The Ally Kats Strike
Over the weekend, the Sam Houston State Bearkat Bowling Team finished fourth at the Big Red Tournament in Lincoln, Nebraska. They are now 53-26 for the season and are currently ranked fourth in the new National Ten Pins Coaches Association media poll.
“You always have high expectations and because of the variables, we cannot take anything for granted,” head bowling coach Brad Hagen said. “We just needed to go out there and make shots.”
The process to get the bowling program at SHSU started in 2009 when the Southland Conference wanted to add an additional sports in order to have a balance between the men’s and women’s sports.
Stephen F. Austin State University became the first school in the conference to start a bowling program. It made the decision easy for athletic director Bobby Williams to add bowling as the 15th sport to the SHSU program.
Once the program was incorporated, they hired Hagen as the first head bowling coach.
He worked tirelessly to bring in top quality talent who would be successful in the game and in the classroom while at the same time preparing for the inaugural season.
Since they were a first year program, they were picked to finish next to last in the league, but instead made it to the NCAA Bowling Championships in Detroit, Michigan, USA, becoming the only first year program in history to make the championships. They finished 7th in the championships to complete their inagaural season.
Now they are determined to get back to the big dance as they started the 2011-12 season strong with a third place finishes at the Greater Ozark Invitational, the New Jersey Jamboree and with wins at the Lumberjack Invitational and their own Track Kat Klash Tournament.
“When we come together as a team, we rely on each other,” sophomore Neishka Cardona said after winning the Kat Klash Tournament. “We win as a team, we lose as a team.”
Here are some of the highlights from the Kat Klash Tournament on BowlTV.com.