(Téa)king Her Skills to Howard

Lewis Signs to Bowl at Howard

Téa Lewis smiles proudly after officially signing to bowl at Howard University next year.

Around this time of year, when most seniors finalize their post-high school plans, many athletes also sign to continue playing the sports they have grown up with at the colleges that symbolize a new chapter of their lives. Though Midlothian athletes have signed letters of intent for their respective sports every year, Midlothian High School is proud to witness its first bowler in school history to sign a letter of intent. Senior IB student Téa Lewis signed her letter of intent on April 29, 2016 to bowl at Division 1 Howard University next year. Lewis celebrated her special moment in the Midlothian High School library with her family, friends, teachers, and coaches, all of whom lauded her strong commitment throughout the years to maintain her competitive edge in the sport of bowling, despite her rigorous academic and extracurricular schedule.

Lewis first started bowling at the age of 3, but, born into a family of seasoned bowlers, it wasn’t long until she wanted to bowl competitively, which was a journey she began at the age of 7.  “My whole family bowled, and I would spend so much time watching them bowl that I wanted to start,” said Lewis. “Also, we don’t earn trophies for winning; we win scholarship money, which is now paying off.”  Lewis’ aunt, who started bowling at the age of 10 and still bowls, is one of Lewis’ biggest inspirations, helping her see her potential as a competitive bowler. “I chose Howard because my aunt bowled for them when she was in college under the same coach. And, as a little girl following my aunt around to her tournaments, I wanted to do the same thing.”

Through her journey as a bowler, Lewis found that though many recognize bowling as just a recreational activity, it is indeed a challenging sport that requires determination, practice, and skill. “There is more to bowling than a lot of people think,” says Lewis. “Bowling is not just a physical sport, but a mental sport as well. When I am bowling badly, or I’m bowling on a new pattern that I am not used to, I start to think negatively, and this affects my bowling. Staying positive is one of the most important ways to bowl well.”

On the bowling team at Howard, Lewis knows that she will grow leaps and bounds as a bowler, an academic, and a person. She knows that learning to deal with the pressure of being on a competitive college bowling team on a regular basis will be one her largest challenges to work through. “Now when I compete, I know that if I have a bad game or throw a bad ball, I have other games and frames to make up for it. In college, every shot and game matters. Leaving open frames or splitting can cause my team to lose.”

However, mostly, Lewis looks forward to going to Howard and furthering her academic and bowling career. “I can’t wait to start and actually get to bowl for my school, since we don’t have [that] here in Virginia. Also, my teammates welcomed me with open arms even before I was sure Howard was the right school,” says Lewis. “I fell in love with the campus and, being from Northern Virginia originally, going to Howard is like returning home.”

With Lewis’ strong work ethic and determination that she has shown throughout her life, it is clear that she will adapt to the college atmosphere swiftly and leave her teammates and competitors in awe. When asked what bowling means to her, Lewis says simply, “Everything. Words can’t describe what bowling is for me. It’s my passion; it’s my life. I can’t imagine my life without it. I always want to do it, and I always try to get better. Bowling means so much to me; it’s hard to explain in words.”

Congrats, Téa!