SHEPHERDSVILLE – The dream of bowling at the college level came true for Bullitt Central senior Ridge May recently when he agreed to join the program at the University of Louisville.
May is the first to say that he is more of a University of Kentucky fan, but that school doesn’t have a bowling program. That made it easy to stay close to home and bowl for the team coached by Bob Hellerich, who also is the head coach at Manual High School and saw May bowl many times over the past few years.
“I’ve known a lot of the players on their team for a while now,” May said after all the pictures were taken of his signing held in the lobby at Bullitt Central in May. “They have wanted me since my junior year. That is why I’ve felt comfortable with considering them.”
May was also attracted to the Cardinals because of the Speed Engineering School. He plans to major in Mechanical Engineering.
“Even three or four years ago I was thinking of this,” May said of bowling at the next level. “I’ve always wanted to bowl in college.”
The 17-year old son of Todd and Renee May is an only child. He first lived in Bardstown, but then moved to the Nichols area when he was 8-years old. That put him close to the Dixie Bowl Lanes and that is where he picked up the game. He still plays in the leagues at that facility.
May bowled for four years with the Cougars, capping off his career in February when he helped the team win the regional title and advancing to the Kentucky State Tournament in Lexington. The Cougars reached the quarter-finals in that event.
A victory over arch-rival Pleasure Ridge Park in that regional tournament was a moment that May says he will never forget.
May bowls year-round and he has not participated in other sports at Bullitt Central. His best score bowling was a 288 and his best series was a 753.
Bowling at the University of Louisville is not a scholarship sport, but while playing in tournaments over the years, youth winnings are put into a trust that can only be accessed once they enter college. So, May has some financial help from his bowling success.
In addition, May will soon start working in the UPS program that will have him working at night and going to school and bowling during the day.
Louisville coach Bob Hellerich said that he first met May ‘long ago’ at Ken Bowl.
“I’ve known him for years,” the U of L coach said. “I knew he was interested in bowling in college.”
Hellerich said that the bowling program at Louisville is more on the ‘club sport’ level at this point, but has been a part of the school for the past ten years. Hellerich has been the coach the past two years as well as being an assistant coach for two years prior to that.
At the college level, bowling is more a fall/winter sport with the season starting in September. Most of the tournaments are conducted on the weekends. The Cardinal program is a member of the American Heartland Intercollegiate Bowling Conference.