club and in adult matches including the King of the Hill competition at RAF Lakenheath. He also competes in national competitions and is currently one of the top four under-16s players and hoping to be picked for England.
His grandmother said: 'I remember taking him to his first tournament at the nationals I only put him down for six games and he cried because I wouldn't put him in the team because I didn't think he would manage nine games, but he did.'
Mrs Jones encouraged Jake to throw his energies into bowling after the death of his father in a road accident. 'He had a really tough time and I thought bowling was something that could really help him,' she said. 'It is a very social sport for children and it improves their social skills and teaches them how to be part of a team.'
Jake's 300 point achievement was all the more impressive as he currently suffers with Osgood-Schlatter disease, a condition that causes knee pain in growing adolescents.