NICK THOMPSON, TRUMPET SPORTS EDITOR
One of Wartburg’s newest teams, bowling, has steadily improved over the four years of its existence.
Head coach, Joe Squires, is in his fourth season at Wartburg and eight total in coaching at the college level. Before coming to Wartburg, Squires coached at Waldorf College for two years as the head coach and two years as their assistant.
“I wanted a chance to be a part of the great community at Wartburg as well as be at a place where athletics and academics were balanced. There is a reason why so many coaches have well over 10 years of tenure here, and it is because we are valued and supported well,” Squires said.
The team has steadily improved over the past four years. At the past tournament, the women’s team participated in match play for the first time in program history. This past weekend as well, second-year Jase Goedel, placed on the all-tournament team. The all-tournament team is the top five bowlers from the tournament.
“One of my favorite moments would have to be from this past weekend when the girls team made match play for the first time. This year was the first year we made match play and it was something we never thought we were going to be able to do,” Erin Wood, fourth-year bowler, said.
Wood and fellow fourth-year, Andy Johll have been in the program since the first year. They both joined the team after participating on their high school teams as well as bowling since childhood.
The team competes against a lot of schools in Iowa. They compete against schools like Mount Mercy, Coe, Grandview and Iowa Central Community College. The team has also had the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas and bowl against the top teams in the nation.
“Our two trips to Vegas were amazing, more of the recent one because it’s a special time to be there and getting to share with your teammates. The competition is very tough and makes everyone better,” Johl said.
As the placements start to get higher for the team, they are getting more recruits that could go to more established schools.
“Our scores and finish positions have climbed over the past 4 years. We are seeing way more interest with potential bowlers visiting campus and talking about our teams. Our incoming class for next year should be over 6 men and over 4 women. We are competing in the middle of the pack rather than fighting to get out of last place,” Squires said.
With the inaugural class graduating this May, Squires is looking for the next group of athletes to lead the team. Johll and Squires have high hopes for the future of the team.
I plan on building the team by demonstrating the growth the seniors have shown over the 4 years, the accomplishments of the team, and building relationships with the high school bowlers from around the midwest and nation,” Squires said.
“I hope for sustained success in the future. I hope that each member of the team realizes that they are all bowling for each other. Bowling is a team sport. No team will be successful if anyone is bowling for themselves and not the team. I hope they remember to have fun with each other and love your teammates no matter what,” Johll said.
Both teams are finishing their season up at the KoHawk Invitational in Cedar Rapids Feb. 5 and 6.
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