Some college students enjoy trips to the bowling alley for some fun, but there are two students who have played more games than the average student. Senior Elliot Mabe received his first pair of bowling shoes in the sixth grade and began spending his weekends bowling with several of his relatives back in his hometown of Newport, Arkansas. It’s a hobby that carried into his adult life, as he now visits the bowling alley several times a week.
Every Tuesday, Mabe posts on Facebook, inviting friends to visit Super Bowl, Searcy’s local bowling alley. Mabe visits so often that the staff and owner are familiar with him. The owner even offered Mabe the opportunity to help assist the Riverview High School bowling team in Searcy, while Mabe wasn’t able to accept the offer due to schedule conflicts, coaching is something he is interested in pursuing in the future.
Whether playing with friends or alone, Mabe feels bowling is a good way to relax. According to Mabe, it’s a sport anyone can participate in and enjoy. He visits the bowling alley whenever he gets the chance and hopes one day to score a perfect 300, but in the meantime, he just enjoys playing the game.
“I love how it’s one of those sports where you don’t have to have a lot of talent to have fun at it,” Mabe said. “You can go out there and be horrible but if you’re out there with your friends you can have a great time.”
Mabe has enjoyed a few games with his friend Dakota Roeder, a sophomore from Washington and long-time competitive bowler. He first began bowling around age 4 and has competed in tournaments all across the nation ever since.
Roeder bowled his first perfect 300 in 2009 and has bowled 13 perfect games in total. He was awarded the United States Bowling Congress 300 game ring, which he keeps on his keychain, and has won numerous trophies. He also holds the record in his hometown’s bowling alley and purchased a car with the prize money from competing. His passion for the game was influenced greatly by his relatives, his grandparents are regular bowlers and his older siblings participated in competitions as well. His love for bowling has allowed him to travel around the country on numerous occasions and compete with a variety of people.
“When I look at sports, I think of something I can do for the rest of my life and something I can do with my future kids,” Roeder said. “So bowling, either leisurely or competitively, you can do for the rest of your life.”