Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Versailles Grad Michael Davidson Wins Season Awards in First Year of Collegiate Bowling

The NAIA Collegiate Bowling regular season came to end this past weekend in Arlington Heights, Illinois. The regular season ending 2015 NAIA Team Championships was held at Arlington Lanes. This tournament consisted of the top 20 Men’s and top 20 Women’s Teams in the country. The format was (24) Baker games on Friday to determine the top qualifying team as well as the other places for the double elimination best 3 out of 5 Bake Game Bracket Match Play.

Calumet College of St. Joseph (CCSJ) won the top qualifier spot and trophy where Freshman Michael Davidson of Versailles bowls for. The season ending awards banquet was then held at the Lincolnshire Marriott. “We were asked in December if we would be interested in being the title sponsor for this year’s event. I jumped at the opportunity. I felt this was a great way to give back to the bowling community that has helped become one of the top internet retailers in the country. With almost 400 collegiate bowlers at this event, I also felt it would be a great way to introduce our first ever High Performance bowling ball, Exothermic by our brand Moxy Bowling.” said owner and CEO, Doug Davidson.

After the presentation of the team top qualifier awards was dinner and then our guest speaker, Diandra Asbaty. Diandra attended the University of Nebraska. She was a Member of the 1999 & 2001 National Championship teams for Nebraska, Three-time All-American, 2001 Women’s Player of the Year and the 2002 University of Nebraska Student Athlete of the Year. Her Professional & International Experience includes being a 15-time member of Team USA, the winner of over 60 medals in International competition, a 3-time World Bowler of the Year, a Member of the World Bowling Hall of Fame and the 2012 USBC Queens Champion. She is also the founder of the International Art of Bowling & the Elite Youth Bowling Tour. “Most of these collegiate bowlers will not continue onto the professional bowling ranks, however, many of them will either continue their education or move into their professional careers. My goal was to bring in a speaker who could relate to their collegiate bowling as well as share what competing at this level can do for them down the road. She also shared her success in the business world and related it to competitive bowling on how you do not always win, but it’s what you learn from it and how to take those experiences for future goals and opportunities you may have,” said Davidson.

The season ending awards were then presented for Academic All-Americans and the NAIA Bowling Awards. Michael Davidson was presented with the Academic All-American Award as well as the NAIA Rookie of the Year. “I was not expecting the Rookie of the Year at all. I was shocked when I heard my name get called!” said Michael.

“To be able to present the Top Qualifier Award for the NAIA Team Championships to the CCSJ Men of the tourney we were sponsoring was a thrill and then to experience this award for Michael was just awesome. Better yet, 2 of his teammates were recognized as 2nd Team All-American, Senior Mitch Katic and 1st Team All-American, Junior Matt Kuba. These upper classmen have really taken Michael under their wings and have been a major influence on helping Michael improve immensely at this next level," said Davidson.

The double elimination match play then began on Saturday morning. The CCSJ Mens earned a bye being the top qualifier. They made it to the remaining 6 spots come Sunday and were then faced against a tough opponent, Midland out of Nebraska. This match went back and forth and went 5 games. Midland ended up defeating CCSJ by 1 pin, 228-227. This ended their hopes of winning the 2015 Team Championships.

3 weeks ago the team was in Stratford, New Jersey for the Collegiate Sectionals to qualify for Nationals in Wichita, KS the week of April 13th. The 1st day of competition was 6 games of singles competition to qualify for Nationals as an individual. Out of the 142 Men bowlers, only 5 would qualify for the ITC Singles in Wichita. Michael ended up finishing in 9th, just 45 pins out of 5th and was the high freshman as well as the high CCSJ bowler.

The next two days consisted of the team qualifying which consisted of (32) Baker games each day. The CCJ Men struggled off and on all day and ended up in 6th, about 75 pins out of the cut. (4 teams would qualify for Nationals) The coaches put a great game plan together for Sunday on how to play the lanes and which equipment to use as the day went on. Calumet made a statement very quick and moved as high as 2nd. They ended up finishing in the 3rd spot to qualify for Nationals for the 9th straight season under the 2014 NAIA Coach of the Year, Mike Kubacki.

The XBowling Intercollegiate Team Championships begin Thursday, April 14th at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, KS. All qualifying and match play will be broadcast live on

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