For most teenagers, the value of the expression ‘Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’ usually goes in one ear and out the other. But for Tanner Orebaugh, it went straight to his heart.
The only job the Covenant Christian senior has ever had has a lot to do with the only job he’ll ever want. Orebaugh works part-time at Western Bowl and at around 5 p.m. each day, he puts on his bowling shoes and hits a lane to perfect his craft.
There he spends his evenings every day of the week, practicing and preparing. The ball glides smoothly across the glossy lane crashing into the pins as he records another strike and it happens so much it’s become second nature, like he has been doing it forever. But the truth is, Orebaugh had never bowled before his seventh-grade year. It didn’t take long to figure out he had found his niche and for the last five years he has flourished.
“I like bowling because I can put myself in the game,” Orebaugh said. “You’re not relying on other people; other players or coaches. When I’m bowling, I can be myself, talk to myself, no one else is getting into my head. Its self-determination and I get to do my own thing.”
Orebaugh began his high school days at nearby Ben Davis before transferring to Covenant Christian his sophomore year where he played basketball for two seasons. Heading into his senior season, though, he chose to bowl on a high school team for the first time since his freshman year at Ben Davis.
There are more than 2,000 Indiana high schools, each with a vast variety of individuals, Orebaugh included.
While it’s not easy blazing your own trail, Orebaugh may be the exception as he is his own man, and a simple one at that. When he isn’t working on maintaining his 2.9 GPA studying his core 40 classes, he’s either at work, hanging out with his family, or, in the warmer months, mowing lawns around his neighborhood to help out his elders.