Bowling: Centerville senior holds his own against the pros

As birthday presents go, this one was perfect.

Dylan Dobran was given an entry into the PBA Autism Awareness Central Open as a surprise 18th birthday present from his dad a week before the PBA regional event in Wapakoneta.

“My goal was to bowl my best, do everything I practiced and learn something,” Dobran said.

One thing the Centerville High School senior learned was that he can hang with the pros. He finished eighth — out of a field of 50 — in his first PBA tournament Sunday at Astro Lanes. Two-time PBA Tour champion Chris Loschetter won, earning his 14th regional title.

“I bowled better than I thought I could,” Dobran said. “Going in, I had no idea what to expect. To be honest, I was worried I was going to mess up the lane courtesy because I had never bowled in a PBA tournament before.”

Dobran, however, had little difficulty in the eight-game qualifying round, averaging 226 and easily making the top-12 cut.

“It helps that I’m left-handed and it was a lefty kind of pattern,” he said. “Plus, it was a short pattern (Cheetah) and I’ve always liked short patterns.”

But day two brought some additional challenges, as it was round-robin match play — a test of his mental and physical game.

“I knew I had to make sure not to let anything get to me,” Dobran said. “This is what these guys do for a living, I just needed to stay focused on what I was doing.”

Dobran tried to avoid even watching his head-to-head opponents bowl during match play, focusing solely on his game. The Elks senior finished the day with a 5-7 record and a 224 average.

The eighth-place finish earned him more than scholarship money, it provided a major confidence boost. So too did the words of Springfield bowler Chris Via, who finished sixth.

“Chris and a couple of the other guys encouraged me to bowl in the next regional in Troy,” Dobran said. “It made me believe I’m good enough to compete at this level.”

His top-10 PBA regional performance still doesn’t seem quite real, but Dobran one day hopes to make a habit of placing in PBA events.

PBA Autism Awareness Central Open

At Astro Lanes, Wapakoneta

Name Match play Average

1. Chris Loschetter 10-2 241

2. Ryan Ciminelli 7-5 239

3. Brad Angelo 8-4 230.35

4. Graham Fach 5-7 232.5

5. Patrick Dombrowski 6-6 230.95

6. Chris Via 7-5 229.25

7. Kevin Walter 4-8 227.4

8. Dylan Dobran 5-7 224.65

9. Tom Sorce 7-5 220.75

10. Andrew Klingler 5-7 223.15

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