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Bowler reaches perfection
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Michael Graybeal takes his turn at Hanscom Lanes. He recently bowled a perfect 300 during a league game. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rick Berry)
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Bowler reaches perfection

Posted 10/28/2010   Updated 10/28/2010 Email story   Print story

    


by Sarah Olaciregui
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs


10/28/2010 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- In sports, perfection is the ultimate goal. In baseball, a pitcher's dream is to throw a no-hitter. In football or basketball, teams strive to not lose a game during the season. In bowling, the goal is to bowl a 300.

For Michael Graybeal, a program manager for the Education and Training office, his goal was met during an Oct. 5 league game at Hansom Lanes when he achieved a perfect score.

"We're lucky if we have three or four people a year bowl a 300 here at Hanscom," said Andy Croxford, the bowling mechanic at the bowling center. "It's a great individual accomplishment."

Mr. Graybeal bowls during the Early League on Tuesday night with the 66th Medical Clinic team. The usual goal is to have fun and at least hit one pin in every frame. His average score is around 195 and he knows that anything higher comes with a lot of luck.

"My mother taught me how to bowl when I was young," said Mr. Graybeal. "She taught me a few key things to follow or adjust to."

Mr. Graybeal bowled in a league at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, during the 1990s, but eventually stopped after family duties became a priority.

Last year, Mr. Graybeal decided to start bowling again. He joined one of the Hanscom leagues and almost reached perfection even after taking many years off.

"Last year, I bowled a 298 in one game," he said. "The ball was going right into the pocket and everything was going nicely, but I let my nerves get to me and didn't roll a strike during one of the frames."

After that moment Mr. Graybeal knew that if he ever got the chance to bowl a perfect game, he would not put undue stress on himself and overcome his nervousness to roll strikes.

"Very few people get the opportunity to bowl a perfect game," he said.

But his next opportunity came sooner than expected. Mr. Graybeal talked to Mr. Croxford, who reminded him of some adjustments he should make. In just the third week of the league, about halfway through the game, Mr. Graybeal realized he could reach perfection.

"As I got closer, I zoned everyone out," he said. "I just focused on hitting my mark. I never left the lane. I tried not to be nervous."

Although Mr. Graybeal admits he was still a little nervous, especially when it came time to bowl three strikes in a row during the last frame, he was determined not to let it get to him.

"I've only seen someone roll a 300 one other time. I knew I was lucky to have at least two opportunities to accomplish it and I may never have another chance."

Mr. Graybeal didn't pass up his chance this time and finished with a perfect 300.

He admits that he is still an amateur and many bowlers in other Hanscom leagues have probably bowled 300s several times throughout their careers, but that doesn't stop him from relishing in the sweet feeling of perfection.



tabComments
10/29/2010 5:58:01 PM ET
Hey, my name is Seth and this is my father in this article. I would just like to add that, yes, he is very lucky, but we usually bowl as a family. Any chance we get, even if he is just on his lunch break, we go and have hun together. Thanks.
seth graybeal, proctorville ohio
 
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