Boys Bowling: Morgan Park’s Jaccari Brown looking to leave his mark
Updated: December 30, 2011 6:43PM
Watching Morgan Park bowler Jaccari Brown’s languid delivery, one gets the impression that he doesn’t care about the result.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Already a veteran of three state finals, the senior is determined to leave his mark not only on the best bowling program in the Public League, but as one of the top keglers in the state.
“He’s used to bowling a good game,” Morgan Park coach Veodis Pickenpack said. “Sometimes he gets overzealous as far as not making a spare. When he [does not] strike he gets a little excited.”
Brown strikes more often than most. He led Morgan Park to a 14th-place finish at last season’s state meet by taking 40th individually with a pinfall of 2,458 (204.8 average).
Brown puts up those numbers in an unusual way. Whereas many bowlers use a four-step delivery and try to put as much pace on the ball as possible, the left-handed Brown normally takes just two steps before releasing the ball as if unspooling a ball of yarn.
“It’s my own unique style,” Brown said. “It’s kind of like a mistake kind of thing I obtained because when I was younger I used to take for steps to the line. But for some reason I could never finish at the foul line, so I was taught to move forward my freshman year.
“When I tried to take four steps forward I would feel like I was getting too close, so as you could imagine I ended up cutting that in half, so I take two or three steps to the line.”
While the approach isn’t for everyone, it works for Brown, who is mastering the consistency that every bowler seeks. He tied for 10th at the 26-team Vernon Hills invitational on Dec. 3 with a six-game series of 1,272.
Pickenpack says Brown should finish in the top 25 at state this year and Brown is shooting even higher.
“This year I expect to come in first,” Brown said. “Last year I had two bad games, so this year I can’t have any bad games. If I stay on top of my game, make sure everything is at least over 200, I believe I can win.”
Brown has been bowling since he was 9. He was introduced to the sport by his grandfather, James Nelson.
“He was always taking me bowling with him when I was younger,” Brown said. “I always looked at how fun it looked when he did it, so I wanted to do it. So one day I asked him to take me bowling and he’s been pretty much teaching me how to bowl from that point on and that’s how I got to be where I [am].”
Brown, who hopes the Mustangs can become the first Public League team to reach the second day of the state finals (top 12), would like to bowl in college and Pickenpack is trying to secure a scholarship for him.
“A lot of the colleges I want to go to don’t have my major, so if I ever went to a college for my major or minor it would be to join a bowling club,” said Brown, who has a 3.5 GPA and wants to major in graphic design or communications. “My top choice is Southern Illinois. That school has practically everything I need.”