My First Time: Reese Chavis

Photo: Anthony Rao

Teenager recalls a 300 game in bowling.

Reese Chavis did not let the big moment get the better of him. He was intensely focused as strikes started piling up Sept. 25 at Spanish Springs Lanes during The Villages High School’s match against Tavares. Entering the final frame with a chance to achieve a perfect score and break a school record, he felt calm and relaxed. He knew he was about to achieve greatness the moment the ball left his hand. 

“I knew it was going to be a strike,” he says. 

Reese bowled a 300. This was his third perfect game but the first in a high school competition. 

“It was a big deal,” Reese says. “I jumped up and down, and then my teammates all came up to hug me. The coach for Tavares congratulated me and asked, ‘Why did you have to have your best game against us?’” 

Bowling accomplishments are nothing new to Reese, who began participating in the sport six years ago. He has traveled to Cleveland and Dallas to compete in the Junior Gold Championships, an annual national tournament for top male and female youth bowlers in the United States. This month, he is flying to Las Vegas to compete in the United States Bowling Congress Team USA Trials, hoping to earn a spot on Team USA. 

He practices five times a week at various bowling alleys in Lake and Sumter counties. 

“It’s good to mix it up because every alley is different,” he says. “They have different oil patterns, and some coat the lanes heavier than others. You have to be able to adapt to all bowling alleys.” 

That dedication is why his game is never in the gutter. 

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