PARKERSBURG -In a town full of champions like Parkersburg, it is hard to pick faces out of the crowd or hand out individual success awards in many sports. The adage that there is no "i" in team is time-tested and true, however, there is an "i" in bowling where 16-year-old Nathan Brookover has distinguished himself from his peers.
Brookover, who has five 300 games to his name, began bowling at a young age, watching bowling on ESPN and wanting to get out and throw the ball down the lane.
"There was not a lot of coaching Nathan at a young age, we saw that he had the natural talent and let him learn the game his way," share his parents, Beth and Larry Brookover. "If he found another passion we were fine with him leaving bowling to partake in that as well, we did not push him to stay with bowling."
Photo by Joe Albright
Parkersburg’s Nathan Brookover has accomplished many feats in the realm of bowling at 16 years of age.
Brookover has accomplished almost every major bowling feat. In addition to his five perfect games (all of which took place at Emerson Lanes), he has bowled two 800 series (801, 812), two weeks apart from each other a short time ago, including a perfect game in the first 800 series.
"The first series came during pre-bowling and was not recognized by the league," says Brookover. "A lot of people asked me why I went for it during pre-bowl and I told them why not."
Brookover's fifth perfect game came during the first 800 series and again was not recognized by the league, just in his personal records.
"Just because the league didn't count the game, does not diminish the fact that Nathan still bowled the 800 series or the perfect game," says Beth Brookover.
Brookover's second 800 series a week later occurred in league bowling and earned him recognition from the youth league as well as a ring engraved with an 800 to commemorate the occasion. In addition to his perfect games and 800 series, Brookover also has bowled a triplicate series, in which all three games are the same score, and most recently picked up the 7-10 split.
"The 7-10 split was the most difficult to achieve because of the pin placement," laughs Brookover. A 7-10 split is the formation of the "goal posts" at the end of the lane with both pins on opposite sides of the lane and the furthest apart from one another.
In addition to bowling on Saturday's, Brookover, a junior at PHS, rolls for the Big Red bowling team. He is the No. 1 bowler at the school and has led the Big Reds to back-to-back state championships.
"Bowling is not yet sanctioned by the WVSSAC and is not yet an official high school sport," says Beth Brookover. The schools who participate still recognize a champion at the end of the year regardless of sanctions, some of the schools who participate at the high school level include PHS, John Marshall and Parkersburg South.
"Nathan enjoys the competition of competing against some of his friends from South who he grew up bowling with at Emerson Lanes every Saturday," shares both parents.
Nathan is not the only Brookover child who has an impressive bowling resume. His younger sister, Justine, owns a 196 average and competes with her brother on Saturday mornings in the youth bowling league at Emerson Lanes. Justine is also the current West Virginia Pepsi champion.
"We are very proud of both our kids, it is impressive to see them pushing each other to get better all the time," says Larry Brookover. "Justine never lets Nathan forget if she rolls a higher score than him any given Saturday."