The Journal Gazette
Sunday, September 29, 2019 1:00 am

Making most of his spare time

Canterbury grad earns PBA card

ELIZABETH WYMAN | For The Journal Gazette

Reid Collis hadn't bowled much since 2014, his senior year at Canterbury.

He took a five-year hiatus to focus on his studies at the University of Miami (Florida) for undergrad and now Washington University in St. Louis for medical school.

He's busier now maybe than ever, but that didn't stop him from signing up for the St. Louis city bowling tournament in August, in hopes of breaking off the rust and to see if he still had it.

With a 788, he ended up winning the scratch division – the division with no handicap, so he had the top score out of everyone. Since then, Collis can't stop bowling. So much so, he accomplished a dream of his – earning his PBA card, all while balancing the arduous schedule of medical school.

“I've dreamed about (getting the PBA card) for a long time, and obviously, my passions are medicine and becoming a doctor in the future, but it's always been something I've loved to do ever since I was a student at Canterbury and bowling on the team there,” Collis said.

Earning a PBA card isn't easy. Collis entered a PBA qualifier league over the summer, which isn't necessarily for the purpose of qualifying for the PBA, but it's sanctioned by the league. If you score well enough in so many games, you can earn a spot in the Professional Bowlers Association.

“Once I started bowling in the league, I realized there were some small things in my game I needed to work on to get better, but I think it just came right back to me like riding a bicycle,” he said.

Medical school is difficult enough by itself, so managing bowling on top of that requires steadfast planning and discipline.

“I think just keeping everything tightly planned, just making sure hour-by-hour I know what my plans are,” he said. “Sometimes I have it planned a week ahead of time just so I can make sure I'm not missing out on time.”

With Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana being a hotbed for bowling talent, most notably Huntington native E.J. Tackett, who captured his 13th career PBA Tour title this summer, Collis grew up in the right place to grow his love for the game.

“That's definitely what got me into it, especially the fact that our high school had a bowling team,” Collis said. “I know from talking to a lot of my friends from college or med school, a lot of them didn't have bowling teams at their high school. Getting that exposure early was definitely a big plus for me in terms of getting interested in the sport and knowing that it was something that was out there.”

During his junior year at Canterbury, Collis placed 12th in the state finals. He got invited to the teen masters bowling tournament the following summer, which is a national tournament for the best bowlers under 18.

Collis has two more years of medical school, his residency and possibly a fellowship before fully completing school. He has yet to decide what his focus in medicine will be. He competes in PBA tournaments when he can, but most take full weekends, and sometimes that's not in his schedule. But the love for the game remains.

“Its just been a passion of mine that I haven't been able to explore as much as I wanted to with how busy I've been with my studies and everything else,” he said. “I'm definitely looking forward to competing in more tournaments in the future and hopefully winning one of these days.”

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