Megan West Goes to Spring Arbor on Bowling Scholarship

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Spring Arbor bowling coach Mike Hall on the left, poses with Megan West as she signs a letter of intent to bowl at Spring Arbor. Her parents, Shawna and Eric West, are seated on the right and her high school coach Mark Blentlinger is standing.

By Sue Moore

Bowling was a new sport at Spring Arbor University in the fall of 2016. It took until December, 2017 for Megan West, a Schoolcraft High 2017 graduate, to decide to commit to Spring Arbor’s varsity program. She spent a semester at Grand Valley State University on its club team last fall but felt that Spring Arbor would be a better fit.

She will have to sit out for two semesters due to NCAA rules before she can compete but she can practice with the team while waiting for her eligibility. The advantage to bowling for Spring Arbor: The coach is full-time and the sport is fully funded. At GVSU, bowling was a club sport run by students.

She was a big contributor to Schoolcraft’s bowling team, which finished fourth at the state finals last season, missing out by only a few pins to the third-place winner. Her high school average was between 160-165. She practiced almost every day last summer while working in the snack bar at Airway Lanes in Kalamazoo. “My co-workers were very supportive of my practice time,” West said.

Bowling runs in the family with her dad, Eric, the assistant coach of the Schoolcraft team, and sister Ally helping out too. Megan is a finance major at Spring Arbor, having moved into the dorm in January. “I don’t know where this will take me, but I’m aiming for that perfect game someday. My highest was a 276, just three strikes off the mark of 300,” she said.

The men’s and women’s teams at Spring Arbor are provided with uniforms, food and travel for tournaments, plus free practice time on a bowling alley in Jackson as part of the signing package. She is also on an academic scholarship.

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