To view photos of Pennridge’s match against North Penn, click on the following link: http://photos.suburbanonesports.com/
EARLINGTON – Ryan Ross was born to bowl.
Or at least that’s what it has seemed like since the Pennridge sophomore took up the sport four years ago and immediately informed his older brother, Scott Ross, that he planned to become a professional bowler.
“When I first started bowling, I actually hated it because I sucked – even though I told my brother I was going to go pro someday,” he said with a laugh. “It kind of got frustrating and kind of still is sometimes, but I’ve only been bowling for four years or so.
“I guess I’m doing good for four years.”
Good hardly covers it where Ross is concerned.
In early September, he captured the title at the Pennsylvania Junior Bowlers Tournament at Palmyra Bowling Center, finishing the tournament with 2,219 pins or an average of 202 for 11 games.
For winning, he received a glass bowling pin and, more importantly, two hundred dollars in scholarship money.
Bowling is a year-round sport for Ross, who competes on the Junior Bowlers tour 38 weeks out of the year. He bowls an average of at least 14 games a week and sometimes bowls up to 20 if he qualifies for the second day of the weekend Junior Bowlers Tournaments.
What drew him in?
“I have no idea,” he said. “I just like the sport. I knew a lot of people that bowled, and they got me into it, and it just went from there.
“They helped me along the way, and I got better and better.”
According to his mother, Pennridge assistant Barb Ross, once he started bowling, Ryan couldn’t stop.
“Almost every day, it was ‘Come on, let’s go bowling,” she said. “I can’t afford every day, Ryan.”
Ross had an average in the neighborhood of 90 in those early days. Within a year, he was averaging 130-140, and today his average is in the neighborhood of 200.
His high game is 269, and after an up and down afternoon in his team’s match against North Penn earlier this season, Ross admitted that a lot of bowling is mental.
“About 90 percent is,” he said.
During one stretch in the match against the Knights, Ross had six strikes in a row.
“I wanted to win this match,” he said. “I don’t want to lose. In this kind of environment, it’s not individual. It’s all about the team.”
The sophomore bowler is the anchor of a Rams’ squad that is playing at the varsity level for the first time this year after competing at the club level the past two years.
“It’s terrific,” coach John Travers said of having Ross on board. “He’s a very skilled bowler and a good teammate. It’s been a pleasure having him.
“There have been a couple of other varsity guys that have been with the club, and it’s really important to have them all. They know each other. They have been bowling together for a couple of years. They have come together nicely as a team this year.”
Barb Ross admits she enjoys sharing the sport of bowling with her son.
“I love it,” she said. “I love to spend time with him. It can be frustrating because he gets frustrated, and it’s hard to be impartial and objective when you want to cheer him on and root for him.
“But I love spending time with the kids. I’ve always been involved in all the things he’s done.”
The future would seem to be decidedly bright for Ross and his Ram teammates.
“I hope he can continue to improve,” Travers said. “He’s an extraordinary bowler as he is, and if he’s able to improve and stay with the team for the next three years, it will be great.”
For now, Ryan is simply enjoying his time competing in what he believes will be a lifelong sport.
“Even if I don’t go anywhere with it, I’m still going to bowl – probably for the rest of my life,” Ross said.
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