Story by Mark Musgrave III, Sports Editor
Men’s Bowling here at Aquinas College is on the up and up. And don’t get me wrong, they’ve always been good, but this year feels different. Sure, there may be some bias involved as I “too” am a team member, but this team’s competitive drive to compete is different than when I was recruited. With new head coach Harold Klukowski at the helm, these boys are finding their stride early. And if you look closely, you could find many reasons why.
After losing 3 seniors last season, this team is not taking time off for a rebuilding year. For starters, freshman Dylan Vermilyea has quickly accepted his starting position on varsity and is making an instant impact with a career-high 220 average through four games, the highest of any competitor at last week’s Cornerstone Invite hosted by Station 300 in Grandville, MI. Other leaders for the Saints include anchor Michael Deming with a pin total of 1,019, good enough for a 7th-place finish overall, and Captain Abery Thomas III placed 15th with a 975-pin total including a high of 261. Brandon Foster and Senior Captain James Ruoff each averaged 182 in the contest. As a team, we placed second, one place shy of last year’s finish in a close fight with Madonna and Spring Arbor as the clear-cut top teams in pin total. When I interviewed Coach Harold, he was thrilled by the progress made so far.
“We have a very talented group of men. They have bought into the process over the outcome frame of mind. They know it is a process to get where you want to go, and they are embracing the journey. I can’t wait to see the end product in March.”
Harold Klukowski, former Assistant Coach at Cornerstone University, has molded his team into a family here at AQ. Both the men’s and women’s teams are competing at the AHBA #1 at the Super Bowl in Canton this weekend, Saturday, October 29th, and Sunday, October 30th. The first NAIA Rating Percentage Index comes out on Friday, November 11, and Aquinas should be ranked highly since they are a top team in the WHAC Conference.