Lourdes has coming out party

Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist

It was a few years back now that I was invited to and attended the introduction of the bowling program at The University of Northwestern Ohio. It was a grand event with the players being introduced to those gathered. I can still remember as the individual members of that class came forward as then coach Todd Book revealed the reason that they were recruited, in terms of the honor scores that they had rolled in junior competition.

I have to say that until this very day I remain impressed with that opening day. In fairness Book did stress that we should not fall too much in love with those rankings as college would and historically proved to be an entirely new experience.

Fast forward about a decade …

Torrie and Dan Bartalone held their initial open house at Southwyck Lanes in Toledo on Saturday afternoon and the program at Lourdes University is now officially underway.

Lima was well represented at the event in the person of Bryana Twining, Jordyn Stewart, Skylar Briggs and Marcus McGee. As important as the fact that the young bowlers were there – so were their parents.

Torrie sent a great message in her opening remarks. She did not mention a single bowler or their accolades, instead she laid down a message of how important that it is that the student athletes embrace the mission of Lourdes University.

Community. Learning. Reverence. Service

She did not recommend that this be the direction of the students in the room with her, she set the expectation.

It really did not end there. Torrie who was an overachiever on the lanes took the mission statement even further. She told those gathered that to be a member of her team they were going to sign a pact, a covenant if you will. The pact has five features: honesty, loyalty, respect, integrity and prposeful habits

She discussed how these five traits will relate to the mission of the school, but also the team, the families of the youth and life after bowling ends. They appeared to be goals set from the collegiate experiences of her and her husband.

She made it clear that she and her husband would be available to not only the student athletes but also the parents if the there was a need. She then brought her father Kevin Jay (Decker) into the conversation. It was made clear to the group that if there was a need to speak with a parent of a college age bowler that dad would be available to them.

The word culture was key in the meeting as well as she reminded the youth that they are in a great situation to set the standard for Lourdes University. Her words rang very true, “Culture is something that is just going to happen, it is supposed to happen and that culture will have a great deal to do with each of you.”

The meeting was not long but it made an impact. The parents that I spoke with leaving the meeting clearly felt that their child was in a good place.

This will be year one for a great couple and some fantastic student athletes. What will they win this first year … who knows … Will they win this first year … they already have.

We all know that I am a follower of the program of UNOH and I have a great deal of respect for the effort of Tyler Sosby and David Miller, the primary coaches of the Racers. I am looking forward to the upcoming Racer Classic on September 15th and 16th at Westgate and 20th Century Lanes.

The more that I observed Jimmie Ebeling Saturday the more I wished that this could be the season that the Racers break through for nationals. I still remembered when Jimmie was a lane rat during the early days of the program. He has grown into a great bowler and it would be fitting if the national break through were to happen during his time at the university.

Sosby and Miller as well as Kody and Kraig Perrine really challenged this year’s team during tryouts this season. The team spent an evening at Westgate with the cheetah pattern, at 20th Century with Beijing, and at Astro Lanes with the dragon.

I really do not think that there is a league in our city that would agree to roll on any of the lane conditions just referenced. I know watching open bowling the morning after Beijing was really painful.

Our college kids will roll on similar patterns all season and in some cases they may be even more difficult. I ask that you remember that when we share scores with you during the year.

As I watched Jimmie, J.J. Meyers, Ryan Clarke and Tyler Wenning this past summer battle a house condition this past summer I found myself curious as to if that condition was too tough because of their collegiate experience.

They are a solid team and I honestly believe that this is the season that they will break through … to nationals.

We are blessed to have UNOH and a great connection to Lourdes. This will be a championship collegiate season and we will keep you updated.


Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist

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