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Bowling News USA - April 23, 2013 Spartanburg 11 Year Old Bowls Perfect Game With Storm!

Weighing just shy of 100 pounds, 11-year-old David Root needed both hands to lug his 14-pound bowling ball down the lane and achieve a feat most adults never do — a perfect game.

It happened about 7 p.m. April 4 when David was practicing at Spartanburg's Star Lanes. The sixth-grader at Gable Middle School has practiced four or more days a week since he took up bowling a little more than a year ago.

All accounts point to David being the youngest person in South Carolina to roll a perfect 300. According to the United States Bowling Congress (USBC), the national record for the youngest bowler to earn a perfect score is 10 years and 2 months. David will turn 12 in August.

Linda Gamble, proprietor and manager of Paradise Lanes in Spartanburg, explained that, unfortunately, bowling isn't as organized as other sports, so state statistics are hard to come by. After several emails to local and state bowling officials, David's mother, Alice Branam, got confirmation from the South Carolina USBC that David set the new record for the youngest bowler in the state to roll a perfect game.

David said he wasn't really nervous as his score climbed closer and closer to 300 earlier this month, mostly because he knew he had plenty of time to achieve the goal.

“I was thinking I was pretty young, so I don't have to do it today, but if I do, it'd be a pretty good accomplishment,” he said.

Even if David's nerves were steady, the game wasn't without its dramatic moments. After the 11th strike, the pin setter jammed. David — with the crowd behind him — had to wait a few minutes to throw his last ball.

Lee Vanderhoef manages the pro shop at Paradise Lanes, where David usually practices, and has informally coached David for about eight months. Vanderhoef was 14 when he rolled his first perfect game, but he's quick to point out that he started practicing the sport at 6 years old. He's amazed at what David has been able to accomplish in just a year, and at such a young age. In the past five months, he said, David's average has improved from 170 to 200. David also has competed in bowling tournaments across the state.

“It's like anything,” Vanderhoef said. “You either pick it up or you don't, and he's got it. It is pretty amazing how good his form is. He does it right.”

David's stepfather, Doug Branam, sent Vanderhoef a text message shortly after David's 300. As a reward, Branam and David's mother, Alice, bought him an iPad.

“He threw it dead pocket. It was not even a question,” Branam said. “I was really excited because I know how hard he works at it. It's really built his confidence. That 300 really validates all of his hard work.”

Alice Branam wasn't there to see her son's 300 game, but the news didn't surprise her.

“I felt like he would definitely get a 300 one day, but never dreamed it would come this soon,” she said. “He has been bowling just over a year, so it came much sooner than we expected.”


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April, 2013