Bowling: Rob Krooswyk looking toward bigger, better things
By Anthony Nasella Post-Tribune correspondent April 23, 2013 9:48PM
Rob Krooswyk reacts after throwing a strike in the men's championship game during the second Post-Tribune Sport Shot Classic bowling tourney held at Stardust III in Dyer on Sunday September 23, 2012. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 25, 2013 6:28AM
In a region loaded with successful bowlers who are graced with both youth and skill, Portage High School graduate Rob Krooswyk can be named in that company based on his age and his prominence in various leagues throughout the area.
At 26, Krooswyk’s average ranges from 217 to 234 in four leagues at four bowling centers, not including two league he subs in.
Also the nephew of local standout Jay Bridges, Krooswyk won the adult division of the Post-Tribune Sport Shot Classic last September, and will be among an elite class competing at next month’s Post-Tribune Men’s Awards Tournament on May 26 at Stardust Bowl III in Dyer.
Starting at the age of 3, he began in a youth league at Camelot Bowl in Portage, peaking with a 210 average before transitioning to his first adult league at Cressmoor Lanes in Hobart.
“I bowled with both my mom and dad growing up, which was always fun,” said Krooswyk, whose full-time leagues include Cressmoor, Hobart, Stardust II and Stardust III. “I bowled with my mom and a couple of friends in my first adult league. I would also sub for my dad when his shift work in the mill kept him from bowling. All those early days were so much fun.”
And Krooswyk, obviously, has also been influenced by his uncle as Bridges proves his own adaptability on the lanes in pressure situations.
“Growing up and watching Jay bowl had a big impact on my game,” he said. “He’s just solid everywhere. The harder it gets, the better he bowls. A couple years ago at the Post-Tribune Tournament, the lanes were breaking down, so he moved in and just started bowling incredible.”
Krooswyk has also been helped in the past few years by another standout region bowler in Jeff Snuffer.
“Jeff is a very good coach who I really enjoy working with and whose expertise has greatly impacted my game in recent years,” he said. “Last year at (Indiana men’s) state, I struggled in singles and I was bowling doubles with Snuffer and he had me change balls. I wound up having a good doubles and team event.”
As far as equipment, Krooswyk primarily uses Colombia and has his equipment drilled by Derek Carter at Hobart Lanes.
“I’ve been using Colombia for the past three years,” he said. “It compliments my game. I like it for its versatility. If I have to play straighter, I can, and if I have to hook, I can do that too.”
Krooswyk has one fallback ball when all else fails.
“My (Columbia) Ransom Demand is my favorite alternative ball,” he said. “I pull that out when nothing else seems to be working.”
With 14 300 games and nine 800 series to his credit, Krooswyk said he’s not putting any heavy expectations on himself for the future. His best 800 series was his first — an 823 eight years ago. He does have some practical goals.
“I’d like to win the Post-Tribune and Pepsi Classic (at Olympia Lanes in Hammond) at least once,” he said. “But, practically, I just want to keep enjoying the sport and improving my game.”