WARSAW —Want to talk about bowling? Look no farther than 13-year-old Mikey Cox who took to the sport two years ago after his mom, Dana, became manager of The Bowling Alley in Warsaw. He did so with gusto, even adopting a unique approach: bowling two-handed.
“I started bowling in a league, and then I got my own ball and I was like ‘Oh, I’m pretty good at this,’” Mikey said, adding, “And that’s when I switched over to two-handing because I thought it was more fun or easier. We were practicing one day, I was told to try it by one of my friends and I did.”
And it’s stuck.
“(With two-handed bowling) it’s a lot easier than one-handed I think because of all the speed you can get and the more rotations,” he said.
Mikey bowls in five different leagues throughout the year, including a middle school bowling team, youth bowling, adult-youth, challenge league and nine pin no-tap. With youth league, he has even participated at state.
“It was enjoyable,” he said of the experience. “Being the only two-handed bowler there, a lot of people would joke with me, ‘Yeah, one-handed is better.’ I didn’t win every single thing, but for the team, I got second place out of the entire thing — so that was really awesome.”
In nine pin no-tap, he has scored 274, and with regular scoring, his best so far has been 202, which he achieved during middle school bowling. He largely averages between 140-150.
“A lot of people don’t understand that you have to be somewhat athletic to actually play the sport,” he said. “I play a bunch of different sports and I want to be good at every single sport that I play. I want to be the best at bowling.”
Mikey’s other sporting passions include football, wrestling, basketball, soccer, tennis, hockey and baseball — almost any sport. At the moment, he is thinking of focusing more on football, wrestling and bowling.
Bowling holds a special place, with him saying, “I’m planning to go pro. I made a bet with three of my friends. They thought I wasn’t a great bowler and I was like ‘No, I’m going to be a pro bowler.’”
He added, “At the beginning of the year, I said, ‘Oh yeah, I’m really good at football, too,’ and they made a bet that I wasn’t going to the football combine to become pro so I said, ‘I’m going there, too!’”
He acknowledges he might have to choose eventually, but he’d like to do both football and bowling if he has time.
Through bowling he has made a variety of friends, including kids his age in the youth and middle school leagues and adult bowlers in adult-youth, which is his favorite league.
“Not that many people go there,” he said of adult-youth, “but I would rather more people go there than just youth because being an adult you might not have that much to do besides go to work, pay bills and everything like that — so like (it’s) enjoyment. Go hang out with kids; we’re like really funny — like me. It’s a lot of friendly competition in most of the leagues.
“Bowling is like a tight-knit family.” He added, “Bowling is for people who like to hang out with other people. A lot of people who are introverts but they don’t like being bored at home just talking to no one should probably join, too, and bowl. Bowling does take some work … but I think bowling is going to be one of the top sports in the future.”