Athlete of the Week – Ruling the Lanes

Jacob Kersten competes in a meet. Photo provided
Jacob Kersten competes in a meet. Photo provided

BY WENDI REARDON
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Jacob Kersten hit one of his goals during his senior year with the Clarkston Boys Varsity Bowling team when he was named to The Detroit Free Press Dream Team.
“It was definitely an honor to be part of it,” he explained. I have a good friend who was Mr. Bowling two years ago, and he was one of the members on the Dream Team. They go by a point system. It is more than your senior year performance. It is the accumulation for all four years.”
Kersten added it helped motivate him in leading by example to work harder.
“It was a huge accomplishment for me. It said a lot to my underclassmen how far hard work takes you. Instead of just saying it I have something to show for it,” he said.
During the season he averaged 218.5 and had a 300 and as an individual finished in the top ten in regionals for the last four years.
Highlights from his final year include winning the MHSAA Boys Bowling Regional Championship this year after losing last year.
“It meant a lot to me,” said Kersten.
“Winning it again as a team and coming together showed how much work we put in with new members of the team because we had a lot of new freshman and sophomores.”
Kersten’s dad, Lenny, introduced him to bowling at the age of three-years-old.
“I picked up the ball when I was three and I have been with it ever since,” Jacob said, adding he enjoys how unique the sport is. If you think about it, it is the only sport you play on an invisible playing field. The idea there is oil in the lane and different ways to go around it.”
Jacob will continue playing bowling in the fall at Wichita Bowling University – which is in the top three in the nation of collegiate bowling.
“Their coaching staff is incredible and the opportunity for me to grow as a bowler is going to be phenomenal and will be exciting,” he said.
He plans to study biology and is currently going for an undergrad in biology/pre-med with a minor in Spanish.
“I have taken five years of Spanish and I want to be able to use it,” he said. “For post grad I was looking to be a physician’s assistant for two years.”
While going to Clarkston High School he was part of the International Baccalaureate program which he said helped prepare him for time management between balancing work, sports, classes and classwork.
When he isn’t bowling he enjoys playing other sports with his sister, Sierra.
“Whenever we have free time we go outside and play catch or hit the volleyball around,” he said. “I want to relish the time I have before I leave.”
His advice for aspiring bowlers is when it comes to high school bowling to always put the team first.
“If you can learn off each other and use each other’s knowledge to your advantage you will get farther as a team. It hinders the team’s success when you don’t,” he said.
His parents are Sheryl and Lenny.