Morrison stays even keeled after 300 game

MARTINS FERRY – Corey Morrison started bowling with his grandmother at the age of four.

Three years later, Morrison flirted with his first 300 game, coming up a strike short.

The flirtation became reality last week when Morrison notched his first 300 game during a high school match at St. Clair Lanes.

“My grandmother started me (in bowling) at St. Clairsville Lanes,” Morrison said.

Morrison was definitely thanking his grandmother last week for introducing him to the sport that the OHSAA added as an official state-sanctioned sport a few years ago.

The milestone came for Morrison, who is a member of the Purple Riders’ varsity team – in a match last week at St. Clair Lanes during the second game, which followed up a 201 in the first game.

“I don’t ever think about a 300 game,” Morrison explained. “My mindset is just try to roll as many strikes as I can during a match and then if I don’t get a strike, at least make sure I get the spare.”

As the match was progressing and strike after strike was being recorded by Morrison, he didn’t even realize that he was heading toward the rarified air until maybe the ninth frame.

“I had no idea, but then I turned around and saw the huge crowd behind me (watching), I realized something was going on,” Morrison said.

Though there were more and more people watching, they became more and more quiet with each ball Morrison rolled.

“Because of the dead silence, I was able to feel the excitment of what was happening,” Morrison said. “I started getting a little nervous after that ninth frame. Then after two more, I really started getting nervous.”

Morrison was perfect on the first two balls of the tenth frame, but as he stepped up for the 12th ball, nerves were taking over.

“The last ball I actually pulled it, but I had luck on my side,” Morrison said. “I pulled it and it hit through the nose and kicked the 4-pin out. It was kind of iffy until it kicked that pin out.”

Immediate paranoia took over the bowling alley as the pin fell.

“My teammates were jumping up and down,” Morrison said. “Everyone was pretty excited.”

Since he’s reached the perfect game level, Morrison’s aforementioned approach won’t change.

“I just want to continue to try my best,” Morrison said. “I just want to keep my mind clear and go out each time and see what happens.”

Prior to the 300, Morrison hadn’t come anywhere near his career high in a prep match.

“I have no clue why I hadn’t been able to get a score like (270 or so) in a high school match before,” Morrison said.

Morrison’s sights are now set on making a run toward the OHSAA State Tournament and trying to become the first competitor from an OVAC-member school to quality for the state tournament, which will be held on Feb. 28 and March 1 in Columbus.