OUT OF NOWHERE: Meyer Takes 2nd At States

Click the thumbnails to see photos and videos, and to hear his interview.

When Matt Meyer packed his bags for the MHSAA Division Three Bowling Regional Tournament in late February, he wasn't sure how things would go that day in Chaboygan.

And the Gladstone High School junior had to roll a tremendous 247 game in the sixth and final game just to finish fifth and qualify for states.


As great of an accomplishment that was for Meyer, it paled in comparison to his accomplishments at the state finals in Jackson. Meyer became just the third Upper Peninsula bowler to advance to the state championship match, where he ultimately lost by 30 pins. And he was just fine with that.


“Honestly, it was surprising and it was amazing," Meyer said. "I bowled my best. I mean, just making it down there. That was my whole goal for the whole season, to just make it down there. Making the cut, and just making the top 16 was amazing. But then bowling my way through, beating everyone by 50-100 pins, I was just bowling my game and keeping it calm. The adrenaline got to me, but I'll take a second place finish anytime at states."

"He is not easily frustrated," Gladstone Coach Rick Neumann said. "He keeps his head in the game as well as anyone I have coached in 30 years. The big game at regionals was more surprising (than Meyer's run at states). Anything can happen once you get into match play."


Meyer was unsure how things would go at the state finals, but things went better-than-expected. First, he rolled a 1215 series and qualifying ninth amongst 16 bowlers to extend his season.


In the first knockout round, Meyer beat the eighth seed, Anderson Zoch of Allegan High School, 400-306. In the quarterfinal round, Meyer had to face the top seed, Miles Paetz of Frankenmuth. And another upset, as Meyer won, 414-363.


On to the semifinals. Meyer faced the 12th seed, Anthony Davis of Midland Bullock Creek, who had pulled an upset of his own along the way. And, again, Meyer came through, winning in a landslide, 499-309, rolling games of 265 and 234.


That put Meyer into the state championship match, just the third Upper Peninsula bowler ever to make it that far. He went up against Mayson Knop of Frankenmuth, the tenth seed.

Knop got off to a big lead and held off Meyer by 30 pins, 394-364. Meyer rolled a 175 in the first game, while Knop came in with a 237, putting Meyer in a big hole.

"He started off with a big split in the third frame," Meyer said. "I thought I was going to take advantage of that, but he made the big split. That really got his confidence up, and he threw seven strikes out of eight. My adrenaline was so high that I couldn't slow myself down."

"If he would have missed (the split), Matt might be the state champ," Neumann said.

Meyer cut his deficit in half by winning the next game, 189-157, but it wasn't enough. Knop was the state champion, and Meyer had to settle for runner-up.

"I really wanted to make the top 16 (out of 56 bowlers) and if I didn't, oh well," Meyer said. "But I did make the top 16 and I kept my composure. I was only expecting to maybe win one match and then lose in the quarterfinals. It was a huge surprise for me. We don't get a lot of recognition up here. That was my whole goal, to go down there and show that the U.P. is strong. I'm glad that I'm the third person ever to do it!"

Meyer says he will be working hard to get ready for his senior season.

"I tried my best, and I'm going to try my hardest to go for it all next year," Meyer said. "I'm going to try to get there again. I'm gonna try to go big and bring it home. But first, I've got to do a lot of practice in the summer to get ready for it."

"He just needs to keep the game goals for next year to get back to his finals," Neumann said.


LISTEN: Matt Meyer state finals comments