By Chris Chaney
Amelia’s Nic Huber, by his own admission, was raised in a bowling alley.
“I started bowling when I was four when I could first pick up a bowling ball,” he said. “I grew up in a bowling alley, basically. My uncle has 26 300 games and my dad has four.”
On Dec. 18, Nic cut his father’s lead on him in half by rolling his second perfect game in a match against Goshen at Eastgate Lanes.
His first 300 came a few months earlier, on March 10, in the Ohio United States Bowling Congress Youth Bowling Pepsi Tournament in Middletown where he finished in 25th place in the Junior Gold Premier Division.
Nic’s older brother Blake, a senior at Glen Este and a top-5 bowler in the city, finished sixth in the same tournament.
However, a natural sibling rivalry isn’t something Nic puts a lot of stock into. In fact, the freshman competes in the sport for days like March 10 and Dec. 18, not for seasons like 2012 and 2013 when his big brother led the city in average.
“I actually don’t care to have a high average or be one of the top bowlers in the city like Blake,” Nic explained. “I’d rather have higher scores and be known for high scores instead of a high average.”
To hear their father, Rick Huber, talk about his boys, the dynamic between the two is typical of any sibling relationship, but unique to their circumstance.
“They push each other,” he said. “Blake is the better bowler — he has the knowledge — but for Nic, it comes natural. It doesn’t matter what sport he plays, he’s a natural in every sport. But they do push each other. They bowled each other in a match earlier this year and Blake bowled a 449. Nic had a 483.
“Then the next matches after that, Blake just went crazy. His brother pushes his buttons. They’re competitive. They don’t go out to beat the other, they just bowl and whatever happens, happens.”
Their symbiotic relationship is one that has been cultivated throughout years at the lanes.
“(Bowling) is just in our family,” Rick Huber said. “Most of the times parents wonder, ‘where are my kids at?’ I know where my kids are. If they’re not at home and they’re not working, they’re at the bowling alley.”
And the reason they find themselves at different scholastic institutions again comes down to their differences in preferences.
Originally, both Huber boys were planning to go to Glen Este to bowl under their uncle, Tom Huber, who was the coach for the Trojans until he stepped down in 2011. When Tom stepped down, Blake was already in the program and Nic, three years younger than his older brother, opted to go to Amelia because of his interest in basketball and soccer.
Nic now plays three sports for the Barons putting his natural ability on display on the hardwood, the soccer pitch as well as on the lanes. Blake, on the other hand, spends his time diligently working on his craft in the comfort of the place where he and his brother grew up.
Their paths will likely cross again this season at the sectional tournament on Feb. 19 when both Hubers will try to capitalize on their individual strengths: Blake’s consistency and Nic’s penchant for scoring high.
Until then, you can find Blake near the top of the city-wide standings in average again, while Nic tops the list in the high game category. Just the way both Huber brothers like it.