GREEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio — When bowling alleys reopen in the Tri-State, 13-year-old Tanner Iles will likely be one of the first in line to lace-up and get in a lane.
Before being benched by the coronavirus like so many other athletes, Tanner was on a roll.
In February, he bowled a perfect game and made it look easy.
His family cheered him on, capturing the moment on cellphone video at Western Bowl.
"I couldn't believe it,” said his mom, Sharon Iles.
Tanner's sister Kendall calls her brother "Mr. 300," and he has certainly earned that nickname. It hasn’t come easy. The teenager faced significant challenges when he was younger.
Tanner has tubular sclerosis, which causes seizures that delayed his development. Bowling was one of the activities that has helped.
“It keeps his mind working where he can just focus,” said his coach and great-uncle, Bob Ohmer.
When his student started to beat him at his own game, it was a bittersweet feeling for the teacher, who had been bowling himself for 50 years.
“Good and bad. We both are really competitive.” Ohmer said. “He throws a really good ball and a good speed.”
Tanner said that competitiveness has pushed him toward success.
“He's the only reason I'm able to get to this point,” he said.
He’s beating his uncle and his father, too, which his dad admits stings a little bit.
“It hurts, yes, in a good way,” said dad Bill Iles.
Now, Tanner has his eyes on more competition outside the family. He hopes to play in high school, then college and even take a turn on the pro circuit one day.
Bill said he hopes his son can be an inspiration for other families facing challenges.
“I want parents and kids to know that even if you're dealt a bad card or condition, you can do whatever you put your mind to,” he said.