Tippecanoe senior bowler Colin Maalouf gets season off to ‘perfect’ start


TROY — Tippecanoe senior bowler Colin Maalouf had big expectations for his senior season.

As did his coach Eric Wagner.

“He was a district qualifier last year and the only senior,” Wagner said. “So, I did (expect big things from him this season. But a perfect game in the first game — I didn’t expect that.”

But, that was exactly what Maalouf did at Beaver-Vu Lanes Monday against Stebbins in the season opener.

“Definitely, I am expecting to have a great season,” Maalouf said. “I was excited to get it started. I had bowled a couple 300 games in practice before, but never in match.”

But, it was practice makes perfect on Monday.

Not, that weren’t some interesting moments during the game.

“In the sixth frame, he threw a good ball, but it was hooking hard at the end,” Wagner said. “He had the big four (4-6-7-10) standing and they tripped out, then two frames later he tripped out the seven pin.”

Maalouf may have known then it was probably going to be his day.

“When that happens, you just have to say Okay,” Maalouf said. “When I came back off the lanes, I just kind of smiled at coach (Eric Wagner).”

By, the ninth frame the excitement was building.

“That’s when people really started watching,” Wagner said. “And his ball in the ninth frame and three balls in the tenth frame were probably his best four balls of the game.”

Maalouf just tried to stay calm.

“I knew I had done it in practice before,” he said. “But, the tenth frame, there was probably at least 25 or 30 people standing there watching.”

After his first two strikes in the 10th frame, he was one ball away from perfection.

“I took more time than normal before the last ball,” Maalouf said. “I probably shouldn’t have done that. I let the ball go and I thought, okay that is right where I wanted to throw it.”

The ball hit the 1-3 pocket perfectly and sent all 10 pins to the ground to complete the perfect game.

“Everybody was going crazy,” Maalouf said. “And I hugged coach (Eric Wagner). It was really exciting.”

Maalouf became the second Tipp bowler to throw a 300 game.

“I think James Ridgeway through one a couple years ago,” Maalouf said.

He started the next game with two spares and followed that with a five strikes in a row for a 258.

“I think I was about 10 pins short of the school record for series,” Maalouf said. “I didn’t even know there was record for series at the time. But, it was still a good game.”

If anything, the first match just raised Maalouf’s expectations.

“It was exciting, that’s for sure,” Maalouf said. “At the same time, there is that pressure to keep bowling well all year through conference and the postseason.”

But, Maalouf is certainly off to a good start — you might even say perfect.

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