RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- An inspiring boy came all the way from Indiana to throw out the first ball at Bowling's U.S. Women's Open Wednesday night. After losing his left arm in an accident, he's learning to bowl with his right and is already setting new high scores. News Four's Ashley Cullins talked to him before the big event.
"I was in the hospital for like a month and a half, and I basically had to re-learn how to walk because I lost all my balance," said Mark Rodgers.
Mark is only 12 years old but he's conquering a big challenge to pursue his dream of being a professional bowler.
"He lost his arm in an ATV accident and he was a bowler, and he said in the hospital 'I want to bowl,'" said Steve Johnson, Executive Director of the BPAA.
"I was bowling about four years with my left arm, and then I've been bowling about 8 months with my right arm now," Mark said.
Johnson said Mark is excelling.
"He's bowling right-handed now and doing great throwing strike after strike," Johnson said.
Mark came in 4th in a state-wide middle school bowling competition, but he has his sights set higher.
"Next year I'm going to take it all the way home," Mark said.
Mark says his highest score left-handed was 256, but now he's bowled a 269.
Wednesday night he's throwing the opening ball and just wants to keep it on the lane.
I'm nervous I mean that's why I'm going there to practice cause I don't want to go up there and throw a gutter," Mark said. "That'd be pretty embarrassing."
He laughed when Ashley told him she'd thrown a gutterball live on air that morning.
And he also used his sense of humor to ask to take home the mobile lanes.
"I told them 'hey when you guys are done using this, you should bring it to my house,'" Mark said.