Almost Perfect


David Goodwillie

Katom Parnell bowls during a practice at Olivette lanes.

Brendan Johnson, Editor-in-Chief

Sophomore Katom Parnell bowled nine frames, strike after strike. It wasn’t until his brother yelled to him that he realized he was on track for a perfect game. In the tenth frame, Parnell sent all but one pin toppling down, ending his hope for a perfect game, but pushing him to work harder.

“I was disappointed, but on my way home I said to myself, ‘Think about it, you weren’t even trying to throw a 300.’ I knew then that if I challenged myself, I could get to that score that every bowler dreams of.”

Averaging a score of 221, Parnell throws strikes regularly. Throwing a perfect game, however, is a rare experience.

“If I let it haunt me I know it will stay in my mind and I will always feel like I have to throw a 300,” Parnell said. “It’s something I just have to shake off.”

Parnell is not a stranger to competition. He is always looking to challenge himself, bowling against the best player on the other team in tournaments.

“I figure why not compete at the highest level when I know what I am capable of,” Parnell said. “I’m a competitive guy, I mean, I don’t even like to lose at family reunions. To me it’s all about pushing yourself.”

Recruited by De Smet in the 8th grade, Parnell now stands as a leader for his team. He works to improve both himself and his teammates as best as he can.

“It won’t be too long before he is better than me,” Coach Frank said. “He’s got a lot of talent. It’s my job to help him be as good as he can get, which potentially is incredibly good.”

As Parnell bowls, he carries on his family’s legacy. His grandfather, Tommy Magee, is one of his many teachers that have helped him develop his craft.

“It lifts me up to see what he is doing,” Magee, said. “From what I’m teaching him everything pans out. He’s come a long way, and I am really proud of him.”

Parnell has modeled his shot after PBA bowler, Jason Belmonte, taking after his untraditional two handed technique: the Belmo style.

“The world is changing every day. Why stay traditional when you have teachers and coaches that can help you develop into a new style of bowler,” Parnell said. “The new style has taken over me and the way I play the game.”

Parnell aims to further develop his craft with the untraditional, yet effective, technique. He feels that doing so will help him be the best he can be.

“It’s become a second nature of mine,” Parnell said. “It gives me the ability to throw harder and increase my percentage of strikes, which in the long run will help me perfect my craft.”

Parnell has nearly reached perfection once, and he hopes that further devotion will allow him to do so again.

“I know I can do anything I put my mind to,” Parnell said. “I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am today without my teachers and my passion for the sport. It’s these things that will help me go further.”