By Maggie Silvestri
NORTH ANDOVER- Strikes are not what you want to get when you’re playing for the Merrimack baseball or softball teams. But, it’s exactly what the newest Warriors athletic program strives for every time they enter a match.
For the ﬁrst time in Merrimack athletic history, women’s Division 1 bowling will be added as a program.
After recent renovations to the Student Union, three lanes of bowling alleys will be added, permitting this athletic addition. This exciting new advancement will be the 27th Division 1 athletic program at Merrimack College.
Their women’s season started October 1st and the college hopes it’ll be a wonderful addition to their athletic program. Pending the opening of Merrimack’s student union, the bowling team is currently practicing at Wamesit Lanes in Tewksbury.
This team will be coached by Jalen Scott Jones who has loved bowling for the majority of his life. Scott Jone is originally from Rhode Island and went to Webber International University where senior year his team won a national championship. His love for playing competitive bowling sparked an even further love for coaching.
His father pushed him to get certiﬁed to train competitive bowlers. Since then, Jalen has been coaching for sixteen years. Before coming to Merrimack, Scott Jones assisted in coaching at Franklin Pierce College and Lincoln Memorial.
“I’d say starting a new team from scratch is like your baby…it’s really exciting to establish a new culture on campus,” Scott Jones said. “Five teams make it to the conference and we hope to be a part of it…that would be amazing.”
This woman’s athletics will be a part of the NAC Conference with Sacred Heart being the closest team in the program. A lot of teams in this conference are from diﬀerent areas of the North East, a lot of them in New Jersey. Students have been recruited to play on this bowling team from all over the world, stretching from Massachusetts to Hawaii, and even internationally. One of these female athletes is Goldera Surles.
Originally from New Jersey, Goldera Surles has bowled ever since she could pick up a ball. Her entire family was bowlers which led her to compete in youth leagues, high school, and college Before Merrimack Surles had competed at Molloy University in New York on the women’s bowling team.
Now, as a graduate student studying communication arts, Surles will have one last year to compete at the Division 1 level in college.
“I am ecstatic to be a part of a team that is so competitive and bonded together. It is exciting to be a part of a community that wants to win,” Surles said.
Practices and scrimmages will be held for the bowling team at the new student union alleys, but games will be held at other schools that have a standard eight lanes.
“The biggest thing to push is to come to a scrimmage, the environment of this sport is unlike any other,” Surles suggests. “College bowling is the most fun version of bowling and I am excited for my peers to see the sport in action.”
With the season running for the next several months, the Warriors bowling team isn’t limited to matches only in their division. Apparently, any college bowling team, from any division, can show up to an event and compete. Some tournaments, though, are restricted to Division One.
With this exciting female prominent sport joining Merrimack’s program, the team and college hope that students come out to support their new Warriors.