Grand View bowling team picks up Bobcats’ Schwandt

Watch Aaron Schwandt bowl and his passion for game is instantly apparent.

Whether it’s a pump of the fist, a high-five with a teammate or his dedicated desire for honing his craft, the two-time Marshalltown state qualifier lives and breathes the sport and is ready to take on his next challenge with equal energy.

The senior Bobcat captain signed his letter of intent Thursday to join the Grand View University men’s bowling program.

And while the game changes drastically at the next level moving from a house shot to a sport shot – Schwandt’s dedication should pay dividends down the road.

“Aaron is very dedicated to the game of bowling and brings a lot of hard work and enthusiasm,” MHS coach Jeremiah McKeever said. “He’s willing to work so he’ll do a great job at the next level too.”

Putting in the extra hours of practice time is crucial for the collegiate game where bowlers encounter “up to hundreds of different oil patterns” according to Grand View head coach Gary Gioffredi.

“In high school there’s essentially one house shot and each week in the collegiate game there’s a different sport shot that’s laid,” the Vikings coach said. “Sometimes you don’t know what the (sport shot) is going to be and it dramatically affects the breaking ability of the ball. It really affects the spare shooting. There’s a lot of challenges and at the collegiate game, it truly becomes more of a sport.”

While Gioffredi says the adjustment period for freshman can vary from a few months to one or two years, it’s a bowler’s ability to bounce back from sometimes lower scores that goes a long way in aiding that transition. He’s confident Schwandt has the necessary work ethic and mindset to make that jump.

“It really just depends on how open they are to change,” said Gioffredi, who has manned the helm for all three years of the program.

“Sometimes it’s failing a little bit in regards to your scores being a little bit lower and how quick you can pick yourself back up. How quickly can you make adaptable changes in regards to equipmentI think Aaron is going to do a good job with all of that.”

Schwandt, who chose Grand View over Mount Mercy University due to a combination of bowling, academics and financial package, already has an sound approach for the upcoming challenges.

“If I don’t strike, just keep moving on to the next one and make a better shot,” said the senior, who plans to spend plenty of time at the lanes this summer getting used to the wide array of sport shots before the Vikings open practice in September.

“At first your scores drop quite a bit so you just have to get over that hump of maybe not shooting 200 every game. You just have to keep working at it.”

McKeever has seen Schwandt’s approach to the sport for years and believes that same work ethic will enable him for success at Grand View.

“Over the years (Aaron) got more into bowling and really dedicated himself in practice,” McKeever said. “He took tips from local guys who are really good bowlers and really took those to heart.”

Planning to double major in mathematics and computer science, Schwandt will have plenty of opportunities to hone his craft on the lanes during the Vikes’ seven-month season, which opens competition in October.

Bringing that same enthusiasm that endeared him to his Bobcat teammates and coaches, Schwandt is eager to contribute for another rising program.

“I hope to bring another element to the team and help them go farther than they did last year.”