With form that impressed a former bowling star, Trailwood Elementary student rolls to state title

Prairie Village resident and Trailwood Elementary student Henry Hind won the state bowling tournament for his age group last month.
Prairie Village resident and Trailwood Elementary student Henry Hind won the state bowling tournament for his age group last month.

A lot of 9 year old boys idolize sports heroes from the gridiron or the basketball court. For rising Trailwood Elementary fourth grader, though, his sports heroes spend their time at the bowling lane.

Henry, who moved to Prairie Village with his parents Anthony and Gretchen last year, picked up bowling shortly before he and his family relocated from the Chicago area. Hind and his dad would head to a bowling center near their home in Evanston, where the young Hind’s easy stroke caught the attention of someone who knows a thing or two about bowling form: 1990 United States Bowling Congress Queens champion Patty Ann.

“She was working as a pro at the center, and she would wander around watching bowlers and took notice of him and how he was bowling,” Anthony said.

Ann helped coach Hind for a few months before the family moved, and arranged for him to get his own ball. Hind has only improved since arriving in the Kansas City area, and last month took first place in the Kansas 2017 Pepsi Youth Championship in the 10 and under age group, bowling 498 across three games.

Last week, he participated in a tournament in Gladstone, Mo., where he beat out several older competitors from across the midwest.

With summer here, Hind is excited to continue honing his burgeoning skills. He participates in a youth bowling program that gives him unlimited access to the lanes. He bowls around 25 to 30 practice games a week. He weighs just 65 pounds, but says with proper form, he doesn’t have much trouble getting his 12-pound ball to do what he wants it to.

“You just focus on having a free and easy swing, and it’s pretty easy,” he said.

When we asked to take a video of Henry bowling at Ward Parkway Lanes yesterday, he promptly lined up and swung a strike on his first attempt: