By: Todd Evans – Copy Editor
Five steps to the line, backswing, forward swing, release and follow through. These motions are second nature to WPU club bowling Co-Captain Jake Rollins who recently helped lead the Pioneers to victory at the 2017 National Collegiate Club Bowling Championship in Indianapolis, Indiana 11 days ago.
The Pioneers will advance to the Intercollegiate Team Championships this weekend in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where they placed second in 2016. Rollins was named tournament MVP at the 2016 Intercollegiate Team Championships and at this year’s Collegiate Club Championship.
“I was fortunate enough to be named the MVP of the whole tournament out of the best bowlers and teams in the country,” Rollins said. “Obviously I couldn’t have done it without the guys helping me.”
Rollins, a junior accounting major, has been part of William Paterson’s bowling club for three seasons.
The Glen Rock, New Jersey resident started bowling when he was three-years-old after being introduced to the sport by his parents. He began bowling competitively after attending bowling camps and entering tournaments at age ten.
“That hunger to want to win again, it’s got to fuel you to keep going,” Rollins said.
Rollins leads the Pioneers along with fellow co-captain Andrew Dekowski, a sophomore who was recently named to the first team all-tournament team at the Club Championship. Guiding teammates and keeping them focused during practices to prepare for matches and tournaments are their main priorities.
The WPU bowling team came close to winning a United States Bowling Congress national championship last season but lost in the championship series match 3-2 against McKendree University in Wichita, Kansas.
“We’ve had our ups, we’ve had our downs,” Rollins said. “Staying in the ups and working through the downs that we’ve had together is something… If everything is all easy what are you really doing?”
Rollins also attributes the team’s successes to Head Coach and Alumnus Greg Hatzisavvas 08’.
“He is a very good coach,” Rollins said. “He knows how to keep it light, keep it fun and get us working hard, but he’s also stern and he makes us crack down when we have to.”
After completing his accounting degree Rollins sees himself entering Professional Bowlers Association regional tournaments and moving away from the east coast.
“I’m really glad I came to this school and joined the bowling program and everything else I’ve done here,” Rollins said. “The coach base we have and everything, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”