Bowling offers winter alternative for Hampton athletes

November 15, 2018

Looking to stay dry and close to home during the winter athletics season? Give bowling a try.

Bowling is not only a low-maintenance sport for males and females, but there can be collegiate financial benefits as well.

Those reasons are why Hampton bowling coach Glen Thomas hopes he can increase the team’s numbers.

Hampton bowling is approaching its third year. Thomas wants more bowlers to join the team this season.

“Our goal is to just to increase the size of the team,” he said. “Keep growing the program.”

The team had four last year, which is two more than its initial season.

That first year featured Thomas’ sons Garrett and Jacob, who are now seniors. Last year, Isaac Swanson joined the boys’ team, and Bella Nissel was the lone female.

″(Given) the feedback we’ve gotten so far,” Glen Thomas said, “it seems like the girls are more interested than the boys. We can always develop a girls team.”

Thomas said many parents and students do not know the advantages of going to college as a female bowler.

Some schools have female bowling teams, and though there are many talented female bowlers, scholarship opportunities abound.

“They can get full rides, and most girls don’t understand that,” Thomas said. “If you’re a decent bowler -- you don’t even need to be a top bowler -- you can get a scholarship, four years of free college.”

While men’s bowling typically is relegated to a club sport in college, some schools allow students to be eligible for smaller, school-sponsored scholarships or other grants typically not available.

Garrett Thomas is taking a look at Muskingum to continue his bowling career, though he is visiting other schools. Jacob will continue his education at Pennsylvania College of Technology for welding engineering.

Another major perk is the lack of travel involved in bowling as Hampton shares home lanes at Pines Plaza with North Hills and Avonworth.

“It’s worked out for us, so we’re not traveling to Kittanning for a match in the middle of January,” Thomas said. “You’re not going to travel far, basically Sewickley and Moon, and the other matches are at Pines.”

Anyone interested in joining the team, which is accepting entries until mid-December, can contact the Hampton athletic office or reach Thomas at (412) 719-7128 or email at Thomas1755@comcast.com.

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