Big Bend athlete strikes collegiate bowling scholarship

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By: Ryan Kelly | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
February 4, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Saturday afternoon, Shamar Sanford signed a letter of intent, the way so many high school athletes do; sporting team colors, with proud parents in tow.

But, this was no ordinary signing at your high school gym.

"I was here a couple years ago, watched my parents bowl and then I started bowling every now and then and fell in love with it and now I bowl almost every day," Sanford said.

Sanford signed a bowling scholarship with Webber University.

The FHSAA recognized bowling as a sport, but the expense is not spared by any Leon County public school, including Chiles, where Sanford attends.

So, he signed through the Capitol Lanes Youth Program; the first to ever do so.

"From the first time he took his form, you could tell he had a knack for it," said Michael Fleischaker.

"He's really happy for me," Sanford continued. When asked how much Fleischaker had helped, he added, "All the time. With everything. On the lanes and off the lanes. Always."

Sanford has shown himself to be a natural despite only seriously bowling for three years.

But, make no mistake, the lane to this day has been paved with plenty of hard work.

And the occasional 7-10 split.

"His attention span to the coaching was right on and you ask him to do something and he gave it every effort that he could to get it done," said Randy Stoughton.

So, as we get set for more athletes to put their name on the dotted line on Wednesday, don't forget Shamar Sanford and Webber International were the ones to...strike...first.

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