Home Local News Merriman’s 300 caps big year

Merriman’s 300 caps big year



Sports editor

It’s been quite a year for Bill Merriman.

The Upper Sandusky resident had his first hole-in-one this summer and won the Championship flight at Lincoln Hills Golf Club this summer. Then last Tuesday evening, Merriman bowled his first 300 game at Wyandot Lanes while competing against his son.

“I keep joking with my wife,” Merriman said. “… I was like, ‘OK, maybe it’s time for me to retire. I can’t do any better than I’m at right now.’”

In fact, Merriman just recently got back into playing sports in the last few years after taking a break to coach and watch his children play. After competing in bowling until he was about 20, the 44-year-old picked up the sport again about six years ago.

As well as things had gone on the golf course, he did not expect an accomplishment like this at the bowling alley.

“It was luck,” he said. “I was throwing a good ball that night, but to have a perfect game, you have to have one or two lucky shots. I’m not that good. I have about a 200 average. It was nice. I was very nervous on the last shot, pulled it a little bit, and it went Brooklyn, but hey, they all fell, right.

“I was definitely nervous, never had one before, everyone’s staring and watching you. You try to stay calm, but I pulled it off.”

His final shot of the night was the worst one, he said, striking on the wrong side of the head pin, and it really was not until then that he felt nervous. His previous career-best game was a 279, and so along the way, he figured there would be a bad shot or some bad fortune.

“I never thought I was going to, so I think that was what made it easy until the last ball,” Merriman said. “You throw a lot of good shots down here and you leave a corner pin. You hit the pocket and you leave one pin. It’s like, ‘That looks good; it’s probably going to leave a 9.’ I never really got nervous until that last ball. Then I started thinking about it. ‘I just need this one strike and I have a 300.’”

The milestone was even more special because not only was Merriman playing against his son’s team, but he was matched up with him head-to-head.

It was a career night for both of them. Merriman’s 300 came in the first game of the series, and he followed with scores of 256, 231 and 202 for a 980 series that was his best ever. Jayce, 20, who typically averages around 165, had an 800 series. With their 

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handicaps factored in, they split four points. Jayce is in his second year of men’s bowling after competing in junior leagues.

Bill Merriman gave up golf for about 10 years and was in his third year back at it this summer. It was a similar situation where his expectations were not high and he was not performing especially well until it mattered most, topping everyone else at Lincoln Hills at the end of the year.

“I kind of struggled for bowling. I started the year at like a 208 average,” he said. “The first couple weeks were kind of hard and I dropped down to like a 181 average, but it’s been picking up. Hopefully I can keep riding this momentum and keeping bowling strong for the team.”


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