Scallions caps first 800 series with 300

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 6, 2001

Todd Scallions, a former pro, shows the form that netted him an 831 series. (The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[04/06/01] For most people, bowling a 300 game is a once-in-a-lifetime test of nerves.

Not to Todd Scallions. He’s done it so many times, he’s lost count.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

But even Scallions, a former pro who has rolled “either 12 or 14” 300 games, was excited by his most recent feat the first 800 series in the 40-plus-year history of Red Carpet Lanes.

Scallions, a general manager of service and parts at Thames Autoplex and co-owner of Scallions Locksmith, rolled an 831 series during Commercial League play on March 30.

It was his fourth 800 series, and he capped it in style with a perfect game. The total for the three-game set was just 20 pins short of the state record, 851.

“They’re a lot harder to come by and a lot more precious than a 300,” Scallions said of the 800 series. On average, fewer than a dozen are thrown each year in Mississippi.

“I did want the 800 up here, because I never shot one up here, and there’s never been one in this house,” added Scallions, who was once on the Professional Bowlers Association tour.

Red Carpet Lanes owner John Magruder said he wasn’t sure how long it would take for someone to roll an 800 series, but he wasn’t surprised Scallions did it.

“I thought I’d see it sooner or later. I just didn’t know how later later’ would be,” Magruder said. “But if someone’s going to do it, this is the guy.”

All Magruder had to do to find out when Scallions would do it was ask him. After rolling a 269 and a 262 in his first two games of the set, Scallions called his shot.

“He told (teammates), I’m fixing to shoot (800).’ He had two strikes in the third game,” said teammate John Toney, who also has a 300 game at Red Carpet Lanes to his credit, in December 1998.

Scallions got in a groove and easily passed the 269 he needed to reach 800. It was only in the last couple of frames that he started to think about getting another 300 under his belt, he said.

“Once I got the first nine in a row, I wanted to shoot 300, but it wouldn’t have bothered me if I hadn’t,” Scallions said, adding that he was never nervous.

“Once you do something so many times, I guess it doesn’t affect you anymore.”

The perfect game was just the eighth ever at Red Carpet Lanes, but it was the sixth in the last two years, fourth in the last six months and third this year.

It was Scallions’ third 300 at the Clay Street alley. He also rolled perfect games in 1996 and 1999.

Scallions credited the improvements Magruder has made to the lanes for the rise in the number of perfect games.

“John and them have done wonders with this bowling center,” Scallions said. “Over the last seven years, the improvements have been tremendous.”

Scallions laughed off any thoughts of rolling a 900 series, saying, “My luck isn’t that good.”

He’s deadly serious about another goal, however winning the American Bowling Congress Masters tournament in Reno, Nev., in June.

A win would earn him nearly $100,000 in prize money. More importantly, the televised final would be played on June 16, the five-year anniversary of the death of his father.

The sentimental incentive for bowling well is more motivational than the financial ones, he said.

“Then I’d be real excited. I’d be hard to hold down,” Scallions said. “I’m planning on being on TV that Saturday.”