At school Wednesday, Saline sophomore Dallas Casey was asked by teacher Jason Schmier what his New Year’s resolution was. Casey’s reply?
“I said I wanted to bowl a 300,” Casey said.
Just a few hours later, Casey made Saline High School bowling history by bowling a perfect game at Maplewood Lanes. Casey, according to long-time coaches Jeff Rishel and John McMullen, is the first Hornet to accomplish the feat in a Saline uniform.
Casey started his day by bowling three strikes and a nine in the Baker game. So he was bowling well. He recording the perfect game in the first of his two individual games.
Casey’s previous high score was a lofty 279. So the nerves didn’t kick in until quite late in the game. After bowling his eighth straight strike, Casey knew he was doing some special.
“Last time, it was the eighth shot I messed up on,” Casey said.
Saline bowling coach Jeff Rishel has bowled 300 before – but never in a sanctioned game. After Casey’s ninth straight strike, Rishel had a few words of advice.
“I told him to come back and take a drink (after every shot), to stay in the same routine. That’s the most important thing when bowling 300s – keep the same routine. Everyone wants you to get up there and hurry up. No. Take your time and keep the same routine coming. That’s what helps you calm down, relax and be able to throw it,” Rishel said.
The bowl a 300, one must throw 12 straight strikes.
Casey credited Rishel’s advice for helping him stay on an even keel but the nerves got to Casey before his 12th and final shot.
“I was shaking so much,” Casey said. “It was a really big moment.”
Casey delivered the 12th like he did the first 11.
“I put the ball out to the five board and when it came back I knew it was going to be a good shot,” Casey said. “They all went down pretty easy. The 10 pin was there for a second but it fell.”
Casey scored 300.
“Everybody was cheering. It was great,” Casey said. He was mobbed by his teammates before he could even turn around.
Rishel wasn’t surprised by Casey’s perfect game.
“He’s very talented. He’s probably one our best bowlers that’s come along in a very long time,” Rishel said.
Saline defeated Pinckney 29-1.