When Trey Warner took to Lane 4 at Chelsea Lanes, he never imagined he was about to roll a perfect game. There were any number of reasons why he shouldn’t have been able to.
None of them mattered because, for at least one day, Warner was competing with both his talent and an eternal sense of good fortune from his grandfather, who had passed away fewer than two weeks earlier.
And that made all the difference for Warner, who had the breakout performance of his career on a foreign lane in the spotlight.
“I felt like he was there with me that second game,” Warner told MLive.com. “I don’t know how to explain it, but I know he was there.”
Warner’s game came as one of the first he’s rolled as an official member of his own high school’s team. As reported by MLive.com, a Homer (Mich.) High School senior, Warner and his younger brother Deven got the first opportunity to play for their school when Homer decided to field a team for the 2018 season.
And though the team’s contest against Grass Lake High had already been decided — even Warner’s perfect game wasn’t enough for a win — it still set the stage for the performance of the year in Michigan, and a particularly memorable one for the Warner family.
Warner’s grandfather, Gene Tackett, died Jan. 18. He and Warner’s father and cousin had all previously rolled perfect games. Warner was convinced his grandfather was with him throughout his breakthrough performance, right up to the final ball.
“At the beginning of the match, I had no intention of throwing 300, I was just trying to get my point,” he said. “I kept hitting my mark, hitting my shots and getting strikes. The ninth frame was the most nerve-racking. When I got to the 10th frame, I knew I already had a good score, so even if I throw a 9-count, it’s going to be a decent score. I felt very focused.
“When I shot the last strike, (my teammates) all huddled around me, jumping up and down. It was tremendous. I’m still in shock.”