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Strike up the excitement: SSU bowlers compete in Wright State tournament

As the Wright State Raider Classic bowling tournament approached, Shawnee State University’s Parker Lauders was excitedly preparing for the event, which was scheduled Nov. 11-12 in Dayton, Ohio. This annual tournament brings together some of the region’s finest bowling teams.

Lauders and his teammates diligently prepared for the tournament.

“For preparation for the tournament, the team has been practicing on the oil pattern and getting a good feel and understanding of how it plays and what equipment works best on it,” Lauders said.

Oil patterns are the specific coatings on the lane that affect how a bowling ball rolls, making the game more challenging and varied.

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On a personal level, Lauders had some ambitious goals going into the tournament. He hoped to post an impressive average score of 180 during the individual portion of the competition and was committed to successfully cleaning all of his makeable spares. His determination extended to the team’s performance, as he hoped they could land a spot among the top-five teams. Lauders acknowledged the importance of confidence in achieving these goals.

“The number one thing I worked on this week was just being confident in my shots and trusting the process by ensuring myself that in the end the results will align with what I wish for,” he said.

When it came to his favored bowling equipment for this tournament, Lauders expressed his fondness for the Phaze 2, noting, “this ball is the longest-made bowling ball currently on the market due to the love for it by bowlers and the amount of success it has brought to the bowlers who throw it.”

Team dynamics are crucial in bowling, and Lauders and his teammates have been actively working to grow their camaraderie with one another.

“In practice, we are being more supportive as a team instead of acting as individuals,” Lauders said. “We are doing this by encouraging one another and by doing our team chant as if we were in a match.”

When asked to offer some advice to aspiring bowlers looking to join collegiate teams, Lauders emphasized the significance of a strong mental game.

“The most important aspects in collegiate bowling are repeatability of strike balls, a strong spare game and most importantly a strong mental game,” he said.

Lauders’ insights can help people who are working on transitioning from high school to collegiate bowling, speaking on the shifts from chasing strikes to then focusing on picking up spares and maintaining mental resilience. During competitive tournaments, tension will be high. With these high-pressure situations, Lauders manages his nerves and stress by observing fellow bowlers around him.

“I always try to watch the bowlers around me and see what they are doing,” he said. “This tends to keep my mind off my own game as much as possible since I am able to see how everyone around me is doing and their reactions.”

Regarding the potential rewards for those who end up on the podium in the Wright State Raider Classic, Lauders noted, “Typically, the top 5 individuals on both male and female sides place on an all-tournament team where they are given a medal or small trophy item. The team rewards are typically given to the top 2 male and female teams.”

After the tournament, regardless of the outcome, Lauders and the rest of his teammates plan to unwind and celebrate together by playing video and board games, providing a well-deserved opportunity to relax and bond after intense competition.

As Lauders and his fellow Shawnee State University teammates prepared for the Wright State Raider Classic, their journey exemplified dedication, practice and teamwork, all essential for success in collegiate bowling. Their story is one of determination and passion for a sport that unites competitors and friends alike.

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Spencer Toy, Staff Writer
Spencer Toy is a 21-year-old from Huntington, West Virginia. He is a sophomore at Shawnee State University and majors in communication with a minor focused in photography. Toy is inspired by his father, who also works in the reporting field back in Huntington. Toy's goal when writing is to inform the local area of events and to inspire people to plan their own entertainment. Toy wants to write about things outside Ohio, stating that he wants to “go somewhere, do something.” One thing Toy hopes to cover in a future article is the Mothman festival that takes place in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, every year.  This will not be Toy’s first position in journalism, though. He also has worked for the Kricker Hub as a freelance photographer. One of his responsibilities was documenting events by taking photos of gatherings and the people who attended them. When asked if he had any fears about going into journalism, Toy said that he does not necessarily feel scared. “I have more hope than fears,” he said. Having past experience helps ease any fears others may have and lets him focus more on the positive potential of what may happen. Toy's only apprehension is that this is a completely new environment for him. With his aspirations and past experience, Toy surely will be a great addition to the Chronicle.

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