The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater boasts national title coming out of the 2020 tournament closure returning with back-to-back championships.
The tournament’s 2020 cancellation threw a gutter ball with the team’s championship momentum to include new rules and protocols added in 2021.
The Warhawk Men’s Bowling Club team roster consists of eight bowlers. The group competed for the national title in Anderson, Indiana April 10-11.
The team returned anew, with new members and a new team without the help from senior players mentoring them. Coach Shawn Wochner recalls his university cancellation one-hour before showing up to the 2020 tournament.
Coach Wochner picked up the team’s seven-ten-post-pandemic-split after losing five seniors to graduation. Wochner shares his memory of and the lasting affect from the national lockdown with his team and president of the tournament.
“The first thing I would say is it was an honor to even be able to compete this season. College bowling is down over 100 different teams this year and we are the only University of Wisconsin school that competed this season,” Wochner shared who doubles as the tournament president enforcing new COVID-19 protocols and procedures.
The Warhawk Men’s Bowling Club team returned from a cancelled season with the following new set of rules.
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater supported Coach Wochner’s decision to return under the strict adherence to the “COVID-19 Protocols and Procedures Championships Tournaments Guide,” which states:
- No spectators allowed during the competition.
- All persons, to include spectators, must always wear an approved face covering while in the building, including during competition per updated regulations as recommended by the Center for Disease Control.
- Persons refusing to wear a mask will not be allowed entry into the building. Violations may result in membership suspension and disqualification from the tournament.
- No competitors allowed on either side of person approaching bowling lane at any time.
Bowlers became shipmates braving the uncharted waters of COVID-19 to compete for the 2021 championship.
Wochner’s team would return from virtual uncertainty to chart their course with new university social distance polices to include required antigen testing.
Wochner’s reflection outlined the antigen testing requirements to return to campus. The team championed on through nasal swabbing to compete.
“In my 11 years of experience, this is the first team to win our sectional qualifier, which expressed to me their heart, their fight and their talent. I am so excited to see their performance this year,” Coach Wochner stated attributing to the team’s success.
Bowlers sailed through the scurvy of the pandemic through the irritability of nose swabbing, wearing masks, and hitting the lanes despite all odds.
Coach Wochner expressed his appreciation of the university who backed his team’s return in 2021 to compete for the tournament title.
The team under Wochner’s leadership worked diligently to keep the Warhawk Men’s Bowling Club team afloat.
Steering the ship as both a tournament president and coach, Wochner weighted every single decision to risk walking the plank of the university’s strict policies as the captain.
Congratulations on a safe and successful back-to-back championship season and hope next year the team will not have to swab the tournament protocol deck.
Coach Wochner celebrated his seventh Coach of the Year award and will return in fall to build future leaders on his team.