Wisconsin Sports

Local bowling phenom aims for national headlines

UW-La Crosse sophomore Jacob Dunnum preps for Junior Team USA qualifier

Local Bowler Aims for National Headlines

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - UW-La Crosse senior Ben Polzin is the reason club bowling is back on campus.
Polzin practically grew up at the All-Star Lanes in town and said "absolutely" last winter when alumni and former Eagle bowler Scott Dunnum asked if it was time to bring the program back.

"We are working hard to get as much funding as possible so we can get these kids out and get them the experience," Polzin said. "Once they leave college, they should have a skill set to go compete on their own."

What the team didn't expect during year one: The addition of one of the top youth bowlers in all of the United States, Dunnum's 18-year old son Jacob.

Jacob, a Central High School grad, placed fifth out of a field of 1,500 plus this summer at the Junior Gold Nationals in Indianapolis.

"It was intense, but you need to experience those types of moments," Jacob Dunnum said.

A moment that Jacob wasn't prepared for is the reason he's not bowling at a big time program. Last Thanksgiving, Jacob's grandma Diane passed away from complications during surgery. Shortly after, he departed from powerhouse UW-Whitewater for a chance to team up back home with his dad.

"She would have been so happy. She would have been very proud of me."

Due to transfer rules, Jacob is set to sit out this season but he plans to play a pivot role for the Eagles as a junior.

"Jacob is talented beyond all belief," Polzin said. "He is beyond his years as far as experience and knowledge goes."

Jacob's next big chance arrives January in Las Vegas when 175 bowlers compete for six open spots on the Junior Team USA squad.

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