Last season, Chippewa Valley bowler Jeff Pietryka missed making the state cut by one pin.
Instead of merely fretting over what could have been, Pietryka set a goal to not just make the state cut, but to end his high school career as the Division 1 state champion.
He did just that, scoring a 368 at the finals March 2 at Northway Lanes in Muskegon.
“It was my goal from the beginning of the season to make it there, and hopefully, win it,” he said. “It’s a great way to end my senior year. It’s a great way to finish off a career.”
Chippewa coach Charles Schultz said he knew Pietryka was capable of being a state champion, and he has an idea as to what it is that allowed him to end his high school career on top.
“Practice,” he said. “He worked really hard at it all year. He just practiced and practiced some more, and put in lots of hours.”
The mental aspect that goes into bowling at a state tournament may be as big a factor as any for those who make it that far, and Pietryka recalled the type of mindset he had when a state title was on the line.
“I knew what was at stake with every shot,” he said. “I tried to stay focused on making a good shot, and knowing there wasn’t any difference with my actual game, whereas just the surroundings were different. I just tried to make every shot as simple as I could, and try and get the best result.”
Although Pietryka is considering majoring in engineering, he is undecided as to which college he may attend. What he does know is that he would like to continue his bowling career post high school, which could be at the club level or in a men’s league.
As he moves forward in his life, Pietryka thinks the success he has enjoyed will help give him the confidence to believe he is capable of achieving other lofty goals.
“It was my goal from the beginning of the year to do that, and to see it get accomplished,” he said. “I know if I really set my mind to something and focus on it, it may not be immediate results, but in the end it will end up working out.”