CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Degan Hackett bowled his best game ever Wednesday during the Special Olympics Canada bowling championships.
The 17-year-old from West Devon scored a 209 in a game against British Columbia Three at Murphy’s Community Centre in Charlottetown.
“It was a good day for bowling,” said Hackett.
Hackett is competing in the fivepin bowling championship with his Team P.E.I. teammates Jonathan Watts of York, Patti Bradley of Charlottetown, Donna Pyke of Charlottetown and Kaitlyn MacKinnon of Charlottetown.
They finished their first day on a high note, winning their third game against British Columbia Three after losing to Manitoba One and Alberta Two.
Watts, 26, says he was thrilled to see so many familiar faces in the audience.
“My whole family is here,” Watts said with smile.
His mother, Leah Watts, and sister, Laura Fall, were two of about 30 people who showed up to support him Wednesday.
They are also volunteering at the event.
“He did awesome,” said Leah.
Watts had bowled a 176, 163 and 168.
“He feeds off the crowd,” Leah said with a laugh.
Fall says her brother was so excited in the weeks leading up to the championships.
“He was telling everybody that he saw that he is in a bowling tournament and that they will have to come and watch,” said Fall.
This is Watts’ second time competing in the Special Olympics Canada bowling championships.
The first time was in London, Ont., in 2010 when his mother and father attended. This time around, he had aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbours and family friends in attendance with the championships being held in P.E.I.
“He’s got such a … network of support of family and friends, it’s really awesome for him,” said Leah.
Coach Rickey Burns says he was proud of how his team bowled Wednesday.
“It’s the best I have ever seen them bowl,” Burns said after the game against British Columbia Three.
Burns said he gave them lots of pep talks before and during the event.
“One of things I try to tell them is don’t worry about the parents behind them. Bowl for yourself and the team.”
He says his squad is having a lot of fun together at the championship.
“I enjoy the fun with them,” said Burns. “They are a joy to work with.”
The team has four more games left before the semifinals and finals Saturday.
Team P.E.I.’s schedule for the Special Olympics Canada bowling championships.
Fivepin competition at Murphy’s Community Centre in Charlottetown:
12:45 p.m.- P.E.I. vs. Ontario Five.
1:45 p.m.- P.E.I. vs. Northwest Territories.
10:15 p.m.- P.E.I. vs. Ontario 11.
11: 15 p.m.- P.E.I. vs. Ontario One.
8 a.m.- Semifinals.
9 a.m.- Finals.
1:30 p.m.- Medal ceremonies at UPEI.
Tenpin competition in Summerside and Tyne Valley.
1:15 p.m. – Doubles – Jenna Smith/Paul Phillips (Summerside).
1:15 p.m. – Doubles – Kevin Ramsay/Wayne Dyment (Summerside).
8:45 a.m. – Individual – Jenna Smith (Tyne Valley).
1:15 p.m. – Individual – Wayne Dyment (Summerside).
2:45 p.m. – Individual – Kevin Ramsay (Tyne Valley).
2:45 p.m. – Individual – Paul Phillips (Tyne Valley).
9 a.m. – Medal ceremonies (Summerside).