As the first head coach of the Merrimack College women’s bowling team, Jalen Scott-Jones is in the midst of two significant ventures.
The first is getting the team ready for its inaugural season, which Scott-Jones says he has high hopes for. The second is helping to get the team’s practice facility, and the newest addition to the Merrimack campus experience, up and running.
“The new bowling center is certainly going to set us apart from other programs in the area,” said Scott-Jones, who officially started his coaching duties in January. “A few other schools in New England are also starting bowling programs this year, but my hope is this new facility will help attract the best bowlers in the region to Merrimack.”
The 4,000-square-foot, six-lane bowling center is the centerpiece of the new Student Union in the Collegiate Church of Christ The Teacher. It will feature touch screens, interactive scoring systems and overhead projectors that will create entertaining visual effects.
Scott-Jones explained there aren’t too many differences between a bowling center used by a Division I team and one used by the general public. Collegiate bowling does require specific oil patterns on lanes that help dictate movement of the ball. And he added he is very happy the Merrimack bowling center will have free-standing pins, rather than the increasingly popular pins held up by rope. “That is just the type of bowling most of us are used to,” he noted.
Until the Merrimack bowling center is complete, the women’s bowling team has practiced at a center in Tewksbury that offers similar dimensions and amenities to Merrimack’s.
The team officially begins competition Nov. 12 and 13, and on paper Scott-Jones said the team looks really good, including Cassidy Anschutz ’24, who transferred from Lincoln Memorial University and already has a 300 (a perfect bowling score) in collegiate competition on her resume.
“The team seems happy,” Scott-Jones said. “The players who transferred here bring a lot of great experience. I’m just really excited for conference play to start.”
So when will the Merrimack bowling center see its first 300?
“Could as soon as this season,” Scott-Jones said. “This team could definitely find their rhythm and heat up for a perfect game on any given day.”
The Collegiate Church of Christ The Teacher and Student Union is slated to officially open in January 2023.