To some, going to the bowling alley is a fun, rainy-day activity, but for sophomore, Matt Watson, bowling is an aspect of his everyday life.
“I’ve bowled for probably about nine or ten years. Competitively, about 3 years, but recreational, only about six or seven years,” Watson said.
Watson’s interest in bowling was fueled by years of watching his brother.
“My brother was always really into it, and the first time I watched him bowl in [a] league, I thought it was really cool,” Watson said.
Today, Watson bowls around twenty to thirty games a week, and his practices take him to multiple different locations.
“I bowl in Columbus, Franklin and Bloomington, in normal leagues and then we go across the state and country for tournaments,” Watson said.
In addition to practices, he bowls in about thirty to forty competitions each year, and, recently, he has even participated in an elite competition.
“I qualified for teen masters in Las Vegas this year. So, I did that, and then we bowled for a whole week. I didn’t make the cut, but that was probably one of the greatest things I’ve done,” Watson said.
Juggling homework, practices, and competitions might seem difficult to the average high-schooler, and to an extent, Watson might agree. However, he describes his love for the sport as something that balances out the burden.
“It’s hard sometimes, because it can be very stressful, but I never really have thought that I need to quit. I enjoy it enough to balance it out” Watson said.
Aside from carving out time for both school work and practice, Watson describes one of his biggest challenges as receiving acceptance from his classmates and the community.
“Sometimes it can be discriminating, because some people, you know, they think ‘Oh, who cares, it’s bowling’,” Watson said.
Yet, he continues to find joy in his sport through the tight knit team dynamic that bowling offers.
“It’s really reassuring because it’s like a small family. Every tournament you go to, you know everyone,” Watson said.
After reflecting on the large sum of inner turmoil that bowling causes him, Watson told cnhsmedia that the negatives will never outweigh his love for the sport.
“I’ve never had any self doubt. It’s always been too much of an enjoyment for me.”