When star-studded teams come to mind, most would probably think of the Avengers or Justice League. Included in that list ought to be the Crimson Wave Men’s Bowling Team at Calumet College of St. Joseph.
The successful team consists of men stemming from family legends, men with a long list of accolades, men with over a decade of skill and most importantly, men with bright futures ahead of them.
“If there's one thing in the hidden story of success, it's the willingness that has to happen in the young man's mind to allow them to evolve and grow - without that willingness, you're not going to allow yourself to grow,” conveyed Coach Mike Kubacki.
Coach Kubacki has provided the Crimson Wave with 12 seasons of success. Over the years he has lead his men in to 10 consecutive USBC ITC appearances, placed 2nd in the 2010 USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships, and placed 3rd in 2015. He consistently curates a team that has ranked top ten in the country for the last 10 seasons, and rightfully took the number one spot in 2016.
“When people are recognizing our success and are asking me what's the key? That's the key. I could spend, all day, all week, all month, all year with a player trying to get them to do things physically but if their brain isn't willing to accept it and willing to trust their work, the changes aren't going to occur,” shared Kubacki. “It has to happen in the brain first before it could actually happen - we will become our thoughts whether we want to or not.”
This year’s 2017 - 2018 roster consists of twenty-two student athletes that are guided by Coach Kubacki and assistant coaches Sammy Krucek, Kevin Mikalouski and Jake Hayes. One would imagine that “tasking” would be an understatement when it comes to managing such a successful group - but with a sense of community and creating a brotherhood, anything is possible for the Crimson Wave.
“For them to achieve what they need to achieve for themselves individually, there is a need to create brothers,” Kubacki expressed with concern. “A few years back I created #CCSJBrotherhood and it was born out of trying to relate to them in a way that they needed to be related to. Little by little, we worked on that culture and as a coach, I need to satisfy that culture.”
Calumet freshman, Petey Vergos explained, “I had some people from Florida that I knew and if I was ever in the need or feeling homesick, they helped me adapt to the situation. Aside from that, I have great captains - coach and I got along from the start and I look at him like a second father."
Vergos and Coach Kubacki have a unique bond - they are resilient individuals that found bowling as their calling. Bowling has benefitted both men not only physically but it has also opened doors of prosperity.
“My love for bowling grew as time went on and it’s really paid off. Everything happens for a reason and I believe that I was meant to find bowling,” expressed Vergos. “I’ve been honored and privileged to represent Team USA junior division for two years in a row, I’ve been able to attend one of the top ranked schools and I really look at it as something that has allowed me to grow as an individual.”
Out of the brotherhood of twenty-two, eight men will carry the Crimson torch to this weekend’s NAIA Invitational Championship and next month’s USBC Intercollegiate Nationals.
Crimson junior Jeffery Holden, a computer information systems major from Salem, Oregon, has been bowling since the age of seven. The computer tech also works remotely while being a collegiate athlete.
“I find the balance by making sure my school work is completed - I came here to expand my passion and my expertise for computers,” shared Holden. “I use video games as an escape and to unwind so I can keep going.”
Nicco Vicari a junior business management and accounting double major agreed as well that the brotherhood uses video games to unwind and bond.
“We’re together seven days out the week, we’ve grown a different kind of bond. I've played soccer and basketball in high school and I didn’t get that sense of family and community,” shared Vicari. “We play together, eat together, hang out together -win or lose, top or bottom, we’re still a family.”
Then there is senior business major, Michael Davidson. Although the thought of him graduating and him dispatching from his brotherhood has not quite set in, Davidson has pretty big plans that allow him to never let go of his passion.
“After college, I plan on bowling professionally,” shared Davidson. “We actually have a family business call bowlstore.com that I plan on working at, so a business degree would definitely help.”
His family’s business is ran by his father, Doug Davidson, who is also a PBA Regional head holder.
Also walking in the footsteps of bowling greats is junior business major, Tyler Trombetta.
“My grandfather, Joe Trombetta, use to take me bowling all the time. He’s well known in the state of Indiana and he's the reason why I got into it,” shared Trombetta. “He’s a Hall of Famer, has two ABC Eagles, eight Indiana state titles and three Illinois state titles.”
Junior biomedical science student from Deltona, FL, Tyler James has created his own path of fame in the sunshine state.
“The main circuit for me was the Florida junior bowling tour,” exclaimed James. “I have bowled in hundreds of tournaments prior to attending Calumet.”
Lastly is newbie, Robert Borowski, a forensic accounting freshman from Lexington, KY. The studious Borowski is a couple of courses away from becoming a Certified Forensic Accountant.
The brotherhood of twenty-two will be sending of their eight brothers to compete for the NAIA Invitational Championship. The three-day tournament begins on Friday, March 23rd in neighboring Highland.
Next month, they are scheduled to claim the throne at the five-day 2018 USBC Intercollegiate Nationals in Lincoln, Nebraska. This kicks off on Monday, April 16th.
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