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Ryan Bennett bowls at the RAF Lakenheath alley.

Ryan Bennett bowls at the RAF Lakenheath alley. (Bryan Mitchell / S&S)

RAF LAKENHEATH — Ryan Bennett hopes for a bright future on the lanes. So far, he’s got the stats to back it up.

The 12-year-old Lakenheath Middle School seventh- grader carries an average in the 160s and last summer rung up a score of 245, which included eight strikes.

During a recent Saturday morning practice round with the youth league, he notched a 210 without breaking stride.

“I like it because it’s fun,” he said after yet another strike.

Fun enough to do all day long — really.

Last year, he bowled 22 games straight during family day at the RAF Lakenheath bowling lanes.

“If he could, he’d bowl 24 hours a day,” said his mother, Patricia Bennett. “I just don’t have the time to keep up with him.”

Last year, Ryan turned his bowling prowess into money for college with a fourth-place finish at the European Pepsi USBC Youth Championships. Now, he’s bowling to qualify for a chance at the 2007 title.

His mother says bowling has always been a family affair. Her four sons have been playing alongside her and her husband since they were each 3 years old. This past summer, they competed in an adult/youth league.

“It made it more competitive, and we all have a good time bowling together,” she said.

Ryan, whose father, Tom, is a master sergeant with the 100th Security Forces Squadron, said his goal is to bowl professionally.

“It’s not much money, but it would be a lot of fun to bowl that much,” he said.

His mother believes he has the talent and commitment to compete professionally, but not at the expense of a traditional education.

“We know he’s passionate about bowling, we just want to make sure he focuses on school and going to college and working toward a career,” she said.

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