Two-sport athlete on a roll at LaSalle Academy

BY ROBERT ELKIN, The Villager | The East Village’s LaSalle Academy is noted for its baseball and basketball programs that eventually sent a number of its students to the pros.

However, LaSalle, at 215 E. Sixth St., has other teams, such as track and field, that are more low-profile, though it doesn’t even have a football program because of the school’s location. And did anyone even know LaSalle had a bowling team? Well, they do.

Now LaSalle is trying to upgrade the bowling team, though its members unfortunately have to travel a distance to the Whitestone Lanes in Queens for their league matches and to the 34th Avenue Bowl, also in Queens, for practice.

The Cardinals keglers reached the playoffs of the Brooklyn-Queens division of the Catholic High Schools Athletic Association but lost to Archbishop Molloy of Queens, 742-691, 807-651 and 829-578. Molloy thus moves onto the semifinal round of the citywide finals in early January.

Jonathan Glover rolled games of 201, 192 and 204 for a three-game series of 597. His high game for the season was 263. He felt good in bowling that high during the past regular season.

Many student-athletes concentrate on one sport. But some may do any number, depending on the season. Glover, for one, happens to be a two-sport athlete whose other passion is basketball.

Over the past years, Glover bowled recreationally at the 34th Avenue Bowl. He was so outstanding that he received a bowling scholarship to attend LaSalle.

Now that the bowling season is over on an interscholastic level, he’s switching from spinning balls down the lane to shooting them into the hoop.

He didn’t play in any bowling matches during one week before the break because he competed on the school’s hoops squad.

“It’s hard to play two sports at one time,” said Cheryl Glover, Jonathan’s mother, who doubles as an assistant coach for the bowling team, as well.

“He loves basketball, and bowling is something that I love,” she said. “He’s good at both sports. It doesn’t really have an effect on his schoolwork. He gets so wrapped up in the sports that he could forget about the academics. He tries to balance it out.”

It’s hard to pick one, but the 5-foot-10-inch junior said, if he had to, he’d go with the nonbouncing balls.

“If I had a choice to make between the two sports, I would do bowling,” he said. “I feel that bowling would take me on a better path than basketball will. And I am more talented in bowling than in basketball, for I picked up bowling faster than I did basketball.”

His coach, Ron Anderson, said playing more than one sport helps keep Glover on point.

“I love the idea for him to play two sports,” Anderson said. “It keeps his mental attitude straight, thinking what he has to do, and helps with his school work.”

Bowling season started in September with tryouts and practices. They learn the fundamentals of the sport, how to read the lanes’ condition, and learn proper technique for how to hold a bowling ball. Some of these boys even go to a bowling camp, and some of them are in their first or second year of competitive bowling.

“Last year they were in the CHSAA ‘B’ Division Championship,” Anderson said. “They are learning as time goes on. Next year we expect to have a great season. We expect to have everybody returning except one.”

During the offseason, Glover will compete in area basketball tournaments and try to hone his better basketball game. He’ll also be attending a bowling camp in Rochester, N.Y. In the summer, he’ll work on his bowling, too, as will some of the other players, working out on their own to improve their weak points.

Glover is in his fourth year of bowling, including three with his teammates at LaSalle Academy.

Coach Anderson attended Alexander Hamilton High School, where he was on the “B” Division Public Schools Athletic League championship basketball team in his senior year. He then went on to St. Francis College in Brooklyn and played under Coach Dan Lynch. He is more noted for being a basketball coach in “outside leagues” and has more recently turned his attention to bowling.