Brookover to bowl at Duquesne
PARKERSBURG — Focus and determination are just two of the many aspects that make a good bowler.
Parkersburg High School senior Morgan Brookover has been honing her skills for more than a decade and it all came to a climax Friday evening at Emerson Bowling Lanes when the Big Red inked her national letter of intent to compete for head coach Jody Fetterhoff at Division I Duquesne.
Aside from an unofficial visit in February to the Dukes, Brookover’s lone official visit was to Lincoln Memorial University where her cousin Justine competes.
Carrying a current average of 221 with one career “non-sanctioned” perfect game, the 3.2 GPA student-athlete plans to major in either criminal justice or health science.
“I wanted to go big. I like the D1. I like having the title of NCAA Division I and that’s where I wanted to go,” admitted Brookover, who has been accumulating scholarship money through the years via her United States Bowling Congress SMART account. “To me that feels like all my hard work has paid off and I’m so excited for it.”
Brookover said Stewart Dean and his daughter Kylee got her interested in bowling a decade ago and that Beth Brookover “got me started in my competitive bowling career after only a couple years.”
She heaped great praise for both her local coach Adam Sprouse and her Gold Level coach in Columbus, Ron Hatfield.
“Adam still works with my physical game every once in a while or watch a video when I come back from a tournament and try to help me figure out what I needed to do,” she said. “He’ll help to calm me down, make slight adjustments.
“He’s (Hatfield) improved my game so much. Over the time (past six years) I’ve been with him I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned so much through the mental game with him. He’s such a good mental coach, uplifting. He’s awesome, amazing. I really wouldn’t be where I am without him.”
The Big Red, who has a plethora of awards already during her career, admitted she usually carries at least six bowling balls everywhere she goes.
Depending on the tournament and if she knows the oil pattern, she’ll mix and match from her collection of around a dozen and a half.
In regard to the mental versus physical aspect of bowling, Brookover noted “I can confidently say that your mental state is about 75% of this game, the other 25% is physical. You can have the best physical game in the world, but if you don’t have the mental game to match that then competing will be very difficult for you.
“The mental and physical aspects are not easy by any means. As far as physical game goes, I spend sometimes maybe five or six days in a bowling alley per week during the summer. Practicing for about three days, then going to bowl competitively on the weekends, and then coaching lessons along with that.”
Brookover, who has carried a 236 average in the past and has a high series of 795 at the 2020 Pepsi qualifying (279-257-259), was hard pressed to narrow down her top accomplishments.
She cited her 2015 honor of being named the Mountain State Youth Bowler of the Year as one that ranked up there.
“The first thing that comes to my mind is my seven-time qualifier at Junior Gold, the national youth tournament,” she said. “My bronze medal in the Dallas Storm Youth Championships and my three state Pepsi titles. Hopefully, I get four next week.”
Brookover is more than ready to be a student-athlete at the next level.
Although she admits she has “a tiny fear of balancing” both school and sport “I feel like after a while I’ll get used to it.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted. That good atmosphere and I’m looking forward to that team bond I really never had much.”
Following college, Brookover said she would love to compete on the Professional Women’s Bowling Association.
“I’ve thought about it most definitely,” she added. “I’d love to go on tour, depending on what happens in the future. I’ve definitely thought about it, without a doubt. People don’t realize how far and how much you can expand in this sport.
“If I wanted, I could be a college coach, a Gold Level coach. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my coach. There are so many outlets in this sport I can go into. I don’t have to bowl in general.”
Contact Jay Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org