Finding Your Lane With Bowling

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Bowling is one of the 24 Illinois High School Association sports that NCTV17 covers on its weekly sports show: Naperville Sports Weekly. The goal of this program is to ensure all athletes get their time to shine and not just the mainstream sports. Joining Stefan Holt for The Morning Show are two coaches who’ve had a tremendous impact on the sport of bowling and represent Naperville District 203 and Indian Prairie District 204.

Former Waubonsie Valley Girls Bowling Coach

During his tenure, Marty Walker lead the girls bowling team at Waubonsie Valley High School to two state championship titles.  Under Marty’s leadership Julia Bond rolled the second-highest series in the history of the IHSA state finals to become the 2014 state champion in her senior year.  Bond went on to be part of the Nebraska bowling team that captured the NCAA national title in 2015. Having graduated college, Bond has since gone pro.

Miller describes his coaching as a “culture change” for many of his athletes. “Winning a state championship, it’s a long journey,” said Walker.  “Players had to start to understand that this wasn’t a Brunswick Zone birthday party.  By the time we won [our first state championship], there was a culture change.  My girls started practicing in March and the season didn’t start until November.”

Current Naperville Central Boys Bowling Coach

Brian Dunn on the other hand fought to bring a bowling team to Naperville Central High School.

“I’ve been passionate about bowling since I was five,” said Dunn.  “My father instilled it in me and it’s something I’ve carried onto my boys.”  Dunn discusses how while there were 40 participants in the intramural bowling program, there wasn’t a competitive team.  Despite the many roadblocks to get one, Dunn with the help of the school’s principal and athletic director, was able to make that dream a reality just in time for the fall season in 2017.

Giving Athletes a Platform to Shine

Both coaches agree NCTV17’s ability to capture and share highlights of their beloved sport has proven valuable beyond measure for their student athletes, both in terms of building confidence and even as a college recruiting tool.

“NCTV17 has been there since day 1,” said Dunn.  “They’ve given these kids the opportunity to say, ‘I Matter.  I’m representing my school.'”

“I would send clips to college coaches so they could see players in competition,” added Walker.