Rivergate Bowl hosts camp

Published 12:01 am Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ethan Read, 6, leans with his bowling ball as he bowls Wednesday morning during bowling camp at Rivergate Bowl. (Lauren Wood \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — The crash of the pins and the thrill of strikes and spares brought dozens of children to Rivergate Bowling Lanes Wednesday.

For more than 25 years, the bowling alley has hosted children for its bowling camp, and co-owner of Rivergate Lanes Anne Hash said the camp is an opportunity for children to introduce themselves to the game.

“It’s a fun thing to have the kids do to introduce them to bowling and teach them basic bowling skills,” Hash said.

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Eleven-year-old Khalil Cornish said he had learned a lot at the week-long camp so far, but the main thing he learned was where to aim.

“You always hit the second arrow,” he said.

Cornish said he bowls a lot with his family, but the camp was making him a better bowler.

“I usually come and bowl, and then my grandma saw the camp and signed me up,” he said. “I wanted to come here and join and bowl, and then I realized it made me bowl better.”

Taylor Lessley, 10, was the only female member of the oldest bowling group, which included Cornish, and she said she took pride in beating the boys.

“Yesterday we played eight games, and I won all eight and had a high score of 115,” Lessley said. “That felt good, because I went over my (previous) high score.”

Eight-year-old Ethan Clark said the thrill of throwing a strike is what draws him to the lanes.

“It’s like you are just so happy that when you get up next time you bowl, and you get something wrong, you don’t care because you know you got a strike last time,” Clark said.

Six-year-old Ramsey Armstrong said he enjoyed the more simple aspects of the bowling alley.

“I like when the balls come out (of the ball return),” he said. “They told us yesterday they would take us back there to show us (how it worked).”

Armstrong’s bowling partner, Riley Cupit, said he likes to bowl with his parents and siblings, but he is the youngest bowler in the family and is still trying to get better to compete.

“I’m still trying to get as good as they are,” he said.

Cupit, 6, said he still has hope for the future, however.

“I have a younger sister who can’t bowl yet,” he said. “But I’m going to try to teach her.”

Six-year-old Braeden Gregg said the camp has taught him better bowling technique.

“I used to slam it on the ground,” he said. “Now I can do it like my dad does it. I like to get better at (bowling).”

Hash said the camp started Monday, and the children will continue to bowl through Friday.

The bowlers took a break from the game Wednesday to decorate bowling pins, and Hash said Friday parents will come out, and the children can show off what they have learned.

The camp will continue from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Friday.