Meet the Ath’elite’: Matt Vacha

Matt Vacha, Bowling

Ally Seevers, Sports Editor

Athlete: Matt Vacha, Class of 2021

Sport: Boys Varsity Bowling

“I started my freshman year, and was kind of bowling like crap the whole freshman year,” said Vacha. “At the time, I was with Millard South Club Bowling. Then during sophomore year, I got a lot better and started to really enjoy it, so I have been bowling all of high school.”

He said he’s “not too into sports. I did football for a while and track and neither were really my kind of thing, but I have been bowling just to keep active and I ended up liking it.”

Highest Score –

In practice: 223

In competition: 216

It’s pretty incredible that Matt is this good, especially considering he only started bowling his freshman year.

“I started my freshman year, and was kind of bowling like crap the whole freshman year, like not really getting any good scores,” said Matt. “So my club coach, he basically worked with me quite a bit on my shots, my throw, my release, and basically worked me from someone who has never bowled before to someone who is pretty good, I guess.”

That coach who helped Vacha “go from a beginner bowler to a varsity bowler” is Rich Saighmans. Matt said he has become his “mentor for all he has done for” him. 

Vacha said his favorite memory from bowling was from last year’s JV State Tournament. 

“We were state runner-up for JV,” said Matt. “During the whole part of state, I was sort of captain of the team; I helped a lot with the team. I was last to bowl, so I was most important of the team I guess. It was really tight, actually down to a few pins and I had one strike in the tenth and I needed another strike and a few more pins and I hit a perfect shot, but one pin still stood there. So we ended up losing state by only a few pins, but I will still really happy with what we accomplished and very proud of the team.”

“I’d say the people that you meet is my favorite part of bowling, especially like the other teams too. A lot of the people, we’ve been on the same team or competed against each other for 4 years now so I’ve made a lot of friends.”

Not only has Vacha’s contact list grown since he started his bowling career, but he has also increased the size of his family.

He said, “I feel like bowling has changed my life quite a bit, especially during the season. Instead of doing nothing, bowling occupies most of my time now. Also with the club team, we have become like a family. I love bowling and hanging out with them.”

Matt may have started his career in the gutter as he says, but he has had nothing but strikes now. Can’t wait to see where bowling will take you in the future!