Five years ago, students asked Monty Smith, associate professor of criminal justice, why Missouri Western didn’t have a bowling team. Smith, a United States Bowling Congress Certified Silver Level Coach, decided to help get one started, and the University is now home to a sanctioned intercollegiate bowling team, the Griffon Bowling Club. Rhonda Brown, a USBC Certified Bronze Level Coach and developmental math instructor, also coaches.
This past year, its fourth season, two of the bowlers on the team, Carson Field and Jacob Dec, had great seasons. At the Midstates Championship hosted by Wichita State and Newman University in October 2019, Field placed 56th out of more than 300 in the singles event, averaging 188 for 6 games. In November, at the Jayhawk Collegiate Challenge in Lawrence, Kansas, Dec finished 13th out of 184 bowlers. He averaged 202 for the six games. Carson finished 37th, averaging 192.
At the Bronco Open hosted by Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska, Field finished eighth out of 132 bowlers. His average of 198 was just eight pins shy of making the top five finishers All Tournament Team. Dec finished 37th, averaging 175.
“They both worked incredibly hard to become competitive at the collegiate level,” Smith said.
Both Field and Dec said the bowling club was definitely a factory in their decision to come to Missouri Western. Dec has been bowling since he was three years old. Field said he bowled on his high school team at Savannah, Missouri. “I didn’t want high school bowling to end,” he said. “It was too much fun.”