BOZEMAN – For Ethan Oddy, the bowling alley holds a special place in his heart.
“It’s just a place I can go to get all my nerves out and do something I like to do,” said Oddy.
Since he was 2 years old, Oddy has been coming to The Bozeman Bowl with his father. Nine years later, nothing has changed. For the now 11-year-old, these lanes are home.
“It’s been where I lived for a long time. When I was with my dad all the time, he would take me here almost every night after school or preschool or wherever I was, but this is where I grew up,” said Oddy.
“Jay (Oddy) would be watching football all day and Ethan would be here bowling all day. He loves it, he never gets tired of it. Unless he has a blister and then maybe he gets tired of it,” said Ethan’s mother, Stephanie Berumen.
All those years have paid off. Oddy won the Pepsi Youth Bowling Championships this April in Butte, qualifying him for nationals in Dallas. And for the Belgrade native, it was a bit unexpected.
“I wasn’t listening, so I had no idea I was going to nationals until the very last second and I was so excited. I was freaking out,” smiled Oddy.
Qualifying for nationals is one thing, but it’s not cheap to travel to Dallas. Now Oddy is working a lot harder just to get there.
“I just have to work up a lot of money mowing lawns for my neighbors, helping my grandparents out to earn some money for Dallas,” he said.
Oddy is one of the hardest-working middle-schoolers you’ll find. He is now juggling his schoolwork, chores, jobs, baseball, and maintaining a 152 average at the alley. He’s gotten a lot of support, especially from The Bozeman Bowl, which treats Oddy and his family just as it would its own. It lets Oddy practice at its lanes for free and has gifted him a couple bowling balls for him to use, as well as a brand-new bowling bag.
And he’s excited to get to Dallas, no matter what the outcome ends up being.
“Even if I get my butt kicked,” joked Oddy. “This sport is something I love, and to go to a different scenery and play what I love to do is just amazing to me.”
The journey is just starting for Oddy. He watches pro bowling whenever he can, following Sean Rash, his favorite bowler on the tour. Who knows if professional bowling is in his future, but Oddy wants to take this sport as far as he can.
“It’s something I would like to do when I get into college and stuff, college bowling,” said Oddy. “That’s kind of my favorite sport right now.”