May 16, 2012 - Oxford Middle School eighth-grader Cole Mayhew just smashed two school bowling records. On Saturday, April 28, Cole bowled a record setting 264, nine pins over the old mark. He followed that up with a 191 for a record two-game total of 455, two pins better than the previous record once held by current JV State champ Drew Pappas.
Cole Mayhew (click for larger version)
Cole began bowling in January of 2011. He saw some kids practicing at Collier Lanes and walked over to talk to them. It was there he met assistant OMS coach, Doug O'Berry who recruited him on the spot.
Cole enjoys bowling because it's fun and "relaxing," the OHS-bound bowler said. However, the game can be stressful when he's trying to maintain a streak of strikes, Mayhew claimed. His current record of strikes is six in a row, which is probably why he's called on to be the team anchor.
Being anchor, on the other hand, does not stress the young bowling whiz. Whereas other athletes might buckle under the pressure, Mayhew insisted that he "doesn't get nervous" in these situations.
Cole's father, David, used to play a bit when he was younger, but Cole has already surpassed his dad's best score. The elder Mayhew has since dusted off his old bowling ball, though, and, in a tone of pseudo challenge, warns the younger Mayhew "it's not over."
Though father Mayhew hasn't been coaching the younger Mayhew, he has imparted some advice that Cole insists is helpful. David Mayhew tells his son to think positively after a string of good frames and to ask: "why can't I throw another good ball and get a strike again? Cole has told his father that this mindset has been helping; David tells this reporter that maybe he'll try this advice himself.
Mayhew's father now turns serious for a moment and said he is extremely proud of Cole. He'd like Cole to take the same mindset of "why can't I continue . . ." into whatever endeavor he sets his hand to and other competitive events the boy may attend.
David Mayhew gives a lot of the credit for Cole's bowling success to Zene Wynkoop and Doug O'Berry, the coaching staff that has worked with him. Cole "wouldn't have achieved that game without the help of the coaches. They do a great job with the kids," Dave Mayhew said.
Coach Doug O'Berry said that Cole is "a fantastic young man (who is) very coachable." Cole is the type of athlete, O'Berry continued, "who will try anything we ask, whether it applies or not, to see if it works."
Coach Wynkoop gave the credit to young Mayhew. "He's done a lot of work and deserves the high accolades," the coach said. Mayhew always puts in extra work after practice, and "you can see what it does (for his game). It shows," Coach Wynkoop said.
Cole is a modest young man who kept his bowling success close to the vest, however. His father didn't find out about Cole's record setting score until he read about it on the school's website.
Once he read there the record of Cole's dominant performance, Dave Mayhew was thrilled, as any father would have been: "to see him shoot that (score) is phenomenal," father Mayhew said.
Cole said other students should consider bowling. "I once thought it was a nerdy sport," the younger Mayhew admitted, "but now I really like it! Give it a try!"
Mayhew will be closely watched at the next level, Coach Wynkoop promised. Now that bowling is a letter sport, Wynkoop anticipates great success for the young bowler.
Coaches O'Berry and Wynkoop are "continuing to look for kids for the OMS program," so if you're interested in bowling for the Oxford Middle School, contact Wynkoop at 586-615-5066.