EAST HANOVER, NJ — Despite being sick on Monday, Livingston bowling sophomore Michael Liu threw the first perfect game in Lancers history on Tuesday to lead the varsity bowling team to victory over Millburn at Hanover Lanes.
Liu rolled an impressive 17 consecutive strikes on Tuesday, 12 of which contributed to his perfect game of 300. Last week, he also rolled an 804 series (277, 279 and 248) against Irvington, breaking the Super Essex Conference series record.
The team will take on Seton Hall Prep for the conference title on Thursday after beating their rival for the second time this season on Monday afternoon. In Liu’s absence on Monday, the Livingston team stepped it up and defeated the Pirates two games to one to move back into first place.
Senior captain Louis Farer and junior David Poesl each struck out in the tenth frame on Monday to steal the game from Seton Hall.
Tom Liu, Michael’s father, said that Michael has rolled a 300 in practice before, but never during a match. He said his son should now be in the top handful in the state with only a few games left in the season.
According to coach Griff Hughes, it has been a very exciting season overall for Lancers bowling.
“This year, all the kids have really stepped up, especially late in the season,” Tom said. “It’s great to see.”
After losing three seniors last year, Tom said the team knew it was going to be a challenge to rebuild, but that the Lancers quickly put last year behind them and supported each other through the transition.
Senior captain Louis Farer, who has rolled a 266 and 255 during the 2017-18 season, has also proved to be a valuable leader among the Lancers this year.
“We’ve done very well this season,” said Farer. “And I’m just so proud that everyone, even when they think they’re not having a good day, they just bring it the next game and they always bounce back—it’s amazing. One of our star players had a 300 today, which is almost impossible to do but he made it look easy. Now we have counties on Friday and we have state sectionals on Monday, so we’re hoping to win something there.”
His mother, Sharryn, said that although it’s not well-known, the Lancers varsity bowling team is one of the most successful sports teams at the high school—winning the county title for the last few seasons, and taking home the conference, county and section titles in 2017.
With an older son who was also a member of the Livingston team, Sharryn said she is not only proud of the many boys and girls who have played for Livingston over the years, but is also consistently impressed with the camaraderie between the Lancers and their rivals.
“It’s not like hockey or baseball or football,” she said. “It’s really high-fiving each player whether you’re on the same team or not.”
She and her fellow parents said it’s always satisfying to see each of the players improving while also pushing each other and encouraging not only their own teammates, but their opponents as well.
As the end of this season approaches, the players, parents and coaches encourage more students, both male and female, to try out for the team.