Cape Coral bowler ambassador for sport, competing in intercollegiate championship

Writer: Jack Lowenstein

On Tuesday, CBS Sports will air the Intercollegiate Team Championships of bowling. One Southwest Florida college student will compete to win and show that bowling holds it own among team sports. He believes anyone can set goals and knock them down.

Cape Coral native Evan Baranecky will look to lead Webber International University to a win at the bowling tournament.

Most people view Baranecky’s sport as more of a game or a hobby. But he’d beg to differ.

To most people, the sound of bowling means a good time with friends but not when Baranecky is on the lane.

“You’re a cold-blooded killer,” Baranecky said. “You want to beat them.”

Baranecky has bowled competitively since he was about 5 years old.

“We’re kind of a bowling family so I thought it was a great thing,” said Teresa, Baranecky’s mother. “And it was also great for us to watch him. It’s an indoor sport, and we’re not sitting out in the Florida heat.”

As an Ida Baker High School bowling alumnus and current member at Webber International, Baranecky would tell you bowling has more in common with most team sports than one might think.

“Bowling at a collegiate tournament is so much different because you all want the same thing,” Baranecky said. “You’re all rooting for each other. So it’s cool having that camaraderie.”

There is also the individual component that can be just as appealing.

“You kind of have your own stage. Right?” Baranecky said. “So when you’re bowling, you’re on the lane by yourself. It gives you a way to represent yourself.”

Baranecky takes pride being an ambassador for the sport of bowling.

“I don’t think that it gets the credit that it deserves,” he said. “There’s so much behind it that people don’t really know about, and I wish people would take the time to understand it because they really would realize that it’s a sport.”

Baranecky also has a message that can apply to anyone beyond bowling.

“If they have a dream, just go out and chase it,” Baranecky said. “Nobody should tell you that you can’t do something. That should only drive you to do what you can. There’s so many people that told me I couldn’t do it, and I’m pretty happy that they did because it only motivated me to go out and do it.”

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