There were people all around him and you could barely hear a pin drop.
All eyes were on Hudson senior Sam Karman as he had an opportunity to do something that doesn’t happen every day.
One can only imagine the stress and anxiety a person must feel when the spotlight is completely on him.
Karman, on the other hand, was, for the most part, oblivious to the circumstances.
Such nonchalance wound up serving the standout teenager rather well.
As a result, the senior bowler made history.
Karman became the first Explorer to bowl a perfect game in school history during the Suburban League Tournament Saturday at Kent Lanes.
Karman, who said his previous high game was in the "240s," tried a new ball and found the pocket on every shot.
While Karman was aware of what was at stake, there were no butterflies during his breakthrough performance.
"I never really got nervous," he said. "When I got it, I didn’t really think it was a big thing. It was exciting at the time and lot of people were super excited. I just felt normal."
Going into the match, Karman had lost confidence in his regular ball. He decided to go with another ball that worked modestly for him during a previous game.
"I used it one time a few months ago," Karman said. "All the strikes were pretty good. I usually have some bad strikes."
Hudson head coach John Brockway made the suggestion to use another ball.
"The lanes were hooking a little less than we’re used to, so I asked Sam if he wanted to try a ball that hooked a little more," he said. "He ended up switching on his last shot of practice and he sure is glad he did."
Whether it’s on the lanes or for a pitcher on the baseball diamond, luck almost always seems to play a role when it comes to achieving perfection.
But that wasn’t the case for Karman, who was sharp on every throw.
"Every shot was right where it needed to be," Brockway said. "And his ball was going through the pins perfectly.
"He really rolled the ball better that game than he has all year. It was great to see him do it at the tournament with all the fans there cheering him on as he bowled the 10th frame."
Karman, who started bowling regularly as a freshman, also rolled games of 225 and 169, respectively, to finish with a 694 series, which was good for fifth place overall.
Cuyahoga Falls’ Justin Moyer placed first out of 63 bowlers with a 773 series (225, 290 and 258).
"I actually said when the tournament was starting that I thought there would be some big scores and maybe even a 300," Brockway said. "However, I had no idea it would be one of our kids. We certainly have a few kids that are capable of stringing a lot of strikes together, but we’ve never had one of our kids bowl a 300, even in practice."
The Explorers finished sixth out of 12 teams with a score of 3,732. Wadsworth won the competition with a score of 4,235. Stow-Munroe Falls placed second (4,107) and Falls took third (4,101).
Logan Loeffler was next for Hudson with a 24th-place series of 588 (189, 212 and 187). Andrew Brechtelsbauer placed 25th with a 587 series (170, 183 and 234) and Dillon Muccino captured 27th with a 572 series (169, 203 and 200) for the Explorers.
Also competing for Hudson were Jay Boyden (55th, 161 and 159) and Austin Fernando (60th, 154).
The Lady Explorers finished 10th out of 11 teams with a score of 2,666. Stow won the competition with a score of 3,708 and Theodore Roosevelt placed second (3,618) and Tallmadge took third (3,400).
Roosevelt’s Emily Byles placed first out of 59 bowlers with a 670 series (235, 203 and 232).
Olivia Norton led the way for Hudson with a 31st-place series of 427 (114, 146 and 167).
Lauren Malaska finished 44th (158 and 133) and Alyssa Germano placed 45th (103 and 183) for the Lady Explorers.
Danielle Mauer captured 47th (151 and 116) and Celia Manders finished 48th (137 and 123) for Hudson.
Also bowling for the Lady Explorers were Mikayla Cohen (53rd, 101 and 97) and Katie Titmas (58th, 97).
Karman, who once bowled a 280 in practice, was the lone Explorer to qualify for the district competition last winter.
The Hudson boys are scheduled to compete at a Division I sectional tournament this Sunday at Boardman Lanes at 9 a.m. The girls are set to bowl at 2 p.m.
"I feel confident that I can at least make it to districts," he said. "I’m hoping to get to states."
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, email@example.com or @FrankAceto_RPC.