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North Texas club bowling team rebuilding, looking for progress

North Texas club bowling team rebuilding, looking for progress

North Texas club bowling team rebuilding, looking for progress
November 02
08:00 2018

The North Texas bowling club was once successful at a competitive level, but after losing some upperclassmen to graduation, members are now looking to get back on top by the end of their season.

“Right now we are trying to rebuild the program,” president Mark Buller said. “From 2015 to 2016, it was a power team, but over the years we lost a lot of graduates. Recruiting wasn’t as high as it should be. This year we are just working on the fundamentals like getting more sponsorship. Basically, I’m trying to get where everybody’s fundamentals are and build off it and make them better overall.”

The club is in the middle of its 2018-19 season and currently in between tournaments. The club competes in the Southwest Intercollegiate Bowling Conference (SWIBC) against other schools across the U.S, and earlier this month, the bowling team went to Wichita, Kansas, to a compete in a Tier One tournament, a separate system from the SWIBC.

For SWIBC tournaments, the first day has five full games and 16 Baker games, and on the second day, there are seven full games. A Baker game is a different form of scoring where five athletes bowl two frames each, with the anchor having to fill the 10th frame. Every athlete must bowl a strike in each frame in order to complete a Baker game.

Tier One tournaments have six full games for one day and over 20 Baker games on the next day.

“To prepare for the tournaments, we just bowl on sport shot -— a heavier oil pattern that makes it a little more difficult to bowl in — and we take the averages divided by that game and that shows who goes to the tournament,” club vice president Tanner Stevens said.

The team has been gradually improving despite obstacles and after having to rebuild its lineup.

“We have had some rough edges, but we’re getting up there [and are] hoping to grow and learn as we’re getting better and more cohesive,” Stevens said. “We’re hoping in the long run that will be what sets us into bowling more competitively with the schools in our conference.”

The SWIBC is comprised of Newman and Wichita State in Kansas, as well as Texas Tech, Texas A&M, West Texas A&M, University of Houston and University of North Texas. These are schools Stevens said the team has “not stacked up very well against.”

“We’re hoping we can go out and compete with them,” Stevens said. “We’re starting to see our numbers be tighter compared to those schools.”

North Texas is starting to see better results throughout their tournaments this year.

“[During] our first competition, we didn’t do well,” senior bowler Cassietta Jackson said. “But each one we went to afterwards we did better, and hopefully it keeps going.”

Graduate student Dejuan Mills said the most important thing to focus on to improve a bowler’s mental game is to take each tournament “frame-to-frame.”

“The mental aspect is basically just not trying to get upset if you throw a bad shot,” Mills said. “You’re just trying to go frame-to-frame, and you know you have 10 frames to fill, so try to hit your spares and knock down 10 pins.”

The SWIBC is a gateway to more competitive forms of the sport, such as the Professional Bowling Association (PBA), a life-long dream for some of the bowlers on the team.

“You have to have a 200 average all year to go into the PBA, so if I can get that 200-average or even close enough and be able to compete with those higher numbers, I do plan on going into the PBA,” Stevens said. “I’ve always wanted to do that since I was young — I remember watching the PBA tournaments with my dad. That would seem feasible especially since the money’s pretty decent, too.”

North Texas will be competing in the Jayhawk Collegiate Challenge this upcoming weekend at the University of Kansas.

Featured Image: Arms swinging above her head, Mia Dodson aims for success. Matthew Flores

About Author

Jacob Solomon

Jacob Solomon

Business student at the University of North Texas and sports writer at the North Texas Daily.

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