March 22, 2007
by Tina Martin
After his eleventh strike he walked away and went to get a drink of water. He said he had been calm until then and he began to shake so he walked away to calm himself. He was in perfect form the whole time; he looked focused and calm; his ball in the pocket every time.
Gray Williams, at age 14 years and 4 months, has become the youngest bowler to roll a perfect game in Marin County. On February 27, the Novato youth was bowling on lanes 21 and 22 in the Tuesday Junior Major league at Country Club Bowl, San Rafael. He started out the day with his twelve strikes in a row to become the first youth bowler in many years to roll a perfect game. Williams rolled games of 300 and then continued to roll games of 168 and 217 for a three game series of 685, also his highest ever series.
Williams first started bowling when he could barely walk. Nave Lanes Manager, Paul Panholzer, would set up inflatable bumpers for Williams to roll the ball down the lanes. It did not take long and he was ready to bowl without bumpers. Williams currently bowls in 3 leagues a week. His current average is 176. He gives credit to his Grandmother, Karen Williams, and Aunt, Robyn Ballerini, for always being there for him and being a continuing factor in his bowling. They have also been his coaches. In the last couple years he has been coached by both Jim Massara and Jere Schweikert; as well as taking CATS program instruction at the Reno Bowling Stadium.
Gray Williams is a hard worker and good listener. He is a leader with the youth bowlers. At age 14, he was appointed a youth director on the Marin County USBC Board and will represent the Marin youth bowlers at the annual convention in San Diego in June. He loves to bowl and encourages friends to come join him. He loves to bowl all the tournaments as well. He is on the honor roll at Novato High School with straight A’s during his freshman year. He also finds time for his other sport: Babe Ruth Baseball, where he is a good defensive player, at shortstop, second base and outfield.
Congratulations to Gray Williams on this perfect score. May this be the first of many bowling achievements.