Roy Brannan ('75) Recognized for Perfect Bowling (Twice)
by Brett Turner, Skywrighter Staff
(newspaper of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio)
Most will never see one in their careers, let alone two in one season. Yet like throwing a no-hitter in baseball, rolling a 300 is one of those ultimate feats many bowlers strive for.
How to bowl two 300s, sometimes without really trying
While every bowler would like to roll a 300 every time out, it's almost always wishful thinking.
You can go years without one and then one day out of nowhere it strikes. Literally.
For Roy Brannan, a civilian who works as a logistics management specialist at Air Force Materiel Command, that's pretty much how his happened.
After several 299 and 298 games, the longtime bowler's luck changed in November when he bowled the first of his two 300s this season.
It came in a city mixed-doubles tournament at Beavercreek's Beaver-Vu Bowl. Like these things usually go, Brannan wasn't even aware of it until late.
"I looked up and it was the ninth frame and things got quiet," he said. "Word got around and there was a crowd. I barely hit the head pin and everything else fell and there was a big cheer. Once I got through that the pressure was to continue." Brannan was able to complete the final frame without difficulty for the perfect 300. He said one of the special points of it was doing so in a tournament.
The second came earlier this month in a Sunday traveling league Brannan competes in. The experience of the first hardly helped out here as Brannan confessed he didn't feel altogether there.
He works a weekend job at a Huber Heights bowling alley and doesn't get off until about 3:30 a.m. This didn't exactly leave him in peak form, but it wouldn't affect him either that day at Poelking Lanes.
After rolling a 276 and a 266 the first two games, Brannan again saved his best for last. "I was so tired I was pretty much
oblivious," he said, laughing. "I basically put 12 balls in the same place because I just wanted to get it over with."
Brannan earned his rest all right --along with peace of mind with his second 300 game, having struck out in 34 of 36 frames and a career high series of 842.
Maybe the fact that he's around the sport at least five times a week is rubbing off. Brannan competes three days and works weekends as the Marian Lanes night manager, which he's been doing for three and a half years.
"I like the game and I wanted to be closer to it," he said of his second job. "That way maybe I could learn a little more about it."
Brannan began bowling as a child and eventually dropped the sport when he entered college in favor of other activities. He came to
Wright-Patterson in 1978 and began bowling again 10 years later. He's seen his game steadily improve each year, and is currently enjoying a
career best season with a goal of competing in a national tournament.
"I'm at a point where I can compete with most of the good bowlers in the area," he said. "The Dayton-Cincinnati area
is considered one of the most competitive areas in the country."
Bowling his 300 games has earned Brannan the respect of his peers and the area's "upper echelon" of bowlers.
"They approach you more readily and let you into their 'circle,'" he said. "Some of these guys have close to
thirty 300 games, though." Brannan said he would like to get closer to that mark. But he can't offer any solid tips for aspiring 300 hopefuls.
"It's still difficult to achieve, but for people who haven't had one, keep trying and you'll have your day
-- it just happens," he said.
Roy bowled his third perfect game in April,
2000, at Marian Lanes where he moonlights as a night manager.
Although well under 6' in height, Roy was
a basketball star during his seminary days. A superior ball handler, he
had an outside shot that was so accurate that the team's offensive strategy
often became "get the ball to Roy and everybody head to the hoop for the rebound
(if there is one)."
While at SFS, Roy sang in the Glee
Club, barbershop quartet, duets and solos. During college days at Thomas
More, he and Mike Niklas ('75) made a record at Artist Recording Studio in
Cincinnati. One of the songs from the record is on the 2nd Glee Club CD,
Ultima II. Roy started working at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in the
late 70's through the college co-op program. He is married
to Debbie and has three daughters, Heather, Sara, and Chelsea. They live
in Beavercreek, Ohio, which is near Dayton.