Canton, MI (February 11, 2021) – For Liam Stein, the start of the 2021 bowling season was an answer to prayer and another reminder of God’s healing power.
Stein underwent shoulder surgery prior to the 2021 season and worked his way back on the lanes. It wasn’t easy – it required dedication, perseverance and prayer. He is excited about the season and bowling with his friends.
“I first injured my shoulder in 7th grade when it popped out during a basketball game”, he explained. “The doctors popped it back in and told me it would be just fine and shouldn’t happen again because my shoulder looked fine after x-rays. Since that initial injury it had popped out so many times that I just learned to pop it back in myself. After probably about 15- times I finally decided it was time to get it checked out again. They told me I had a pretty deep indentation where the shoulder was supposed to lay, and the connective tissue was weak and frayed. After a few more scans and an MRI with contrast, they scheduled me for an arthroscopic labrum repair in my left shoulder.”
Liam was hopeful that he would be ready for the 2021 season, but the rehabilitation process was demanding both physically and mentally.
“Rehabilitation after the surgery was long. For the first three days of my recovery, I had a nerve block inserted into my neck transporting pain medication throughout my body. Sleeping was an almost impossible task which only made things worse. After the nerve block was removed the pain increased because I was no longer full of pain killers. The pain along with the lack of sleep made me extremely weak and grumpy. About a month after the surgery, I went to my first physical therapy appointment. I had very limited range of motion and absolutely no strength in my arm. The process was long, but my main goal was to be done with physical therapy early enough for me to bowl since I had already missed soccer season. After a few months of physical therapy, I had much better range of motion and finally had some sort of strength back. They allowed me to stop doing physical therapy as long as I continued to follow a workout routine at home structured around my shoulder strength.”
For Stein, bowling at PCA means a great deal. He wanted to participate in a winter sport and when the athletic department announced that bowling would be a sponsored, he was thrilled.
“Because I do not play basketball, I was very excited when I heard they were introducing another winter sport. Although hesitant, two of my friends (Collin McInerney, Adam Albrecht) that also do not play winter sports agreed to try bowling out with me. Only one person on the team had real bowling experience (Brennan Pascual) so my hopes for the season were not very high, however, I was very excited to bowl with my friends all the time.”
The 2020 season was a season to learn, gain some experience and have fun.
“According to our numbers, our first season was definitely not a success”, said Liam. “We only took two wins out of 10 matches played, but as a team with barely any experience I would say that was a success. My old high score before bowling on a team was 139, but by the end of the season it had risen all the way to 211, getting me the “Most Improved Player” plaque and major bragging rights. We ended the first season placing near the bottom of the leaderboards at regionals, however, the experience and growth that happened during the season was major.”
Which brings us to 2021. Because bowling is an indoor sport, obviously, the Covid restrictions prohibited teams from practicing and competing. Once the bans were lifted and indoor facilities were opened, the Purple and Gold were back in business.
With his recovery still ongoing, Liam had some legitimate concerns, “The season had finally come after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted, and I was ready to get back into action. I went into the season having low expectations for myself because I was still very weak. However, after the very first practice I saw the potential of this team and started to gain some more confidence in myself.”
Buoyed by this confidence, energized by four new bowlers, and encouraged by Head Coach Rob Moore, Liam and his teammates are off to a great start.
“Coach Moore taught me and all the guys so much about bowling these past two years”, he explains. “Personally, I would count last year as a learning year and this is the year where we get to show off what we learned. The new players (Kyle Quick, Caleb Quick, David Kassab and Josh Passow) have all shown significant improvement and we are all constantly beating our old high scores. We all get along so well, which makes the season so much more fun.”
The current bowling roster is young, eager to learn and enjoying their time on the lanes. They are:
Seniors; Stein and Collin McInerney, Juniors; Brenan Pascual, David Kassab, Sophomores; Adam Moore, Josh Passow, Kyle Quick and Freshman; Caleb Quick.
Stein is looking forward to the rest of the season and seeing how this team responds to the district and regional pressure. “As a team we have been absolutely crushing it. We are currently 4-1, which is a major improvement. Our team average and pin count from last year has been blown out of the park and we are only getting better. I am super excited for regionals this year because I have a very good feeling that some of our bowlers, and maybe our team, will make it to states this year. I am so excited to continue bowling with these guys and growing not only in skill but also in character.”