Bowling scores another strike

Hannah Yourd '09, Neil Finnegan '09 and Laura Simpson '09 shoot the breeze before they bowl next as Kennon Landis '09 throws a ball down down the lane. - Paul Kramer

Hannah Yourd '09, Neil Finnegan '09 and Laura Simpson '09 shoot the breeze before they bowl next as Kennon Landis '09 throws a ball down down the lane. - Paul Kramer

Just a few yards south of campus, still in sight of Bucksbaum is a resource of great importance and relaxation. It’s not a bar, or a liquor store—it’s a bowling alley.

The Bowladrome, with its ten lanes, cozy small town feel and fan-pleasing animations has been a staple in the Grinnell community for a long time. Students flock to this invaluable resource on a weekly basis, whether for recreation or friendly competition.

“It’s a great social thing,” said Peter Marsho ’12, who frequents the bowling alley.

“We just hang out with friends. You get to make fun of each other and make bets and since I’m not the best bowler I come when I can and hope for the best.”

On Wednesdays and Fridays students roll over to the Bowladrome for Bowling class. The class, which is taught by men’s soccer and golf Coach Brian Jaworski, has about 22 students that take part in the half-credit class. Jaworski took over the class from Andy Hamilton ‘85 only two years ago, but he’s bowled for much of his life.

“My family would go bowling on Thanksgiving night, and still does,” Jaworski said. “Then when I was at DePauw for 12 years, the coaches and I would go bowling on a Friday night, and because none of us were making any money, people would put some money in and we would try and make 10 bucks by beating our buddies in bowling.”

Aside from the class, the Bowladrome plays host to the Grinnell College Bowling Club.

“My favorite thing about bowling is that it’s fun and you can do it against yourself and other people to keep it competitive,” said Matt Rosenbaum ’12,who is in both the club and the class.

“In the club you go with your friends, but in the class you bowl as a class and meet new people. But when you’re not bowling you’re just chilling and talking to people about bowling.”

The bowling club takes place at Bowladrome every Saturday at 3 p.m. The club, which is run by Johnny Buse ’11 (the S&B’s News Editor) and Jai Garg ’11 (the S&B’s Sports Editor), provides free games for all Grinnell College students. The word has spread, and quickly the club has seen an increase in attendance this semester, with an average of about 25 students attending weekly.

“It’s more popular because people are realizing that it’s a really fun sport and bowling is getting a lot of publicity on ESPN,” said Rosenbaum.

The club and the class have been stable sources of recreation for students during their tenure here. While most students go to get away from the hardships of Grinnell, some go to hone their skills.

“I definitely take it pretty seriously,” said Andrew Walsh ’09, who has been a part of the bowling club with fellow senior Parker Koester ’09 since first year. “I’m trying to get my average up and I’m trying to get more consistent. ‘Cause sometimes I’ll send up a really high score but I have no consistency, so I just got to keep practicing. The fact that I get to play some free games is pretty nice. And we do the bowling class now, too. So we bowl three days a week.”

Jaworski, who bowls with his students in class, enjoys that the class allows him to interact with a wide variety of students. “My entire day is spent on north campus,” Jaworski said.

“And then I get to go to [south] campus and get some more diversity. I would never have met some of these students if it wasn’t for bowling class.”