Stephanie Adams never dreamed she could pin down a college bowling scholarship south of the border.
But an offer from William Penn University, an NAIA school that competes in the Midwest Collegiate Conference, proved right up her alley for the 18-year-old local bowling standout from Souris.
“It’s just so surreal,” Adams said via telephone from the William Penn campus in Oskaloosa, Iowa. “I love bowling and I’ve bowled my whole life and to bowl on a college team is amazing for me ... Honestly, I didn’t think I would be going to the states for school, so it’s pretty cool.”
William Penn bowling coach Mark Van Wyk — the conference coach of the year — spared no expense in recruiting Adams, who was awarded a 10-pin bowling scholarship worth $17,500 annually. Adams, who played in three leagues last season at Brandon’s Thunderbird Bowl and in Minot, N.D., has competed in provincial and national championships and was first scouted at a tournament in Minnesota last year. Van Wyk brought her down to Iowa to watch her bowl in person and quickly offered her a scholarship.
Adams rolled into Oskaloosa little over a week ago, began classes last Tuesday and has already started practices in preparation for the upcoming college bowling season, which begins with a tournament on Oct. 5-6 in Wauwatosa, Wis.
“Our practices are through the week pretty much every day,” said Adams, who is looking forward to travelling across the United States to compete, including an upcoming tournament in Las Vegas this season.
“There are like two or three tournaments a month where we go to different states like Illinois and Kentucky ... so I am so excited. I love competing and meeting new people is my thing. In December we’re off to Vegas, so I am pretty excited about that trip.”
Adams weighed a couple of bowling offers, but settled on William Penn due to the low student-teacher ratio, its highly regarded business administration degree program and the small-town feel of the campus that made the Westman teenager feel at home. Still, there has been a little bit of culture shock.
“There’s a lot of accents that I’m not used to,” said Adams, who has bowled in Brandon for nine years and began playing the sport two years before that while living in Lethbridge, Alta. “But everybody is really friendly. As soon as I walked in, they all started talking to me, so I felt really welcomed … It’s been great.”
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 27, 2013