CSUF bowling team spares no opportunities

In Sports
Eric Gomez

Anthony Santos was practically raised in a bowling alley.

Since his parents were avid bowlers, it was only natural that at
the age of 8, he would follow in their footsteps.

“I would major in bowling if I could,” Santos said.

As one of the most dedicated members on the Cal State Fullerton
bowling team this year, Santos hopes to teach the new members of
the team the definition of what it means to be a good bowler,
despite having several obstacles against them.

Santos said that bowlers on the West Coast are at much more of a
disadvantage because bowling is more prominent on the East
Coast.

He said sponsorships are easier to get since the top ranked bowlers
are from the East.

“We try to make a name for ourselves and let our bowling do
the talking,” Santos said.

The CSUF bowling team finished 16th in the nation last year, nearly
missing qualifying for the nationals.

“I’m hoping that we’ll be able to come out on top
this year and just have a good showing at nationals,” said
Derrick Salary, a senior criminal justice major and team
member.

Although this year’s team was left without an official coach,
the two veteran members, Santos and Salary, have taken charge.

The new 10-member team will be preparing in the upcoming weeks for
the season’s big tournament taking place at UC Davis in early
November.

But funding for the team is difficult, Santos said.

Salary said that the team acquires some money from the inter-club
council on campus, “but the majority of the money we have to
come up with out of our own pockets.”

It’s expensive to bowl at the college level Santos said. He
spent nearly $2,500 to $3,000 of his own money last year.

“You go into college bowling knowing you’re not going
to get anything back,” Santos said. “It’s more of
a personal goal.

“The thing about bowling is that it’s individual. You
can only control how you bowl,” he said. “It takes a
lot of discipline and a lot of patience.”

Competitive bowlers must deal with the fact that some people
don’t take it seriously as a sport.

“Not a lot of people can appreciate bowling unless
you’ve been a bowler,” Santos said.

But Daren Ogomari, former coach and senior electrical engineering
major, said that while bowling is an individual sport, it is also a
team effort at the collegiate level.

“Bowling at the college level is more team oriented and it
takes your game to a different level,” Ogomari said.

“There’s a part of me that agrees with [bowling being a
sport] because it’s a physical activity,” Ogomari said.
“It’s a mental and physical challenge, which are
characteristics of sports.

“But on the other side of that, bowling is the No. 1 ranked
recreational sport. I think that side of bowling gives it that
appeal of it not being a sport and more of it being something you
just do for fun,” Ogomari said.

“A lot of times you can get really lucky,” Salary said
as to why he sees bowling to be more of a recreational
activity.

A relatively inexperienced bowler has a good shot at beating a more
experienced one, Salary said.

“If this was a real sport, then there’s no way that [my
opponent would] be able to beat me,” Salary said.

But the lack of physicality in bowling should not define it, Santos
said.

“In bowling it’s man against machine,” he said.
“It’s you as an individual competing against the
hardest conditions an alley can give you.”

Fullerton has produced high profile bowlers like Vince Wood. He is
one of only a handful of bowlers who bowled a perfect 900 series,
or three 300 games in a row, Salary said.

For the 2002-2003 seasons, Missy Bellinder finished her bowling
career at CSUF winning numerous awards that season, including the
men’s most valuable player at nationals. At the time, there
was no women’s tour available.

CSUF brought home the 1988-1989 Intercollegiate Bowling
Championship title.

Santos said that his goal is to teach the new members that success
in bowling is not out of their reach.

“It’s not about winning this semester,” Santos
said. “It’s about seeing how far we can go without
breaking under pressure.”

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