By Sam Stevenson, Saint Reporter
Photo courtesy of Andy Visockis
One of the things that makes Aquinas College so great and versatile is the athletics the school provides. While a lot of the more popular sports get the majority of attention, there are many the school offers that should be given some spotlight.
The men’s bowling team has a total roster of nine bowlers and are coached by 7th-year head coach Charley Tapp. The team practices their craft at West Gate Bowl in Comstock Park, roughly 20 minutes from Grand Rapids. They practice Tuesday through Thursday, starting in October and ending in March.
Hunter Myers, a freshman on the team, agreed to answer some questions about collegiate bowling. Many people are unaware that it is a sport offered at this level, as well as how it is practiced and how competition works.
Hunter has been playing the sport for 11 years. He first talked about the recruitment process of a bowler.
“I got recruited by emailing coaches the summer of my senior year who had bowling and the major I wanted” Hunter said. He is studying Sports Management at AQ.
Hunter said that bowlers are recruited similarly to any other athlete: they play for their school and summer teams, reach out to coaches, attend tournaments and showcases, and get recruited by schools.
The breakdown of a bowling practice was the next part. The team start with line drills; they line up on the line and one at a time work on their form and release down the lane. The rest of practice is pretty simple; the men go bowling.
“It’s really just bowling for an hour while a coach critiques you” Hunter said.
The biggest area of curiosity was a bowling competition. The team participates in a tournament style of play; bowling is really a team effort. Five bowlers will be assigned to four games, with four participating and one on reserve. Each frame a bowler is given two chances to knock down 10 pins and score as many points as possible. The best scores will be recorded and tallied in.
A good score, according to Hunter, is anything above a 180. Three-digit scores are expected from collegiate bowlers, and if anyone from the group of four is doing poorly the reserve will substitute in.
The biggest question Hunter was asked was this: what is one thing about bowling you love?
“It’s unique. Not a lot of people do it. You also meet a lot of awesome people doing it” Hunter commented.
The team is hosting a home tournament on December 1 at West Gate Bowl, starting at 8:00 am and concluding at 4:00 pm. Besides hoping they will see people there, the men’s team hopes by sharing some more information about the sport, they will gain some more attention to an incredibly different and entertaining activity.