In the middle of a noisy bowling alley, Michael Milsted, a tall, brawny figure, approaches his bowling lane with a smooth ball in his hand and one thought in his mind: a national championship.
He pauses, perfects his form, then whips the ball down the lane, confident he will meet his goal of consistently making strikes.
He watches as the ball speeds toward the opposite end. The ball shatters into the set, and a sea of white pins explodes in every direction. Mike makes his strike.
He eagerly turns around amid the cheers of his teammates on Temple’s bowling team. He rushes back to the seating area and the team rallies together to cheer him on. They quickly settle down and prepare for the next bowler to make his way toward the lane.
Mike, satisfied with his performance, grabs a seat and relaxes for a moment while keeping his eye on the next frame — and the future. Mike’s motivation of winning a national championship is every athlete’s biggest goal, and he hopes his team can do it by the time he graduates.
Growing up, Mike had always wanted to participate in bowling, but he couldn’t get the necessary equipment to play. He ultimately found it impossible to shake off his desire, so one day he picked up a bowling ball and said, “I’m just going to do this.”
He joined his high school bowling team and improved his game while competing in his beloved sport. Meanwhile, he also realized his growing desire to compete in the business world. Eventually, his love for bowling and business brought him from his home in Seattle all the way across the country to Fox, a place where he could compete in bowling and learn business.
Growing up a Seattle Seahawks fan, Mike’s thirst for competition stems from coach Pete Carroll’s well-known slogan, “always compete.”
“In the business and the bowling world, and in life, you’ve always got to compete. I always keep that in my mind.”
Competition is important, but Mike also realizes the value of friendship and comradery. Because of the team’s unique schedule, the athletes are required to attend weekend-long competitions against other schools. Spending that much time together can be challenging, but Mike and his teammates maintain their friendships by staying light hearted and cracking jokes.
Of course, there are jokes surrounding bowling alleys, including the notoriously greasy food. But when the tired-out team wraps up another tournament weekend, regardless of a win or loss, they find it impossible to resist the temptation of deep-fried energy.
“It’s bowling alley food, it’s greasy, but it’s good when you’re hungry.”
– Matt Finn
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