The Minnesota State Bowling team has a rising star on their squad, but unfortunately not enough people pay attention to or know about the sports team that is absent from the athletics page.
Andrea Staples is hoping to change all that with the success she has found in her freshman season. She has not even finished her first collegiate season and has already garnered three conference titles as well as Rookie of the Year honors, Player of the Year, and has been selected to the All-Conference team.
“She was a big talent right away, and you could tell immediately all the potential she had before getting into the program. The sky is the limit for her,” said the bowling head coach Kyle Bischoff of Staples. “She has accomplished a lot and the goal for her is to be one of the absolute best in the country in the sport overall before she leaves the program.”
She competes in a conference that contains teams from Wisconsin, Iowa, North and South Dakota, along with Minnesota. She has also had the opportunity to compete in a pro tournament despite her youth, because of her outstanding play.
“She is a very humble athlete and I don’t even know if she realizes how far she can go. There are 12 athletes on every one of the 25 women’s teams that we play through tournaments and she is outplaying them,” said Bischoff of her talent.
He also mentioned the recognition problem the team has.
“This is the highest level a bowler can get after high school and lots of people don’t even know about the bowling team, but we are moving and working towards more recognition.”
In a sport that has struggled with recognition, Staples has climbed to the college ranks through inadequate help at the high school level. At the high school level, the adversity was fighting to stand out when the team failed to practice enough or come together and gel as a team. But the cream always rises to the top.
“It’s harder in college because of the longer season that goes from September to March, as opposed to the high school season that goes from October to February,” said Staples. “The practices are far more intense and bumped up from two times a week to four. We also have tournaments that span the entire weekend in college instead of just a day. But we can play and put in all the work because the camaraderie of the team and how they come around you to encourage and keep you going.”
Because of fantastic work ethic, talent, and a will to win, Staples is elevating her play and bringing her program into the main light. The sky is the limit for this exceptional athlete and the school is lucky to have her on campus.