ATHLETE OF THE MONTH: Brooke Ewing tallied 48% of the 85 votes submitted on The Huntingtonian website. (photo provided by HU Athletics)
ATHLETE OF THE MONTH: Brooke Ewing tallied 48% of the 85 votes submitted on The Huntingtonian website. (Photo provided by HU Athletics)

For junior Brooke Ewing, bowling has always been a part of her life. Since the age of three, she has hit the alleys with her dad, who still coaches her today.

“It’s like a family sport,” Ewing said of her childhood. “It was a fun family time. [But] my family is always competitive no matter what sport it is.”

Ewing was a three-sport athlete at Rochester High School in Indiana, but when she made her college decision, bowling stood out from volleyball and tennis.

She reached semi-state twice as an individual on her bowling team, which was a club organization because the IHSAA hadn’t sanctioned the sport.

She heard about Huntington University from a friend whose sibling was a Forester. Her high school bowling coach set up a visit, and the rest is history.

“I came on a visit, and I just loved it,” she recalled.

Ewing had a successful season, claiming the singles championship in the Boilermaker Classic earlier this season. She registered a 200-point average over a five-game weekend.

“I just remember going in super focused because I made a goal this year that I wanted to win at least one tournament,” Ewing said. “And my goal came true.”

She recalled feeling “super stoked” that she came out on top because she felt she only qualified for a top-ten spot.

“I didn’t know it had happened, honestly,” she said. “I didn’t think I had a good enough score to win.”

Ewing said the kin-like aspect with her team helps her play at the collegiate level.

“I love that our team is like a family – boys and girls – we have so many inside jokes,” she said. “And I like how we aren’t just teammates, but we always hang out. The team here is super supportive.”

She credits her teammates and her coach, Jim Bischoff, for the improvements she made during her first three years as a Forester. Ewing said once she used to be “so focused on the game that I wouldn’t have fun.” Her teammates, however, helped her lighten up and look past errors.

Ewing said she has also perfected her game in the past few years.

“Skill-wise — oh, wow — I have improved tremendously,” she said. “I’m definitely a better bowler than I was coming in.”

Ewing is averaging 10 points higher per game than the 2014-2015 season.

Bischoff said it’s a combination of “her consistency, playing the lane patterns better, keeping the ball in play and making the spares.”

While she said that weekend tournaments, which demand six-to-nine hours a day, make being a successful student-athlete a challenge, Ewing said her teammates are great influences. She said they are always working on homework while staying overnight in hotels.

As Ewing and her team near the post-season, she said that this could be their year to make a run. She called the freshmen class “great assets” and capable of helping the Foresters “get over the hump” and into postseason play.

“We’ve always had a really good team, but we’ve just been short one player to get us forward,” she said.

Ewing will travel with her fellow Foresters to Indianapolis Feb. 20-21 to compete in the team’s final regular-season tournament before the qualifiers for the USBC Intercollegiate Sectionals are announced.

“I expect Brooke, as we move towards postseason, will continue to step up with her own game,” Bischoff said, “and together with her teammates, work hard to move us through the postseason.”