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  • State Title

January 01, 2024

By Avery Reeves


I started bowling when I was five. I always bowled in youth leagues until I got to middle school when I joined my high school team. When I joined the team, I wasn't very good, but every year I was on the team, I improved. My team was never good enough, so we never won anything. As time went on, the team improved, and we started to win some tournaments. When I got to high school, we had individual and team tournaments. As I got better, I started to win tournaments individually and was bowling more tournaments outside of school. I began to feel my love for the game truly grow and catch fire.


As my time in high school bowling continued, I gathered additional people and friendships into my life from all over the state that I am grateful for. I continued in the sport day to day, week to week, month to month. With improvements in my physical and mental game, we began to see more success as a team on top of my individual accomplishments. Sophomore year of high school, we won regionals as a team, and individually I won regionals for the first time. After regionals came state championships, where the team struggled and was beaten out. I continued on and ended up finishing sixth in individuals that year. Overall, it was my most successful year at the time, and I was feeling on the upswing.


My work in the sport did not stop there. In my junior year, I won regionals again individually, but my team did not advance with me. At state, I advanced round after round and made it to the final match where, unfortunately, I was beat out by someone who is now a rival of mine at the collegiate level. After this long in the sport, I realized this was something that I did not want to end when I graduated high school and that I wanted to take it to the next level.


I was constantly looking around me at collegiate opportunities and schools that interested me in athletics and academics. Some of the schools I toured for bowling and academics were Pikeville, University of the Cumberlands, and, where I am now: Midway University. When it came time for my senior year, I knew what I wanted to pursue, and my goal was to end my high school time on a high note.


Senior year rolled around, and at this point, I was one of the big dogs, just like most seniors in their sports. I was the one that, when I walked into the bowling alley, most people knew me and knew to see my name at the top of the leaderboard. After years of work, it led up to this final season. In January, I signed my letter of intent to continue academics and bowling at Midway University. At regionals, my team battled hard but struggled and did not place high enough to advance to state championships. I individually finished at second at regionals, putting me high enough to go to state.


More work followed after regionals leading up to my last chance to go out with a boom. When it came time for state, my hard work and dedication to the sport showed. I was remaining at the top of the leaderboard all day, and with one final game before the stepladder, I remained in third. I beat the first opponent out in the opening match, advancing to finals for the state title. One final match decided if I was going to be number one or the "first loser," as Ricky Bobby would call it. At this point, my mindset was that this was my best finish ever regardless of what happened, but to go have fun and stay aggressive. I led the match the entire time and ended up taking home my state title.