Corey Bayus came on the scene a few years ago as a Struthers High School bowler, who won a state individual championship as a junior.
That’s the pin-nacle in high school.
No doubt, Bayus has had his share of 300 games along the way and now, at 19, he continues being a full-fledged member of the area’s bowling community in an adult league.
These days, you’ll find him at the same house — Holiday Bowl — where visiting teams shuddered to enter because of the force that waited within.
Although Bayus’ Wildcat persona is somewhat diminished, he hasn’t lost the flair to scare.
Since joining the Belchyk/Action Plumbing Classic in September, Bayus has had two 300s.
Same Corey Bayus, same lanes, but a different bunch of buddies.
“They’re guys I looked up to when I was young,” he said. “It’s pretty cool.”
Bayus is also in the Seesters Catering PBA Matchplay League.
He carries a 227 average in Belchyk, but it isn’t as high in Seesters.
“We bowl all the PBA shots, so it’s more challenging than a normal house,” Bayus said.
Bayus’ bowling resume may be his claim to fame, but, apparently, it doesn’t pay the bills.
“I want to establish myself in some sort of job,” Bayus said in response to whether he’s contemplating a shot at the pro level.
“That’s out of the question now because there’s no money in it,” he said. “I want something a little more secure. It’s not a steady income, put it that way.”
In the meantime, Corey is working at Ray Buck Drywal waiting for a plumbers’ union apprenticeship to open.
While waiting to make inroads in a craft, Bayus is finding a niche in coaching with the Struthers JV team under Bob Eisenbraun.
“It’s something I really look forward to when I get off work and have a match.”
The arrangement permits him to work, yet still have an influence on younger bowlers.
“It’s always been a part of my life; it’s not going anywhere.”
Because Bayus is not very far removed from his players — his senior season was just a year ago before graduating in June — he’s highly recognizable, yet respected.
“I’d do anything to be back in their shoes,” he said. “I tell my guys to enjoy it for all it’s worth because it’s a carefree time in their lives. Once high school is over, life starts.”
Pretty sage advice coming from a 19-year-old.
“If they have aspirations of pro bowling, I won’t steer them away or talk it down. I’ll tell them to ‘go for it’ if that’s what they want to do.”
With the help of a 285 single, Karina Stoffel had her first 700 set of 702 in Hively’s Doubles during week 16 of 32 at Amron.
Her average was 166.
In the finals of the 2013 Youngstown Senior Singles Bowling tournament at both Holiday and Amron Lanes, the winners were: George Mays (Super Senior), Bill Sonnelitter (Div. A), Jim Ellis (Div. B), Russ Straub (Div. C) and Bob McCormick (Div. D).
The next senior tournament will be the John Bossone Senior Masters on Feb. 2-3 and Feb. 9-10 at Mahoning Valley, Bell-Wick, McKinley and Boardman lanes. Entries are available online at www.youngstownsbt.com, at bowling centers, or by calling Ted Bundy (330) 770-8161.
John Bassetti writes about bowling for The Vindicator. Email him at email@example.com.