Gabriel Spells is a league bowler, so he’s no stranger to the sport.

A weekly participant in his league, he put those skills to the test Saturday as he took part in the State Games of Mississippi’s bowling tournament at Event Zona and Rebound Trampoline Park in Meridian. While it’s still the same game, Spells said things are slightly different, as more is at stake.

“It’s more of a competitive mindset because there are medals involved and this is going on the State Games website in the record books,” he said. “Most of us here are competing against each other, so it’s not too different, but there’s more on the line as far as pride.”

The event is played over two days, and participants are split into divisions based on gender and average score. Winners are determined based on highest scores compiled over six games. 

Tournament commissioner Jason Pierce said he’s received around half the number of entrants he usually gets for the competition, but he’s nonetheless thrilled it is still proceeding.

“It feels great. It feels good to get out of the house, to do anything,” he said. “Bowling is one of my favorite things to do, so it feels good.”

With medals on the line, Spells said he has one goal in mind: to bring home the gold.

“I want to win,” he said. “That’s what everyone wants to do here, right?”

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