The William Paterson bowling is going to nationals in Nebraska.
“We were in Baton Rouge, Louisiana last year and made a pretty decent run and came in fifth. The year before we came in second, so this year we’re trying to go for it all,” said senior Corey Hommel.
“This year what I see is a lot of hunger. Guys who want to get back there, they want to win,” said head coach Greg Hatzisavvas.
The William Paterson team is a club sport, but at nationals they’ll be playing against Division I schools.
“A couple years ago, I would consider us an underdog, but that’s not the case anymore,” Hatzisavvas said.
The coach said it’s rare for a club team to go this far. As the bowlers practice, they make strike after strike look easy. Hatzisavvas says they focus on small mechanical techniques.
Assistant coach Tom Laskow has been involved in bowling for over 55 years and is a former professional bowler. He’s been coaching the team for the last three or four years. In that time, the team has become more refined.
“They have a little more of an understanding of what we’re looking for and the team works together very well,” Laskow said.
Rick Guevarra from Rick’s Pro Shop works with the team when they’re practicing, helping them if they need to change the pitches of the ball or other adjustments. He’s like their secret weapon behind the scenes.
“Sometimes we’re here at 1 o’clock, 2 o’clock and they’re still bowling,” he said. “That’s why we support them 100 percent.”
“We’re best friends bowling on a national winning team. It’s amazing to see,” said senior Sean Laube.