8th grade bowler earns $15k in scholarship money

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (FOX 5/KUSI) — Not many people have bowled a perfect game. 14-year-old Leo Lebel threw a 300 before he could legally drive.

“August of last year. I have had 3, 299’s since then,” says Leo Lebel.

What makes his skills even more impressive is that he just started playing 2 years ago.

“I started when I went to birthday party for myself and I went and I asked my dad can I go bowling more, can I go bowling,” says Lebel.

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At first, The Martin Luther King Jr. middle schooler’s classmates didn’t understand his bowling obsession.

“They’re like, ‘what?’ Because everybody sees it as a leisure sport, just for fun,” says Lebel.

Since then, the Oceanside native has competed in more than a dozen tournaments, facing opponents of all ages.

“Some people don’t think youth should be bowling with adults, but then they lose. and then they get mad,” says Lebel.

The 8th grader travels all over country, earning more than $15,000 in scholarship money for his various victories. Lebel hoping to take his talents to Wichita State University.

“It’s best bowling school, program. They have multiple national championships. Most people go pro after going to that school. So that would probably be the goal,” says Lebel.

Still four years away from college, Lebel has his eyes set on the Junior Gold bowling tournament in July. It’s another chance to add to his college fund.

“It feels good, of course, I mean after a big win, it feels amazing. Feels like you’re on top of the world,” says Lebel.

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