Teenager’s passion started as youngster

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At first glance, Jared Turner of Bedford seems to be your typical teenager. The only child of Kevin and Jamie Turner, he celebrated his 15th birthday on Easter Sunday, and enjoys multiple sports in his spare time, including baseball and golf; but his greatest passion is bowling.

“When he was just a few months old, we’d take him with us for our Friday night mixed league,” Kevin said. “We’d sit him out on a table in one of those bouncy seats while we bowled, so I guess you could say he came by it honest.”

Jared first picked up a bowling ball at the age of five, and with the support of his proud parents, has dedicated as many as 15-to-20 hours per week to practicing the sport he loves. And that practice is paying off.

Bowling in a Saturday morning youth league at Altoona’s Holiday Bowl this season, at the age of just 14, Jared rolled the first perfect 300 game of his career.

“I got there in the sixth or seventh frame,” Jamie said. “By the time he was into the tenth frame, I was more nervous that he was.”

The 300 game is an important milestone for Jared, who dreams of becoming a professional bowler one day. His next goal is an 800 series; he’s rolled multiple 700 series over the last year, including a personal best of 736.

“It makes you pretty proud,” Kevin said. “I’ve bowled my whole life and never had a 700 series, so to me, that’s a huge accomplishment, especially for somebody his age. I think it’s totally awesome.”

A former Bowler of the Year honoree, Jared brushes off the praise, setting his sights on college, and then the PBA.

“I’d like to major maybe in sports management,” Jared said. “There are a lot of different schools that I know of, but I’d like to go to Wichita State. Most of the pros come from there; they just have a good program.”

For now, Jared practices, competes and studies the game whenever he can, often watching the adult leagues in Bedford or Altoona. His Dad says he often finds Jared reviewing recordings of pro bowling events, learning how to adjust to different oil patterns and changing lane conditions from the best in the business.

At the recent state tournament, Jared placed eighth overall while helping is team to a fifth-place finish; every experience inching him closer and closer to his ultimate goal, with parents who support his dreams and celebrate every accomplishment along the way.

“They come to all of my events,” said Jared. “They take me to places to bowl, and give me the chance to do it.”

“He’s able to do whatever he wants to do,” Kevin said. “With his passion, commitment and desire to learn more, I don’t think there are any limits.”

Kellie Goodman Shaffer can be reached at kellie@bedfordcountychamber.org. Her column appears on Tuesdays.

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