HARRISBURG -- For the first time in its history, Southeastern Illinois College will compete in varsity level bowling, with its official season beginning Aug. 13.
Head bowling coach Archie Blair announced today that Southeastern will join the U.S. Bowling Congress in the fall to provide competitive bowling opportunities for students.
The USBC officially began Jan. 1, 2005, as an organization to serve adult and youth bowlers in the United States. Today, USBC serves almost 2 million members.
It is the national governing body of bowling as recognized by the United States Olympic Committee.
USBC's Intercollegiate Team Championships, first contested in 1975, is the pinnacle event of the college bowling season. The ITC brings together the top 16 men's and top 16 women's teams in the country to compete for national titles.
By either winning a conference or being one of the top-ranked teams in the country, schools advance to post season sectional qualifying events. The top four men's teams and top four women's teams from each sectional tournament earn berths into the ITC.
"SIC is well-known for its competitive teams, and bowling seemed like a natural fit," SIC President Dr. Jonah Rice said.
"We have a world-class facility only a few miles from campus, world class coaches and a dedicated staff. Now, we have these wonderful recruits who are going to add to our dynasty of regional and national champions," Rice added.
Blair will be joined in his duties by volunteer assistant coaches and bowling veterans Doug Cottom and Barry McDermott of Harrisburg and Brad Carey of Herrin.
"These three gentlemen bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in coaching young adults in the skills and mental toughness necessary to succeed in bowling competitively," Blair said. "I'm very lucky to have them doing what it takes to make our first year special in varsity bowling competition."
SIC is currently recruiting high school graduates and college students, both men and women, to be on its inaugural teams. Each team will consist of eight bowlers. Tuition waivers and other incentives are available to those qualifying for team membership.
Blair encourages anyone interested in becoming a member of the team to attend one of the open tryouts scheduled from 4 to 5:30 p.m. June 5-7 at Ross Cottom Lanes, located at 2080 US-45 in Harrisburg.
To learn more about SIC's bowling program, please call Doug Cottom at (618) 253-8417 or Archie Blair at (618) 252-5400, ext. 2145.