P-T Men’s Bowler of the Year: Jason Schipper
By ANthony Nasella Post-Tribune correspondent July 16, 2013 11:22PM
Jason Schipper of Lake Station bowls during the Post-Tribune Men's Awards Tournament at Stardust Bowl III Sunday, May 26, 2013, in Dyer, Ind. | Scott M. Bort~For Sun-Times Media
P-T Men’s All-Star Team
By the numbers: 236 average at Cressmoor, 231 at Ray’s, second in P-T tourney, P-T King of the Week, seven 300s, three 800s (828 high)
By the numbers: 240 average at Plaza, first in Greater Cal singles and team, first in Michigan City team (scratch and handicap), three 800s, two 300s
By the numbers: 234 average at Cressmoor, first in Lakeshore all-events and team, five 800s (823 high), six 300s, two 299s
By the numbers: 235 average at Ray’s, first in Lakeshore doubles and team, P-T King of the Week, three 800s (825 high), six 300s, two 299s
By the numbers: 244 average at City Lanes, P-T King of the Week four times, five 800s (868 high with two 847s), sive 300s, two 299s, first in Michigan City singles
By the numbers: 233 average at Olympia, King of the Hill title, four 800s (832 high), four 300ss, two 299s
By the numbers: 233 average at Cressmoor, first in P-T Sport Shot Classic, second in King of the Hill, three 800s, two 300s, 299
By the numbers: 240 average at Casey’s, P-T King of the Week, three 800s (845 high), four 300s, 299, 298
By the numbers: 238 average at Stardust II, 232 average at Cressmoor, seventh in P-T tourney, three 800s (825 high), three 300s, three 299s
By the numbers: 226 average at Plaza, 803, two 299s, third in P-T tourney, two King of the Hill titles, 12th in state singles, 18th in state all-events
Updated: August 19, 2013 2:24PM
Just a few seasons ago, Jason Schipper put together a solid year with a respectable amount of award scores that more than justified his invitation to participate in the highly-competitive Monday Magicians of Match Play scratch league at Cressmoor Lanes in Hobart.
But Schipper has had a long-standing goal to one year finish the season as the high-average bowler in that league — an honor that his brother, Billy Robinson, had accomplished numerous times.
In this past year, the son of recent Lakeshore Association Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Schipper did just that. Jason finished the league with a 233 average, edging out Billy by four tenths of a point for the high average title in a league that also features standouts Jeff Snuffer, Dave Fowble and Bob Hileman.
That accomplishment, mixed with his 230-plus averages in four of his other full-time leagues (including a 236), six 300s, three 800s and a second-place finish in the Post-Tribune Awards Tournament, led to his selection as Post-Tribune Men’s Bowler of the Year.
“Billy and I have had a fun competition over the years, and I definitely had a goal to top him in average — especially in the Monday league,” Schipper said. “I never had high average in a scratch league as popular as Monday night, and it came down to last couple of games where I bowled a little more consistent than Billy and Dave (Fowble).
“I didn’t beat Billy by much, but it was just a little thing I wanted to do. Over the years, he’s pretty much dominated the league. He’s averaged a 237, 238, even 240. He just struggled a little, but I’m glad to say I had a high average in such a great league. It’s cool that it ended up happening.”
Schipper’s season featured six 300 games — two at Cressmoor, two at Hobart Lanes, one at Ray’s Lanes and one at Camelot Bowl. He averaged 236 on Friday at Cressmoor, 230 on Thursday at Hobart and 231 on a Saturday mixed league at Camelot with his girlfriend.
Schipper said he’s been more consistent after modifying his approach and switching his equipment to Roto-Grip — a more aggressive style of bowling ball.
“I used to stand way back, now I have moved up,” he said. “And by moving up, it seems to have worked with my timing and my shots are now more consistent. I have one or two less steps and that has definitely helped me with my timing.
“I used Roto-Grip at the Post-Tribune tournament. I get a little more carry just because it’s more aggressive and definitely different than the equipment that I was previously using.”
The decision to adjust his approach was strengthened after consulting with his dad.
“I had a talk with my dad, who taught me how to bowl,” Schipper said “All my accomplishments are basically because of him. I was telling him about changing my approach and he said that could be a good possibility of improving my timing.”
Schipper said being able to bowl and succeed in the Monday night league at Cressmoor has been the most satisfying accomplishment.
“I was asked a few years ago by Tony Hollandsworth to bowl in that league,” he said. “I’ve been bowing with them now four years. I don’t mind handicap leagues, but that league is very special.”
And as Schipper reflected on the bowler of the year honor, he’s also grateful for being part of a great bowling family and his peers who honor his individual game.
“Some people tell me that I have the potential to be just as good, or even better, than Billy,” he said. “That’s a great compliment. I do try to keep up with him as much as possible. If it happens, that’s great, but if it doesn’t happen, that’s fine also. You can never take away the fact that Billy is a phenomenal bowler. I have a great respect for him.
“But winning bowler of the year is a great privilege because it’s another accomplishment that I share with my brother. For my dad, it means a lot to him. For all his coaching the two of us though the years — and now both of his kids have been bowlers of the year. That’s a great feeling.”