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The Bowling Bulldog

Fresno State’s Hogan qualifies for Team USA

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The Bowling Bulldog

Ripon High graduate Paul Hogan, an all-american bowler at Fresno State, earned a spot on Junior Team USA in December.

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POSTED February 1, 2009 4:08 a.m.
Fresno State junior Paul Hogan, a 2005 Ripon High graduate and Manteca native, is a walking, talking testament to persistence.

A bowler since the age of 8, Hogan has been working on his goal of qualifying for the Junior Team USA national bowling team for over half a decade.

After rolling a 290 and a 300 (his third ever), at Sunset Station Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in December, the site of the 2008 Team USA Trials, Hogan, a second-team all-american for the Bulldogs, was one of two junior bowlers chosen by the  National Selection Committee to compete alongside nine other boys and 10 girls on Junior Team USA.

“I’ve been bowling for 12 years and trying to make the team for six,” Hogan said. “It’s a good feeling. I’ve been working for it for a very long time.

“The hard work paid off.”

In April, the 20-year-old psychology major is headed to Colorado to join his Team USA teammates as well as a familiar face, Junior Team USA head coach Rod Ross, who used to own and operate the Pro Shop in Manteca.

Ross now heads the USBC training facility in Colorado where Team USA will hold a week-long training camp.

At the end of those seven days, certain combinations of players and alternates will be selected for the varying and numerous tournaments the national squad competes in yearly around the globe.

“I’ve known Rod and his wife, Theresa, for five years,” Hogan said. “They live in Texas now, so it will be nice to see them again.

“Rod is one of the best coaches in the country. I’m really honored to be able to work with him.”

Hogan is a disciplined and steady bowler, well-schooled in the intricacies of the game, and a proven contender at the highest levels of the sport.

“A lot of people don’t know a whole lot about (bowling),” Hogan said. “The oil patterns on the lanes vary from house to house and even lane to lane. There are just a lot of little things that you have to be aware of and be able to adjust to. It’s not only the lanes — different balls do different things.”

It all came together for Hogan in Las Vegas, and it had to, as he wasn’t the tournament’s top finisher and an automatic Team USA qualifier — he finished fourth overall among junior competitors.

Instead, Hogan had to impress the selection committee enough to earn an at-large bid.

“Everything just fell into place,” he said. “I knew I could do it, and I had bowled a lot of qualifiers previously. I practiced very hard and things just worked out.”

Hogan plans on earning his degree a year from now and is taking a open-minded approach to his future in the sport.

“We’ll see what happens, I still have one year of (college) eligibility left,” he said.

Hogan says the college game is especially enjoyable because of his Bulldog teammates.

“It’s  a lot different,” he said. “You’re always with a group of guys. It’s great in terms of the team aspect. When you’re bowling alone, there’s a tendency to feel like your out there all by yourself. With the team game, it’s nice to know that you have people behind you.”

Hogan joins Angela Reynolds of Shickshinny, Pa., Dayna Galganski of Orlando, Fla., and Jake Peters of Decatur, Ill. as National Selection Committee honorees.

Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., and Cassidy Schaub of Polk, Ohio took the girl’s and boy’s crowns, respectively, at the Team USA Trials in Las Vegas.

All six will join the 12 players that earned Team USA spots at the USBC Junior Gold Championships in Detroit last July.

The boy’s group includes Geoffrey Young, Daniel Spink, Tim Pfeifer, Andrew Koff, Brent Bowers and Jerret Mizo. Among the girls are Kristie Petravich, Christine Bator, Ricki Williams, Kim Yioulos, Brittni Hamilton and Jessica Earnest.

Hogan finished 16th overall in Detroit.

Bowlers must be under the age of 20 as of Jan. 1, 2009 to qualify for Junior Team USA.

Hogan earned his spot in his final year of eligibility.
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