The start of the college year is right around the corner. And with that comes the start of the college bowling season. Over the next couple of days, I am going to be looking at and highlighting some of the top collegiate players in the country, both on the men’s and women’s side.
This isn’t going to be easy, as there are many, MANY collegiate players that warrant a spot on this list, but I am going to attempt to narrow it down to my top five players to watch for the upcoming season.
Today, we are going to start with the men’s game. But before we get started, I want to preface the fact that this list is in no particular order. I am not ranking them one-through-five like I have in past articles. Instead, today, I am just going to be listing them.
Wesley Low, Wichita State:
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last half-decade, I shouldn’t have to give you much info on why Wesley makes this list. He is one of the absolute best left-handers in the world, professional or amateur. He’s one of the most successful youth bowlers of all-time, having won Junior Gold two times (most recently, this year). And this year, in his sophomore season, I predict that he’s going to explode. Expect big things from him.
Michael Coffey, Lindenwood University:
Coffey, a former Collegiate MVP, is coming off a pretty serious back injury in which he missed much of last season. However, after seeing him bowl several times this summer, I can personally tell you that the injury is behind him. This summer, he managed to add his first Eagle (USBC Open Championships Title) to his already impressive resume. He’s hungry and ready for a big season after his back let him down just one year ago. Look for Coffey to make another run at Player of the Year.
Gregory Young Jr, McKendree:
Coming off of back-to-back collegiate finals appearances in which his team split 1-1 (having lost the latter of the two), Greg is poised to make another run in his senior season. This summer, Greg has had quite a bit of success, capturing his first regional title. He was an All-American last year and a runner up in Player of the Year. I expect him to make another run this year at the National Title and a potential Player of the Year award.
Matt Russo, Webber International University:
Last year, from an individual standpoint, I would venture to guess that Russo didn’t feel he had the best of season. Not by his standards, at least. This is a talented, talented bowler who has had a ton of individual success on the lanes. However, in the end, he and his teammates were still able to win the National Championship, so I am certain that if you asked him, he’d say last year was a total success. This year, however, I think he is in a good position to add some individual accolades to his team’s success. The cool thing about Webber, though, is that no one there is in it for the individual accolades. And you know that by the end of the season, they’ll be right there battling for another National Championship. That is just the sort of program they have down there, but, still, I think it is safe to say that he has a terrific chance of having a great individual season this year as well.
Giogio Clinaz, Webber International University:
This guy may not be quite as big a name as the aforementioned bowlers, but trust me when I tell you that he is every bit as talented. He’s coming off a season in which he earned All-American honors as well as a National Championship, and I expect him to build on that this year. Clinaz is a terrific player that is typically at his best when the lanes are at their hardest. He has a simple, well-rounded game that lets him keep the ball in play at all times. And if you’ve never seen him bowl before, trust me, he gets the job done. He has been – like all of the bowlers from Webber – well-coached and well-taught. That, coupled with his own natural talent, makes him a force to be reckoned with this upcoming collegiate season.
So, of course, this is just my five players to watch for the upcoming year. There are plenty of others who deserve a shout out, as well, though. So, who do you think has a chance at making a run at Collegiate Player of the Year? Who do you think will make the All-American teams? Let us know what you think at the bottom!