Soldier readies for All Army Bowling Trial Camp
April 11, 2014
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - An APG noncommissioned officer hopes to earn one of the four coveted spots on the All Army Bowling Men's Team.
Master Sgt. James Franicevich, a career counselor with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command is the first Soldier from APG to compete in the All Army Bowling Trial Camp set to be held at Joint Base Lewis-McCord, Wash. May 11-12. Soldiers selected for the team will compete in the May 14-17 Armed Forces Bowling Championship at JBLM.
During the trial camp, Franicevich will play 18 games against 15 to 20 male Soldiers for the top four spots. The four Soldiers who recieve the highest scores will compete in the All Army bowling team.
This is the third time he has been accepted to the trial camp. Franicevich started bowling when he joined the Army in 1994. He said he became more serious about the game while he was stationed in Fort Bliss, Texas, and he credits All Army Bowling Coach Don Aguilar, then a pro shop manager, for helping him take his game to the next level.
"If you want to get better at bowling you definitely want to work with a USBC (United States Bowling Congress) certified coach," he said. "I am working on becoming a USBC certified coach right now."
In 2010, while stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., Franicevich was selected to participate in a trial camp for the first time. He performed well, and went on to compete on the All Army Bowling Team. In 2012, he missed joining the team by four pins.
Franicevich said competition is tough, because everyone selected is very good. Selection for the trial camp is based on performance in leagues and pro tournaments.
"It just makes you better to bowl with the best players," he said. "I watch their technique."
He said he is preparing for the trial camp by competing at local tournaments as much as possible. He bowled a score of 300, a perfect score, during a Friday Night Fun Bunch League event at the APG Bowling Center in January. It was the fourth time he bowled a perfect game.
"This was a good year," he said. "My bowling average was high, and I had a good feeling that I would be selected for the All-Army Bowling Trial Camp."
During tournaments different oil patterns are put on the lanes to test the skill and versatility of athletes, and those patterns make bowling more difficult than in traditional recreational games, he added.
"That is why I do so many tournaments," he said. "That is how I prepare for the trial camp. Also, there are a lot of good people out there in the bowling community."
In addition to competing in local tournaments, Franicevich and his wife can be found at the APG Bowling Center every Friday night bowling with their league. On Saturday mornings he coaches his daughter and other children in the youth league. He also bowls Wednesday nights off post. In addition to participating in tournaments, he also tries to challenge himself by using different bowling balls. He currently owns 20 bowling balls, and displays them in a bowling rack in his home.
Franicevich said after he retires from the Army, he wants to be a bowling coach and a teacher.