For Alex Dupuy, it was the perfect game.
At the perfect time.
We’ll get to the perfect time in a minute.
But first, his perfect game.
Dupuy, a 15-year old freshman on the Holy Rosary bowling team, began feeling the butterflies in his stomach around the 10th frame on Monday.
He had rolled nine consecutive strokes before that and word was starting to spread around AMF All Star Lanes in Kenner as he edged closer to perfection.
“It was nerve wracking,” Dupuy said. “I really had a hard time bowling. I just kept telling myself to breathe in, breathe out.”
Dupuy bowled another strike on the 10th frame. Then another. Then one more for a perfect 300.
“The place just exploded,” said Aimee Menard, bowling coach at Holy Rosary. “It was just a really special moment.”
And an, oh-so-rare one.
Just ask Alex Handback, district manager for McCorvey’s Pro Shop.
“For a high school bowler, it’s extremely rare,” Handback said. “I have been working in the pro shop industry for 12 years and it took me almost six years before I shot a 300.”
It didn’t take Dupuy nearly that long. He just started bowling in October 2012.
“His school is limited in the sports they have and he came home one day and said ‘Mom, I am going to try out for the bowling team,’ ” recalled Nancy Dupuy.
Nancy and her husband, Alex, got bowling tutors for their son and just 16 months later he bowled a perfect score.
And the 300 wasn’t even his most remarkable feat.
Dupuy rolled a 257 and a 254 in the first two games Monday, finishing with a mind-boggling 811 series, including 28 strikes.
“Bowling an 800 is twice as rare as a 300,” Handback said. “It was a phenomenal feat and nobody deserved it more than him. Not only did he put it all together for that last game, but he kept it together the first two games. And then he just extremely excelled on the last one.”
For Dupuy, it was perhaps his last bowling match of the season.
He is scheduled to fly out to the MD Anderson Cancer Clinic in Texas on Wednesday after being diagnosed with a rare form of tongue cancer on Feb. 3.
“He was a little down and depressed and a little scared like all 15-year-olds would be,” his mom said. “But bowling has really got him through it. Bowling is such a big part of his life. It was very devastating when we found out. But we had to stay strong for our child and keep the faith. We have a lot of people praying for him and it helps having so much support.”
One of the biggest supporters is Perry Giambrone, a bowler at Rummel.
“Perry’s always calling to check on him and encouraging him to come out and bowl, and that’s helped so much,” Nancy Dupuy said.
Giambrone was the first person to hug Dupuy when he bowled his perfect score. The two had been competing against each other all day.
Chances are, they’ll play again someday.
“You won’t be able to keep Alex away from bowling too long,” Menard said. “He’ll be back.”
“I enjoy bowling a lot,” he said. “I want to be a professional bowler one day.”
That’s one of his many goals.
He reached one of his other goals Monday when he rolled a 300.
“He tells me all the time that when he closes his eyes, he sees a strike,” his mother said. “So the 300 was a dream come true for him. And it just happened to come at the perfect time in his life.”