Boardman High School's Jake Wagner rolled his first career 300 game recently at Camelot Lanes.
Wagner's 300 game came during a two week flurry of tournament and league action. The flurry began March 7 in Columbus when Wagner competed in the Ohio High School State Championship tournament, representing Boardman as an individual qualifier. Wagner rolled a 527 series, for 59th place out of 120 bowlers.
Following the tournament, Wagner competed in the State Pepsi qualifier where he rolled a 646 series, placing him in third place and qualifying him for the Pepsi state championship tournament in Columbus. The following weekend Wagner planned on bowling in the junior league at Camelot before heading to West Side Lanes to participate in the Junior City tournament.
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On the first game of the day at Camelot, Wagner's hard work culminated into his first 300 game. He felt confident throughout the morning, and after throwing the seventh strike in a row, he realized that something special may be happening. Nervousness did not set in until the 10th frame.
''After I threw my first strike in the 10th, everyone stopped,'' Wagner said. ''That was the first time I felt nervous. When I released my last shot, I just thought this is it, please carry.''
Wagner's next two games were 236 and 234, totaling for a 770 series.
Wagner said it was fitting that he bowled his first 300 game at Camelot. He began bowling in the Camelot Junior leagues in third grade and attended Camelot's after school program. It was during the junior leagues and after-school program that Wagner met with Camelot house pro Jack Bruderly. From third grade forward, Wagner met on a weekly basis with Bruderly for individual lessons.
''Jack has been very supportive,'' Wagner said. ''He taught me how to bowl. He has taught me how to play different lane conditions and also stressed the importance of spares. I cannot thank Jack enough for what he has done for not only me, but for my fellow high school teammates as well.''
On the second stop of the day Wagner participated in the Youngstown Junior City Tournament at Westside Lanes, where he continued to sizzle as he posted scores of 225, 213, and 280.