For one Comet, bowling was once a mere hobby, but now, it is a career that is getting him noticed.
Junior Evan Haas is a varsity bowler on the Mason High School bowling team. Ranked second in Southwest Ohio, Haas has consistently averaged scores in the upper 200 range. Haas said family has well as his coach were big influences on his bowling career.
“My dad is the biggest one,” Haas said. “My uncle was also a bowler, and they’re both brothers. My bowling coach now, Joe Riestenberg, is also very influential to me because of how he’s brought me up and how I’ve always talked with him, and he’s been my friend for a while.”
Haas has memories of bowling with his dad when he was younger and said those memories inspired him to continue with bowling.
“I chose bowling because my dad was bowler,” Haas said. “I’ve always gotten up on Sundays and went bowling with him ever since I was three, so I just worked my way into it and kept on practicing, and that’s why I’m here now. He taught me how to do things and how to focus, and he was really the only coach I had ever had, so I had to learn on my own.”
Through being on varsity, Haas said he has learned more about the team aspect of bowling.
“Bowling is more of a team sport than anyone ever thinks,” Haas said. “Yeah, your scores get put into a website every time you go, but you have to have the rest of your team doing well and behind your back, so you don’t have to worry about anything else, and you can eventually win.”
Haas has gotten offers from colleges to bowl. While this makes continuing his bowling career after high school a possibility, Haas said he does not know whether or not this is something he will pursue.
“I’m still deciding between bowling and baseball, but I do have an offer to bowl at Wright State University, which is number three in the country,” Haas said. “I’m still thinking about it. I’m a junior, so I still have time to really figure out what I want to do, but it’s definitely an option for me.”
Haas admitted bowling does have it’s rough patches but said that even those can be equated with learning experiences.
“My favorite (memory) would be my 300 with my team watching and cheering me on,” Haas said. “My least favorite one was (when) I bowled one of my lowest games ever as freshman, because I just didn’t know what was going on. My teammates, the seniors, helped me through (and told me) that’s not really the end of the world because I got one low score.”
To young bowlers, Haas said not to be discouraged by initial low scores or afraid to get help from people.
“Once you start, you’re not going to be a professional or anything,” Haas said. “(Your scores) are going to start off low and occasionally get higher and higher, until you’re probably pretty good. I wouldn’t be afraid to get help from anyone, because everyone’s there to help you.”
Haas said that people should not underestimate bowling, because it is more fun than it looks.
“It’s a lot more fun than everyone thinks,” Haas said. “As you get better and better, it gets more and more fun, because you can show-off a bit as you’re practicing, because no one really knows how good you are until you go and show them, so it’s a lot of fun.”