The week before he left for the 2014 XBowling Intercollegiate Team Championships with his Lindenwood University teammates, Joey Petzoldt had a dream that they captured the national title.
As it turns out, dreams do come true.
The Lemont graduate and collegiate senior went on to play an important role in the Lions securing the 2014 Kerm Helmer Cup with a 3-0 win over Urbana on April 18 in Reno, Nev., in the title match that will be shown on the CBS Sports Network on May 27.
“It was definitely unbelievable,” said Petzoldt, who was a two-time IHSA state qualifier while at Lemont. “For one, just getting the chance to make it to the finals and then getting the opportunity to win and be a part of a national championship team is unbelievable.”
Petzoldt had made it to the event with his team as a sophomore, but that year Lindenwood came up just a little short.
“We were one game away from the finals then, and unfortunately we lost to the eventual national champions,” Petzoldt said. “We came close. And my sister [Jenny] made the finals twice but unfortunately came up short both times.”
He averaged a 204 this season, which was the highest mark of his career. He also has 13 300-games to his career, the first of which came as a sophomore in high school and the last almost a year ago.
But those individual accomplishments pale in comparison to a national championship.
“Especially being my senior year, it’s an awesome way to go out,” he said. “To win your senior year in anything is an unbelievable accomplishment. And then being only the second [Lindenwood men’s bowling] team to win, the first title was in 2005. I’m glad to be a part of winning a national championship for our school. To consider myself in that group is an unbelievable feeling.”
The mass communication major comes from a bowling family and got started with the sport at an early age.
“Pretty much ever since I was able to pick up a ball,” said Petzoldt, when asked about his initial foray into bowling. “My parents used to bowl in leagues back when Lemont Lanes was open. It’s something that has run in our family for a long time and it is something we still do together.”
Set to graduate later this month, the senior will continue bowling with the ultimate goal to reach the professional level. He would also like to coach one day.
“There is a lot I’ve learned from this sport that I’d love to teach,” said Petzoldt, who is also a radio DJ for the school and has broadcast bowling events, “whether to people who are just starting or to college bowlers.”