Ethan McDonald began bowling when he was 14 years old. At that age, he threw 115 on average, but has since improved his three-game average to above 200. And with the help of Buffaloe Lanes employee and private bowling coach Newanda Colvin, Ethan keeps getting better.
Ethan’s getting so good — in fact — that he’s winning and placing at nationally-competitive tournaments along the Eastern seaboard. Last year, Ethan won the Professional Bowlers Association Rising Stars tournament in South Carolina amongst bowlers from three southern states.
This summer, in a more advanced age bracket, Ethan placed second at the South Carolina tournament, winning $600 in college scholarship monies. He bowled a 226, a 181 and a 224, for a 198 average.
“I’ve been to that tournament before, and the first time I bowled in it, I was bowling 150 to 175 on average,” Ethan said, “That was the first big tournament that I ever bowled in. I ended up winning, which showed me that I can actually bowl — and bowl well — in tournaments.”
This young Coats native bowls all the time; in leagues, in tournaments, for practice and for fun. Ethan wants to become a professional bowler one day.
He wants that so much that he stopped playing Triton baseball and soccer this year to focus on bowling. He loves the solo nature of the game, and that to practice, you play.
“I want to go to college for bowling,” he said. “Bowling is my favorite sport to play and I want to go professional (in) bowling.”
Ethan’s always had the dream to go professional in something, and he feels like if he achieves his goal of being a professional bowler, that means he’s good enough.
He practices almost exclusively at Buffaloe Lanes in Erwin. “He spends a lot of time in the bowling alley,” said his mother, Karrie McDonald, “He listens well to the coaches who spend a lot of time with him.”
The coach who spends the most time with him is Newanda Colvin.
“I don’t really consider him a coach, he’s more like a friend,“ Ethan said of Colvin. “I love hearing what he tells me to do. I’ll always remember him telling me to stay low and don’t think about throwing.”
He plans to keep competing in tournaments until he graduates from Triton High School, then he plans to compete in college. He hopes to attend Bethel University in Tennessee.