Trevor Johnson bowls 12 strikes in 10 frames on Oct. 24
Wilsonville—The number 300 oftentimes evokes imagery of Spartan warriors kicking people into deep pits. But something else it should bring to mind is perfection. Namely, a perfect game of bowling. 12 throws, 120 pins crashing about, and nary a second chance needed.
For the Wilsonville bowling team, it is something they hope to see a lot of as the season gets underway. The good thing? They are off to a good start having already seen one this season. On Oct. 24 in a team practice, 16 year old Trevor Johnson threw his first ever perfect game.
To hear Johnson tell it, despite how well things were going leading into the final frame, there was still pressure to keep it going.
"Basically I was really nervous," Johnson said. "Coming up to the 10th and 11th shot, the tenth frame, came up to it, I was pretty stable. I threw the first strike in the 10th and that's when the nerves kicked right in and it got more and more difficult for me to stay calm. But I stayed calm just enough. The second to last shot was actually not a very good shot, but I still got the carry, still got the strike, and the last shot was pretty good. It was a pretty good 10th frame I thought for my first 300."
The perfect game was not something Johnson was necessarily planning on getting, either. Obviously it is the desired outcome, but there is more to it than simple wanting it.
"It happens when it happens," Johnson said. "It's pretty much luck based. I could have had a perfect shot and left a 10-pin or an eight pin, it's meant to be when it's meant to be. There's got to be some sort of luck involved with it, there's no, 'I'm going to shoot a 300 this game.' You've got to be feeling pretty good, you've got to have a good mental game, you want to stay concentrated, stay in focus, and you'll get some success."
Part of the success comes from a dedication to the game. Johnson began bowling at six years old, and apart from a year and a half long hiatus to pursue basketball, has continued to go back to the lanes.
Wilsonville bowling coach Mick McMahon found Johnson only a few years ago, and recruited him for the Wilsonville bowling team. Johnson attends Tualatin High School, but because the school does not have a team, is allowed to participate on Wilsonville's bowling squad.
McMahon knew fairly soon that Johnson was going to be a strong addition to the team, not only by the way he played, but also with an intangible aspect.
"Among good bowlers we would say that he had the look in his eye," McMahon said. "There's a certain focus when someone is bowling, and when we talk to them about the bowling games they kind of get this faraway look like it's some kind of a dream."
McMahon was also frank with just how hard it is to get a 300 game at this level.
"There's probably eight 300 games a year in the state of Oregon in junior leagues," McMahon said. "That's probably the right number. Coaching has improved so much, equipment has improved so much, but even to get one in open play is still a feat. To get a 300 game, whether it's in league, tournament, or just practice bowling is still very, very rare."
Last year, the Wilsonville bowling team placed fourth overall in state and looks to improve on that standing this year given a little luck. With returning bowlers like Johnson, the odds are good that the team will better its place.
For Johnson, the high school career may lead into a college career, and then maybe into the Professional Bowlers Association. Given that trajectory, another 300 point game seems likely.
"Yeah, I hope to get more 300's eventually," Johnson said. "That would be pretty cool to get more."