On Feb. 28, everyone in the Guys and Dolls League had the opportunity to witness history in the making as Michael Shott became the youngest bowler to roll a perfect 300 game at Tahoe Bowl.
Shott, 19, was introduced to bowling at 2. A lot of that had to do with me, his father, introducing him to the sport, but what he did that night had nothing to do with me. It was all him.
Michael electrified the lanes by opening with a 240 game, then following that up with a 205. But when he rolled a 300 in his final game, he officially set the lanes ablaze with a season-high series of 745.
Michael began competitive bowling in 1995, when he was 6. I taught him the basics – approach, delivery, follow through – and enrolled him in a prep league by 1997. He finished the year with a 96 average.
After three years in the prep league, Michael graduated to the junior league and captured first-place honors with teammates Jeff DeGuide, Christopher Shott and Jirka Sejorka. He was voted most improved bowler during his stint, and he raised his average to 144 by the age of 12.
He enrolled in his first adult league the following year, booking a 197 average. That average increased to 202 by the end of the next season. By then, he officially established himself as an up-and-coming bowler.
With such promise, Michael asked me if he could attend a prestigious bowling camp at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, but I couldn’t afford to send him. However, close friend Arlene Hailey helped out and Michael was able to participate.
The camp was four days long, and participants logged six hours of lane time every day. The skills he learned at the camp resulted in him earning the nickname “Silky” for his smooth style.
“I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to Arlene for her personal interest in my future in the sport and for taking me under her wing,” Michael said.
He came back from the camp more serious than ever, competing in four different leagues. And after his 300 game, Michael will officially be recognized for his historic achievement.
Michael’s name will be enshrined on Tahoe Bowl’s honor charts. He will also receive $100 from myself and Tahoe Bowl. He will also get his 300 ring from the United States Bowling Congress.
Congratulations, Michael, you’ve made me proud.