By Sue Moore
Cameron Haase and Hunter Myers, members of Vicksburg’s bowling team, signed letters of intent to bowl for Aquinas College Coach Charlie Tapp in the fall. They will receive a partial academic scholarship; Aquinas is a NAIA conference in Division III and cannot give athletic scholarships.
The bowling program at Aquinas is six years old and includes men and women students. Myers and Haase are the first from Vicksburg’s team to bowl at the college level. They have been coached by James Myers, Hunter’s dad, for the last two seasons and have posted a winning overall record.
Hunter leads the team with a 199 average, followed by Haase at 184. They plan to room together at Aquinas along with Colin Eager, who is from Vicksburg and will run cross country for the Saints. “Bowling for my dad as coach has been the best of times. I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Hunter said. He made the varsity as a freshman under the guidance of then-coach Ed Mullins. His mom, Heather, comes to all of his competitions. “We talk a lot about it after matches. She understands the game.”
Myers was selected by his classmates at Vicksburg High School as King of Homecoming. “That was very cool. I didn’t know I had that many votes. I really thought someone else would win. It means a lot to me.” He plans to major in sports management at Aquinas, having raised his high school grade point average from a 3 as a freshman to 3.5 as a senior. He said his ultimate wish is to have a job as a high school athletic director, able to shine a light on the smaller sports besides football, basketball and baseball.
Haase is very important to the team, Myers said. “He is very uplifting and positive so the guys don’t get down on themselves if they are having a bad day. He picks them up. We’ve been practicing together and I’ve been able to give him rides back and forth so we can talk things over much of the time.”
Haase has only been bowling since his sophomore year. When he first started, according to his coach, he would take three steps and throw the ball as hard as he could toward the pins. He has gotten better every year as he works at it and practices a lot, at least two days a week for an hour and a half at Airway Lanes in Kalamazoo. He holds down a job there in the game room and as a bus boy for the bowling lanes.
Coach Tapp said he is rebuilding the Aquinas program by changing the culture on the team. That’s why he is enthused by recruiting the two Vicksburg bowlers. “They are stronger, taller, throw the ball harder and have speed on it. Both these guys are real athletic. That means I can put each bowler in the right place and have them be successful.”