New Yorker rolls the 17th USBC-approved 900 series

    11/09/10

    USBC News

    20101021WilliamHowell900.jpgWilliam Howell III of Middletown, N.Y., has big aspirations for his bowling career and took a step toward making a name for himself as he became the 16th bowler in history to roll a United States Bowling Congress-approved 900 series.

    The 22-year-old left-hander rolled 36 consecutive strikes in the Bruce Bryan 3 Person League at Tarsio Lanes in Newburgh, N.Y., on Oct. 21. He now has 14 USBC-certified perfect games, while his previous-high series was 828.

    "That night was truly amazing, and it means a lot to know that I'm now a part of bowling history," said Howell, whose 900 was the 17th overall. "I tried my best to keep my focus, and luckily, I had a lot of people there to support me. I knew I had the line, so all I had to do was put the ball there."

    As Howell closed out his perfect set, the 36-lane bowling center grew quiet and the members of the 20-team league stopped to watch him make history as the second bowler from the Empire State to record a 900 series.

    "It felt just like a normal night when I started, and after the first 300, I started thinking 800 was possible, but I never imagined I'd get to 900," said Howell, whose father, Bill Howell Jr., competes in the same league. "By the end, it was very crowded, and the entire league was there watching me. It was more emotional than my first 300, and I even broke down and cried after. I just couldn't believe it."

    Howell's high average last season was 228, but he encountered some struggles on the lanes earlier this year. He turned to former Junior Team USA member Matt O'Grady for help and got things back on track. Howell and his father drove an hour and a half to Hudson Lanes in Bayonne, N.J., for a tune-up with O'Grady, and it clearly paid off.

    "I just felt like I wasn't throwing the ball very well, or there was something weird in my approach, so I went to see Matt for a professional opinion," Howell said. "He told me that in his opinion, everything looked OK, and that helped my confidence. He showed me some hand and finger positions that I've been working on since, and obviously, that helped, too."

    O'Grady, who honed his skills as a member of Junior Team from 2006-2008, prides himself on his knowledge of the physical game and lane play and was able to quickly assess Howell's game.

    "Bill's fundamentals were solid coming into our lesson, but we made a few small tweaks involving grip pressure and increasing the leverage at the bottom of the swing," O'Grady said. "He was instantly able to be more consistent, create more area on the lane and adapt to changing conditions much quicker."

    The first USBC-approved 900 occurred Feb. 2, 1997 when Jeremy Sonnenfeld rolled three consecutive perfect games in Lincoln, Neb. There has never been a 900 on Sport Bowling lane conditions.

    USBC-Approved 900 Series (17)
    Jeremy Sonnenfeld, Lincoln, Neb., Feb. 2, 1997
    Tony Roventini, Milwaukee, Nov. 9, 1998
    Vince Wood, Moreno Valley, Calif., Sept. 29, 1999
    Robby Portalatin, Jackson, Mich., Dec. 28, 2000
    James Hylton, Salem, Ore., May 2, 2001
    Jeff Campbell II, New Castle, Pa., June 12, 2004
    Darin Pomije, New Prague, Minn., Dec. 9, 2004
    Robert Mushtare, Fort Drum, N.Y., Dec. 5, 2005 and Feb. 19, 2006
    Lonnie Billiter Jr., Fairfield, Ohio, Feb. 13, 2006
    Mark Wukoman, Greenfield, Wis., April 22, 2006
    P.J. Giesfeldt, Milwaukee, Dec. 23, 2007
    Rich Jerome Jr., Baltimore, Dec. 22, 2008
    Chris Aker, Winnemucca, Nev., Oct. 30, 2009
    Andrew Teall, Medford, N.J., Nov. 2, 2009
    Andrew Mank, Belleville, Ill., March 18, 2010
    William Howell III, Middletown, N.Y., Oct. 21, 2010