Athlete of the Week: Dimond bowler Aliyas Sargento
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Dimond High School senior Aliyas Sargento simply loves bowling, even on days when he is supposed to be taking a break from loving bowling.
“We told them to take the day off, we were getting ready for Nationals,” said Dimond coach Beth VanCouwenberghe at Jewel Lake Bowling Center. “I came in here and I am like, ‘what are you doing in the bowling alley, you’re supposed to take the day off?’
‘Well I just wanted to get some practice,’” she recalls him saying. “That is how dedicated he is to it.”
The Lynx star bowler has been throwing a ball down the lane since he was about five, following the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who were also competitive bowlers.
Even if Sargento could never throw a ball down the lane again, he would still find his way back to the alley.
“Sometimes I am not even on the lanes practicing, I am just in here mostly just hanging out with pro shop operators and with friends just talking about bowling stuff,” Sargento said with a laugh in the Jewel Lake Bowling Center pro shop.
Sargento’s simple love of the game has taken him to the Junior Gold Championships, the United States High School Bowling National Championship, and the Professional Bowler’s Association Junior tournament hosted by the PBA. Sargento’s love stays true, even when the game doesn’t love him back.
“I get that feeling a lot,” Sargento said of wanting to give up on the sport. “Especially after like really hard national tournaments and I see all these other bowlers that are just a lot better and I get down on myself, but I have my friends and they help and support me, we practice all the time, it makes me feel better.”
That support system is what keeps Sargento engaged in the sport, not the trophies or high scores.
“The social aspect I think is one of the biggest parts for me personally,” he said. “Some of my teammates I have met through bowling and most of my closest friends I have also met through bowling. It is really important for me because is it is also one thing I look forward to going into these tournaments, just seeing everybody back.”
Alaska isn’t necessarily a hotbed for bowlers, with notable professionals including Sean Rash and Ron Mohr, but Sargento’s love and talent in the sport could elevate him to that elite class.
“He is definitely on the right path if he wants to turn pro,” said VanCouwenberghe. “Hopefully he will go to college first and bowl there and then I could see him being a pro bowler.”
Sargento also wants to attend school before hopefully going on the PBA tour and is interested in majoring in the engineering field.
If his love for the game can’t take him to college or the pro level, it can still have a rippling impact in the Anchorage bowling community and beyond.
“I think he would make like a great ambassador for bowling because he does care about it, you know, more so than just the average kid coming in here and bowling, he really does care about the future of our sport,” added VanCouwenberghe.
Sargento will continue bowling with Dimond throughout the season while searching for a potential school to continue his love of the game.
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