This column intends to spotlight student athlete-artists from each of SCAD’s sports teams, no matter how well-established or accomplished. This week’s piece features a member of the SCAD Savannah women’s bowling team, Rebekah Commane, who recently won the individual title and a spot on the All-Tournament Team last weekend at the Brunswick Southern Collegiate Classic.
First-year advertising student Rebekah Commane has been bowling since she could walk. Her parents were both bowlers who met at a bowling alley, which is why Commane said she was “born into the sport.” She has bowled competitively since she was 12, but the level at which she competes has increased significantly in the last three years.
Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Commane has traveled across the globe for her sport, from Hong Kong to Malaysia and now the United States. She is a member of the Australian National team where she has ten national junior and youth titles.
“Taking the leap to college bowling in America was the next step for me to further my bowling career and to get better,” Commane said. “I keep bowling because I am so passionate, and it still makes me extremely happy.”
Commane had an idea of what she wanted to study when she was researching universities, but she knew no matter what she pursued academically, her prospective school had to have a bowling team. She discovered SCAD’s advertising program and the school’s relatively new bowling team and decided to help the team grow.
“The coach, Katie Thornton, is very knowledgeable, and I knew that picking her program would help me get better as a bowler,” Commane said. “I also fell in love the campus when I came on my official visit and I knew Savannah was the place for me.”
Before bowling matches, a special oil is applied to the lanes, but Commane said that can present challenges when multiple people are bowling on it. The inconsistencies in the amount of oil can influence whether a ball hooks more or less as it’s thrown down the lane. With this in mind, Commane said she and her team must be aware of the lane’s condition to make proper playing adjustments.
During bowling tournaments, Commane and her fellow bowling Bees typically bowl six individual team games on Saturday and twenty-plus baker games on Sunday. Individual games involve five players each bowling a full game and the five scores combined decide that team’s final standing. A baker game is when five players share one game of bowling and each player bowls two frames of the game.
“At practice, we work a lot on spare shooting,” Commane said. “If you don’t strike you have to be able to knock over what is left. Sparing and accuracy in doing so is very important when competing together as a team.”
Aside from being born of two bowlers, Commane loves the rush she gets when competing and the opportunity to meet other bowlers on a global scale.
“I always get excited as I am extremely passionate,” Commane said. “Nothing [is] better than bowling that perfect strike.”
As is the case with many if not all SCAD artist-athletes, practices and traveling for tournaments eats up time students might need for completing projects and assignments. Commane manages her sport with her studies by making the most of the time she has to work in-class.
“Being a freshman, we are required to complete six hours of study hall each week,” Commane said. “This helps me get out of my dorm room and allows me to focus on my projects. I spend most of my time at night studying and sometimes sacrificing an extra hour of sleep is important to complete tasks.”
Commane’s dream is to be a professional bowler, which means she’s not cutting the sport out of her life anytime soon. For her next tournament, Commane and her team will travel to Fairview Heights, Illinois to compete in the Collegiate Match Games Nov. 25 through Nov. 26.
“An advertising job within the bowling industry could even be at hand for me, but for sure, bowling will remain a part of me,” Commane said. “The team is doing really well. The program won its first-ever tournament a couple of weeks ago in Tampa, Florida. It was very exciting to be a part of. We are currently ranked 17th in the NAIA poll which is higher than last year’s ranking already. We are improving as a team which is exciting.”