By Phyl Knoll

RYAN PEDEN is a 17-year old senior at Sanger High School and a member of the Central California USBC Association.  He has made his parents, Geoff and Darla, and grandparents Steve and Lillian most proud, for maintaining a straight “A” average currently at Sanger High. He is officially credited as 1 of 10 in 639 students with an overall weighted GPA of 4.171 and CSU GPA of 4.360.  He is referred to by his educators as one of the brightest young men they have taught and described him as dedicated, enthusiastic, a team player, diligent and highly effective.  His tenacity and hard work, such as choosing to take five Advanced Placement classes his senior year, has made him a tremendous asset in the classroom. He is considered a well-rounded student whose quality of work generally surpasses that of his peers. It is no surprise Peden is interested in the field of engineering, with his burning desire for the highest level of mathematics, Linear Algebra and Real Analysis, and his favorite topics of Chemistry being Chemical Equilibrium and Organic Syntheses.

Aside from his academics, Peden is a self-taught Website Developer and has created several websites for the campus organizations; is an active member of the French Club; Spanish Club; Science Club; History Club; Math Club; and HYPE Club (Christians seeking to spread God’s Message); and although he is not African-American he is a member of the Black Student Union (which seeks to promote racial equality while embracing African-American culture). Peden’s Scholastic Honors include: Block “S” Academic Scholar Award (given annually to student with at least 4.0 GPA); a member of California Scholarship Federation (2009-Present); Academic Scholars (selected based on GPA after first semester of Senior year) and Tutor to his peers (2009-present) in Calculus, Chemistry, French, Trigonometry, and US History; and because of his class ranking, has been named one of the Valedictorians of his graduating class.

Because Peden had major surgery while a Kindergartener and unable to participate in any contact sports, he was first introduced to bowling at the age of 6, when his Grandpa Steve took him to AMF Sierra Lanes in Fresno. Peden immediately fell in love with the sport and so Grandpa enrolled him in a Youth League and became his faithful supporter and coach.   At the age of 12, Peden joined the Premier Travel League under direction of Dave Jarosz.  Recognizing Peden’s potential, Jarosz worked with him in all facets of his game, transforming him from a 160 to a 230 average bowler.  At age 16, Peden worked with Chris Preble, Head Coach of the Fresno State Bowling Team, from whom he learned how to apply his skills to lane conditions.  To date, he has recorded five “300” games, the first at age 14; and an 820 series.

Since 2006 his record of first place finishes are lengthy, which include in 2010 NorCal State Tournament Boys Singles and All Events; NorCal All Star Tournament; and California (Male Division) Youth State Scratch Tournament; 2011 NorCal State Tournament Junior Team; and the Pacific Coast Youth Scratch Championship Team Event.

Peden’s other accomplishments have included (2006-2011) Central California USBC All Star and NorCal All-Star;  (2009) Bowlers Journal Top High School Prospects; (2011) (Male Division-Platinum) California State Youth Scholarship; (2007-2009) Youth Director Central California USBC Board of Directors; (2007-2011) Youth Coach; (2011) placed 60th at Junior Gold National Championship in Las Vegas; and Director of  2011 AMF Sierra Lanes Annual “Spare The Kids” fund raiser event for Central California Children’s Hospital. When not on campus or the bowling lanes, Peden involves himself with numerous non-bowling activities such as Fresno City College’s Career Skills Challenge and Website Design and…frequently babysits his 3-year-old sister Jordyn.

Peden has elected to forego collegiate bowling this fall to focus on his scholastic involvements at either Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) or University of California-Berkeley to pursue a degree in Engineering Physics with a minor in Mathematics.  His goal in mind is to “never lose site of the main job of an Engineer… to use creative methods to better the world.”  And, firmly feels “that the skills I have learned through bowling, hard work, and versatility, will serve me well and allow me to make a positive impact in the world, in whatever direction I choose to pursue.”

Well deserved, Peden will be honored at the California USBC Association Annual Meeting on June 10th at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Sacramento.

UPDATE (May 2016): Ryan just graduated from UC Berkeley with double majors.  One is electrical engineering and computer science and the other is applied mathematics.  He will begin working for Bloomberg Investments in New York City in June. CONGRATULATIONS RYAN!!