Truman's Jackson Ryan Signs to Bowl at Midway University

Harry S Truman senior Jackson Ryan was recognized for committing to continue his bowling career at Midway University. (Photos provided)



Jackson Ryan – Midway University (Bowling)


Major: Pre-Med


Final list of colleges:  “I was in contact with many colleges including; Midway University, Lindenwood University, McKendree University, University of Pikeville, William Penn University, William Paterson, and West Texas A&M.”


Reasons for choosing Midway: “After receiving four scholarship offers and being in multiple phone calls with each school, I began to weigh all of my options. Being that most of my options were away from home, I really had to think about where would be best for my family, and myself. By looking at costs of going to the schools and how far they were from home, it started to cross out some of the schools.

“Midway University, to me, felt like the best fit for what I want to accomplish in my academic and athletic career down the line. After being in contact with Coach Michael Hall for the last four years and getting to really know who he was, it made a huge impact on my decision. He made sure to inform me that even though I’d be away from home, he’d fill in as my secondary parent while I’m away at school. He is very understanding, nice, funny, and he is quite the character if I say so myself, and his personality matched the best with mine. 


What was the progression that led you to competing in bowling at the collegiate level? “I started to think about playing sports at the collegiate level since I was very young. I also play baseball, so around eighth grade when I made my first ever Junior Gold - Nationals in Indianapolis, IN, for bowling, it sank in that I could eventually play either sport at the collegiate level. For bowling, I began my recruiting process in ninth grade at my second Junior Gold National ournament in Cleveland, OH. At Junior Gold, you are able to talk with many colleges. When you arrive in the city, you are to check-in at a building that holds registration, multiple professional bowlers, and an abundance of collegiate teams looking for more players. I unfortunately did not talk to many colleges at Junior Gold that year.

“When I was at Junior Gold in 2018 in Dallas, TX, that is when things really began to speed up. One professional bowler, Bill O’Neill, who is a family friend of ours, was there that year and we met up with him to chat. He told us that we should begin to start talking to some colleges, and then in my junior year I should try to talk to all of them. At Junior Gold that year, I really fell in love with the program at West Texas A&M, I truly believed that was where I wanted to go for my collegiate career.

“During that summer I saw a Facebook post about Midway University because they were just starting their program. Male bowlers don’t really receive bowling scholarships, so when I saw the post and it mentioned that Midway was able to give scholarships to men, I knew I had to get into contact right away. I then began to contact Coach Hall and we stayed in touch since then. My family, including my one-year-old niece at the time, was finally able to meet him in Detroit, MI, for Junior Gold in 2019. After meeting him and learning more about the new program, I began to gain a lot of interest, and I could tell he had a genuine mutual interest in me.

“Unfortunately, as I was a sophomore, I wasn’t a top priority to be scouted by everybody as they try to build their team off of the class that just graduated or is going into their senior year. However, I stayed in contact with him and multiple other schools over the next couple months until halfway through my junior year. I wasn't in contact with any colleges for a brief six months due to the fact that all the schools were competing in multiple events for months. One night I sat up all night emailing about 60 colleges about their bowling program and potentially joining the team. I received back about 30 responses which was more than enough, and I began to get any information I could out of them including scholarships, costs to attend the school, and majors.

“Most of these coaches were great to talk to over the phone, and I greatly appreciated them taking their time to talk to me. But, out of all of the schools I talked to, only three really stuck out to me. Once I got down to three schools, from September to halfway through October, I was constantly on the phone with these coaches. After not talking to Coach Hall for almost seven months, the first thing he asked me on the phone was ‘How is your family? How is your niece?’ and being that he remembered meeting my one-year-old niece really sank in. He stood out among the other coaches I was in contact with, and that includes that moment and just in general his personality. With all the factors leading into my decision and where my heart felt the best, it was Midway University.”


Coach Jess Schulz says: “I met Jackson when he was in middle school at Armstrong – I was a substitute teacher there, and just to see the maturity and growth that he has really shown throughout the years is amazing. He came in as a freshman on a very competitive team and was able to earn a starting spot as a freshman, which takes a lot for a young individual. To watch his growth from filling in a varsity position to becoming the captain and leader that he is today, it’s been nice to witness.

“I coached the girls’ team this year. We lost our boys’ coach to some unforeseen circumstances, and so he really has filled in as also a co-counterpart. It’s hard for me to watch both the boys and the girls. If I have a question or if I miss something, that’s who I go to. I go to Jackson. He fills me in and we discuss. He knows I have the final say, but he is always up for the conversation on what’s right for the team. He’s definitely a team player, and he wants everyone to succeed, and you don’t always get that.

“The Truman bowling program over the years – we do see a lot of collegians come from our high school. I think Jackson felt that reputation put on him – he comes from a huge bowling family. He comes from a whole generation after generation of bowlers. I have been coaching our team for 10 years, and he’s  our first male bowling signer.”


About Jackson:

Favorite foods: My mom’s lasagna, mac n’ cheese, crab legs, and pizza. 

Favorite TV showsMaze Runner Trilogy, Percy Jackson

Favorite movies: IT, YOU, The Society, Shameless, All Three Jumanji’s, Gemini Man, and more. 

Favorite music:  Genre: Rap, Country and Pop. 

Favorite artists: Juice WRLD, Lil Baby, Roddy Ricch, Drake, 6ix9ine, Lil Uzi Vert, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Zac Brown Band, Luke Combs, and more.