A striking talent

Senior earns scholarship money towards college through bowling


Photo by Dana Summers

Senior Nolan Hoff throws a strike at his latest bowling tournament. This was the third strike in a row bowled by Hoff. “Nolan bowls on patterns that professionals bowl on,” coach Jimmy Chavez said. “Those patterns are incredibly difficult because they have small margin for error, so you have to be more precise and know how to play your angles. This has significantly improved his technique.”

Dana Summers, Staff Reporter

On Tuesday nights while many other students are scrambling to finish their schoolwork, one can find senior Nolan Hoff with a bowling ball in hand, patiently awaiting to bowl his fifth strike in a row. While many think of bowling as a recreational activity, Hoff views the game as much more.

At the age of 5, Hoff began his journey in bowling when his family pushed him to join his cousin’s league. As he got older, his dedication and talent for the sport grew with him.

“When I first met Nolan he was not near as skilled of a bowler as he is now,” teammate Brendan DeWerth said. “He has put in plenty of time and work to get to where he is currently. What makes him stand out even further is how positive and uplifting he is to the rest of our team.”

Hoff decided to take his passion one step further when he joined the school’s bowling team as a sophomore. The following year, he took up Unified Bowling through the school as well. 

“I’m very glad that I made that decision,” Hoff said. “I wanted to get as involved with bowling as I could. It made me a lot more active and I was able to interact with more people.”

All of this time that Hoff spent honing in on his skills paid off, quite literally, when he began receiving money through the United States Bowling Congress. Amounts varying from $15 to $500 were sent to him for different tournaments that he bowled in over the years.

“I was shocked when I first started earning money,” Hoff said. “As I played in more tournaments, the numbers kept growing. It amazed me that I was being paid just for doing an activity that I enjoyed.”

The money that Hoff has received has accumulated over time, reaching $2000 and still increasing to this day. He can use this money towards his admission at Wichita State University, where he plans to bowl in college. 

While the money that Hoff has earned proves that he has talent, his league coach recognizes how bowling demonstrates Hoff’s character.

“Nolan is an excellent player and a really good kid overall,” coach Jimmy Chavez said. “It’s easy to tell that he has a love for the sport. He always wants to talk to others to see who is doing well. For those who aren’t doing well, he makes sure to get them back on their feet.”

With these team-player qualities and his skill for the sport, those who have witnessed Hoff’s bowling journey acknowledge why he is deserving of this money.

“He definitely earned it,” Chavez said. “Everything that he has achieved up to this point makes me ecstatic and I’m so happy for him. I know that he put in the time and effort to get to where he is, and he deserves every penny.”

Hoff’s passion for bowling has benefited him in more ways than one. As college approaches, the skills that he has acquired from the sport will continue to be useful for the rest of his life.