Bowling team continues to be among the nation’s best
September 28, 2009 —
Quick, what SVSU varsity sport has finished in the top three in Nationals the past four years? Here’s a hint: two of the four years they won a national championship. The correct answer is the men’s bowling team.
Despite having less than adequate funding, the bowling team has been SVSU’s most successful athletic program. The Cardinals are well-respected around the collegiate bowling realm as well.
“We are known as one of the top teams,” said Mike Snow. “We are expected to be up there with all the top teams each year.”
Snow, a computer science and applied mathematics senior, was a member of the Cardinals 2006-2007 national championship. Snow has experienced nationals every year of his career and expects to return yet again. This will be no easy task, especially considering the financial difficulties the team must endure each year.
“We have to raise $700 a person,” Snow said.
Raising these funds is required for participation with the team. The money they raise, along with some funding from the athletic department, covers tournament fees and hopefully all of their travel expenses, Snow said. This leaves the players personally responsible for any extra travel costs, as well as equipment and practice costs.
“There are no structured practices because we have no facilities,” explained Snow.
In order to practice for important tournaments, members of the team had to work out deals with Candlelite Bowling Center and Northern Lanes, located in Bridgeport and Sanford respectively. Although the team receives a discount, each member must pay for each practice. Costs can add up during bowling’s nearly eight-month season.
The bowling team travels frequently during its season, competing as far away as New Jersey, Wisconsin and Texas. Fortunately, most of the conference competitions occur in Ohio, where the Cardinals compete with renowned universities such as Notre Dame, the University of Michigan and Robert Morris University.
“Our conference is not that strong,” Snow said. “We see those as experience builders.”
Conference tournaments help the team build chemistry and improve its overall game. Confidence is a must for any athletic program to sustain high levels of success like the bowling team, Snow said.
“No one can beat you if you don’t want them to,” he added.
The Cardinals bowling team certainly has the confidence, as well as the resulting successes, to prove it deserves respect. The team has helped SVSU gain a positive national reputation.
The bowling roster features players from ten states, including Texas, New York and Hawaii. Look for the bowling team to continue its national success and to continue to represent SVSU well.