By Danielle Coots
For the News-Current
BEAVERCREEK — Knocking down the winning pins is all that matters to two Beavercreek bowling team seniors, Eric Clemmer and Cole Meredith. Out of approximately 200 bowlers and under the guidance of Coach Bob Bobbitt, Clemmer and Meredith rank in the top 15 of the Greater Western Ohio Conference [GWOC].
“Bowling is one of those sports that’s lifelong. You can always do it,” Meredith said. “It’s just a simple idea, but it does take a lot of physical ability. Most people don’t think about that. The one thing that has really improved my game over the years is my mental game. I’ve learned to focus and not get angry at bad shots.
Clemmer is ranked 13th in the GWOC for the boy’s bowling team while Meredith pushes hard from behind at 14th. Both boys have a drive to push to the top 10 as the season turns the corner to the end of the season in the month to come.
“As a person, bowling has brought me confidence, because you meet so many new people. It teaches you to talk and make eye contact with people, which builds confidence. If you aren’t a confident person, you aren’t going to be confident in life and if you aren’t confident in life, you won’t be a confident bowler. You have to be a confident bowler to make the good shots and further yourself as a bowler,” Clemmer said.
Being ranked as a top 20 bowler isn’t something new for these two young men. Each has bowled since elementary and junior high, through Beaver Vu Bowling alley. Meredith even competed on a traveling bowling team and competed in tournaments in Las Vegas and Minnesota. In Minnesota, Meredith ranked #1 and won a scholarship that he is planning to use to continue his education in college next year.
“I never had a coach before high school, but Coach Bobbitt has really helped me with my mental toughness. Before, things would get to me really easily – the chants, cheers and taunts. He taught me to have things go in one ear and out the other. He taught me to tune it out,” Clemmer said. “My biggest improvement would be my arm swing. I always had the ball really far behind my back and I’d almost swing out and rotate my elbow up. So, having a coach point that out to me really helped. Now, I work on keeping my elbow in and make sure my arm swing doesn’t go behind my back and it works.”
Meredith agrees that having Coach Bobbitt has helped his game. He said that it’s always nice to have an extra pair of eyes to help watch for things that might not be working and help correct it.
Even though the Beavercreek boys’ bowling team will be losing two important members of their team next year, these two athletes will not be forgetting their sport as they head off to the next chapter of their lives. Their love of bowling will continue. Clemmer intends to continue bowling at either Ohio Technical College in Cleveland or the University of Northwestern Ohio in Lima, while studying welding. Meredith has begun his talks with the bowling teams at Morehead College in Kentucky or Mt. Mercy in Iowa- both have strong bowling teams. He plans on studying business management or accounting.
“I’ve worked really hard throughout the years to be great at bowling, since I was little,” Meredith said. “When I was bowling in a tournament in the eighth grade, I was upset. I had a little fit so my parents made me pack up my stuff and leave in the middle of the tournament. Since then, I kind of figured out that I better put my head on straight and shape up. I just want to continue improving my game.”
The Beavercreek bowling team is far from an individual sport and they recognize the importance of being a team and being able to lean on each other for support, not only for the game but also in the grind of day-to-day life. So, not only do they have a tight bound through bowling season, but it’s something that they hope will continue throughout their lives.
“Everyone on the team is a leader. Everyone brings something different to the team,” Clemmer said. “I try to keep the team energized, hyped up, keep them smiling and that’s what I do. When they are down, I try to bring them up and keep them smiling and laughing so their mind is focused.”
“Practice makes perfect.” Both Clemmer and Meredith agree. So, even though they’ll be moving on next year, they’ll continue the tradition of practicing hard and hold true to the Beavercreek values as they move onto the next phase of their destiny.
Danielle Coots is a freelance writer for Greene County News.