There are good days, there are great days, and every once in awhile, there are perfect days.
On Dec. 13, South Brunswick High School bowler Dominic Anghelone stepped up and achieved a feat that had never before been accomplished for the Vikings. The senior bowled the first perfect 300 game in SBHS history.
"I was freaking out when it came to the last frame, my body was shaking and I looked over at my teammates and they were all laughing. I'm thinking oh my god," Anghelone said. "After it was over I was so psyched. I heard two years ago that nobody had ever bowled a perfect game and I knew I wanted to be the first. I was very happy I achieved that goal. I think it's a great honor and I couldn't ask for anything better."
Ironically, the perfect game occurred during the Vikings boys' first loss of the season against Woodbridge. Despite coming up short as a team, the coach of the 6-2 Vikings Brian Burniston couldn't have been prouder of Anghelone's accomplishment.
"We've had good bowlers before and have had people get close, but to throw that many strikes is very difficult," Burniston said. "(Anghelone) is everything we look for in this program. He has a good family background. When he started here he wasn't very passionate about it. He used the wrong fingers in the ball, he didn't have a lot of knowledge. But through hard work he developed that passion and his parents have supported him with everything he needs."
When Anghelone first picked up bowling, his mind wasn't on competition or perfect games. It was more about having fun with a family member in need.
"I was in the sixth grade when I started," Anghelone said. "My cousin's mom had passed away and we were trying to give them something fun to do over the summer. After that I joined a league, which was mainly just for fun. In high school it became more about competing, but it's still just about having fun."
As he advanced through high school, Burniston said the growth Anghelone has shown as a bowler and a teammate has been a vital component in the team's success.
"He's matured into a team leader," Burniston said. "When he was younger he was more focused on himself, but now he's become a leader who helps others and is more concerned with the team score than his individual score."
Anghelone concurred that team success has become more important to him as time has passed.
"My freshman year it was more about having fun. My sophomore year I came around and I was in it for the team," he said. "I want to try to help and support them. I got mad when I was throwing bad games, but I got rid of that and it's all about the team now and how to support them."
As coach for the past 9 years, Burniston said he believed that elusive first perfect game would come along someday for the program, but the difficulty in achieving the milestone had him waiting for years.
"Something like this doesn't come along often," he noted. "You have to be consistent and get a little luck. I expected it to happen eventually, but you have to be a good bowler and have some luck to get you through."
As he was one strike away from perfection, Anghelone said he felt the pressure. But in the end when the final pins fell, he knew he had reached the perfect moment.
"Every time I start out with four strikes I always think about it," he said. I don't get nervous until 8 or 9 strikes. I was feeling very nervous and was shaking. I'm thinking 'oh my god am I gonna bowl a 300 today?' I kind of let it get to me. But when I did it, it was amazing. My teammates were just going crazy giving high fives and hugs everywhere."