Little did Dale Olshanski know, but grounding his son Bryce was the best thing he could've done for his son's bowling career.
It was Saturday, Feb. 21, when 16-year-old Bryce's thoughts were more on how mad he was at his dad for grounding him than about bowling.
The result was Bryce rolling a perfect 300 game, the second-youngest bowler to ever accomplish the feat at Paul Bunyan Bowl. Lee Anderson, 15 at the time, bowled a perfect game in 2001.
But back to that eventful Saturday.
Dale woke Bryce early to go and pick up his sister, Allison. Bryce, like every other American teenager, wanted to catch a few more Zs before starting his day.
But Dale was persistent. When Bryce finally arose he was in a surly mood and father and son clashed.
Off they went to Paul Bunyan Bowl for Saturday morning youth bowling, in which Bryce participated. But a dark cloud hung over Bryce and bowling was the farthest thing from his mind.
"That particular morning, dad and son didn't have such a good morning," Dale said. "I woke him up and he was grumpy. When he got to the bowling alley he was in a very bad mood."
When they arrived, father and son talked and worked their differences out and Dale lifted the grounding.
But that dark cloud still hung over Bryce as he began bowling with his friends. He wasn't his usual jovial self. He was still thinking about the fight and wasn't in the mood to bowl.
Bryce opened his game with four beautifully thrown strikes. Still, he didn't care. He didn't want to be there.
Another four consecutive strikes followed and that's when his buddies started to chime in about being close to a perfect game.
"My friend Brent Olson told me after the eighth one, 'Oh, only four more.' He was teasing me about it," said Bryce. "I just went up there with a frown on my face. After about the ninth frame they just left me alone. They knew how important it was."
Enter the final frame.
The pressure was evident as people at the bowling center dropped what they were doing to crowd around Bryce's lane. And still, Bryce's thoughts were on the argument earlier that morning.
"In the 10th frame, after I threw the first strike, people started gathering around and it was quiet, no one else was bowling," Bryce said. "I just kept thinking that I didn't even want to bowl. The last one I threw, people started cheering. I wasn't that ecstatic about it."
"Afterward, though, I was pretty happy about it," Bryce added.
It was a week before Bryce was born that Dale bowled the only perfect game of his life. Now, 16 years later, the father was sitting quietly, watching his son achieve something many bowlers never do.
"My daughter was in tears, she was so happy for Bryce," said Dale. "The dad in me wanted to go up there and coach him. But he'd been so solid I just decided to sit back and zip my lip. I'm glad I did. I was just beaming with joy."
The perfect game gave Bryce sweet vindication after an up and down season with the Brainerd Warriors high school bowling team. He struggled on the junior varsity team but a new ball and a new attitude changed things.
"Not making the varsity team was the first time he got serious about the game," Dale said.
"I stayed after practice and worked with my dad a lot," Bryce said. "I got a new ball and that helped too. The ball I had been using was worn out and I was picking up bad habits. It's a great feeling knowing all the hard work and practice has paid off."
Even on the worst of days.
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