Welsh rolls to perfection

By Bruce Sayler, of The Montana Standard - 03/31/2007

The lessons coaches try to teach and help retain confidence after disappointment, the ones about moving on to the next challenge, putting it in the past and getting over it, can be absorbed.

Butte High sophomore Jordan Welsh erased the image of a barely missed 300 game in bowling that he can’t remember which pin stood stubbornly and limiting him to a 299.

Yeah, right — limiting him to a 299.

He put the near-miss behind him and a year later, this last Feb. 28, six days after his 16th birthday, Welsh filled the frames with all Xs, all strikes ... 12 of them. He had his 300..

“It was exciting,” Welsh said.

Butte youth bowling coordinator Deb Martinich said Welsh is the youngerst bowler to roll a 300 on Butte lanes, going by the research she did on the subject.

The ace came in Star Lanes’ 2-year-old high school league that Martinich heads. And it came just after wrestling season for Welsh, who also plays football for the Bulldogs.

Of course, the 300 was never a sure thing, until the 12th ball rolled and the last pin fell. Some teasers occurred en route, too.

“On the second-to-last ball, I thought I was going to leave the 7-10 split,” Welsh said. “But, it just fell down. I rolled it high.” He said the 7- and 10-pins were like goalpost uprights as the other eight pins tumbled into the pit. After a delay, they, too, keeled over.

“It was like they were in shock and then they fell,” Welsh said.

At least two other shots crossed over to the Brooklyn side, too, but mixed into the rack with enough power and action to create strikes.

The right-handed Welsh said he throws a hook that breaks more when the lanes are a little more oily, but only a “couple of feet” on drier alleys.

“The conditions were good that day,” he said, adding that the 300 came in the first game of a 646 three-game series. “They were oily at the beginning and that is how I liked it. It was good.” Still, after chaining 11 strikes, the pins looked a mile away and the shoulders were numbed when he fitted his fingers into the ball holes for the 12th roll, Welsh said.

“I could barely feel my arm on the last ball,” he said.

The 300, of course, surpassed his 299 for best personal high game. But the 646 series was not his highest set. He has a 704 to his credit, Welsh, who averaged 171 this year in the high school league, said.

“I’d like to thank Bud Atchison. He taught me a good bowling style,” Welsh said, tossing some credit to his bowling coach.

Welsh bowled on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the league this recently completed season. He still has a prize to reap for his accomplishment, though.