Ashcraft family tradition becomes athletic outlet for siblings

Meya Green

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Families, big and small, have traditions that they keep in the family for decades. Junior Brett Ashcraft’s family shares a unique hobby and tradition: bowling.

“My brother and sister both bowled in high school and my grandparents owned the bowling alley for 30 years,” Brett said.

The family’s passion for the sport goes back three generations. It was started by Brett’s grandfather, Junior, who started his employment at Play-Mor Lanes when he was 15-years-old. After years of dedication to the sport and the alley itself, he then became the owner of the bowling alley.

“It was pretty much a dream when Brett’s grandparents got the opportunity to buy the place and everything panned out from there,” Brett’s mom Marie Ashcraft said.

Brett has bowled for the high school since freshman year, but first started the sport even earlier in grade school for fun with his family.

“Whenever we had family come to town, the bowling alley was always the designated place we would go. We would just hangout and the kids could bowl and the adults sat around and visited,” Marie said.

Bowling provides much more than just an enjoyable hobby for the family, it also brings them together. Since purchasing the bowling alley, the Ashcraft family has spent a number of years at Play-Mor Lanes working and playing alongside each other.

“We all worked there as a family together until the last couple of years, we all bowled in leagues. Brett’s dad bowled in four leagues at a time at one point and so did his grandpa. I bowled in one league and Brett’s siblings all bowled in leagues. All of our cousins and great uncles and aunts all bowled. So, it was a big thing for a number of years,” Marie said.

Outside of leagues and personal bowling, the family has had opportunities to further continue the sport. Brett’s sister Cassiday went on to bowl for Wichita State University.
The family’s shared passion for the sport has opened doors to new opportunities, brought them together and allowed them to continue doing what they love.

“We were at the bowling alley all of the time. We all just really enjoy bowling,” Brett said.