Striking with a Vengeance


Kirk Danielson And Brian Kimmes

In only its second year as an SDSU club sport, the bowling club is off and rolling.

Success came to the bowling club in a short amount of time.

The club currently has 13 members, with nine on the men’s team and seven on the women’s. The women’s team finished in first place at the Oshkosh tournament in Oshkosh, Wis., last year.

Leading the charge for the women bowlers was anchor bowler Jovan Ebalaroza. She won the individual women’s title in Oshkosh with an average of 212.

Ebalaroza is one of many successful bowlers on the team. Also at the Oshkosh tournament, bowling club vice president Shawn Hawks finished in the top ten for the men with an average of 217.

Members of the bowling club competed in high school, where they had great success. Jeremiah Nelson was the anchor bowler for the 2004 state championship bowling team in South Dakota, and club president Jay Wulf was part of a high school tournament-winning team in Lincoln, Neb., in 2003.

In addition to being a part of successful teams, individuals have had success. Bowling Club Coach Roxie Nelson said four members of the club have thrown 300 games, and another bowler has rolled a 299. Last week, Wulf bowled a personal best 756 series.

These bowlers are not just once-a-week players. Roxie Nelson said every bowler on the team has been bowling since grade school, and averages between five and ten hours a week of strictly bowling.

In addition to the club’s three-hour practice on Sunday nights, members of the club participate in leagues. Wulf said he plays in one league and as an alternate in another league.

Hawks said, “I bowl at least six games a week.”

Coach Nelson estimated Ebalaroza bowls three to four games a day.

All college bowling teams, regardless of their classification as club or varsity sports, compete at the same tournaments, Coach Nelson said. The SDSU bowling club faces bowlers who are on scholarship.

“Most of us bowled in high-school tournaments, but the competition here is way tougher,” said Hawks.

In order to stay competitive, the bowlers have increased their practice regimen. Wulf said he works on more sparing by purposely leaving pins in order to practice picking them up. Ebalaroza said she bowls more, and concentrates on control and technique. She said she throws her ball differently now, with more revolution.

With the tough competition, the bowling club looks for the best bowlers SDSU has to offer.

“We’d expect a regular score of 190 for all team members at a tournament,” said Wulf.

The SDSU club was formed primarily by word of mouth. Jeremiah Nelson wanted to continue bowling in college, but wanted to stay in Brookings as well. He worked with his mother, Roxie, to get the bowling club running. The original recruiting included watching bowlers in the college league on Monday nights.

In the club’s second year, the bowlers received some money from SDSU, but fundraising pays for most of the club’s tournament expenses. This year, the club expects to have an approximate $10,000 budget, $2,000 of which the Students’ Association will provide. The team raises funds by selling candles and candy, and by hosting galaxy light shows at Prairie Lanes. The remaining expenses come out of the bowlers’ pockets.

The 2006-2007 team will travel throughout the Midwest competing in various tournaments. The team plans to compete in five tournaments this year, the closest in Omaha, Neb., and the highlight, the Brunswick Coca-Cola Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. The season lasts from October to February, culminating in the United States Bowling Congress tournament at the end of March.

For tournaments, the SDSU bowling club usually brings six players to compete for both the men’s and women’s teams. For its travels, the club rents a van from SDSU. In addition to 13 people and luggage, the team plans space for its equipment.

“The maximum number you can take to a tournament is five bowling balls, but everyone has at least three,” Wulf said.

The bowling team continues to recruit this year. If interested in being part of the team, e-mail Roxie Nelson at [email protected].

#1.884198:1024459536.jpg:bowling01.jpg:T.J. Geerdes, a member of the SDSU bowling club, practices Sunday evening at Prairie Lanes in Brookings.: