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Kingpins of Turf and Alley

It’s not every day you hear about a college quarterback who’s not only throwing for 300 yards on the football field, but also rolling 300s in the bowling alley. Even more rare? Finding two — both seniors, both in Division II.

Malik Grove

Notre Dame (Ohio)
Accounting major

The starting quarterback for the Falcons also is a member of the Notre Dame club bowling team. Grove focuses on football in the fall, then turns his attention to bowling through April. The Falcons men’s bowling team competed at the Intercollegiate Team Championships this spring for the fourth time in five years.

His first sport: Bowling, age 3

His second sport: Football, age 5

Perfect games bowled: 10

His favorite sport: Football. “I like the atmosphere a little bit better. I like coming out to the games with thousands of people at the game, rather than 10 people.”

What football and bowling have in common: “In bowling, you have to think about which specific bowling ball to use, how you should play the lane. … It’s a lot more mental than a lot of people think. That carries over to football because, as the quarterback, you’ve got to be cool, calm and collected.”

 

Luis Perez

Texas A&M-Commerce
Global e-learning major

Bowling was Perez’s primary sport in high school. He played football only his freshman year and then not again until after graduation, when he walked onto the team at Southwestern College, a community college near his home in Chula Vista, California. Now, as the starting quarterback for the Lions, football takes precedence.

His first sport: Bowling, age 9

His second sport: Football, age 10 or 11

Perfect games bowled: 12

His favorite sport: Football: “There’s really no comparison, to be honest. Bowling, you can make adjustments on your own. (In) football, I have to get all 11 guys on the same page on one play for it to be successful.”

What football and bowling have in common: “Whenever I’m going to bowl my perfect game — I have a 290 and I need one more strike to get a 300 — that, I can really relate to when we’re down late in the game and I need to score. ... The same emotion comes out.”

 

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About Champion

Champion magazine goes behind the headlines and beyond the scoreboards to celebrate the unique connection between Americans and college sports. Champion is published by the NCAA.

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