By Perry Bell Sports Editor
The Journal Express
---- — Knoxville senior MacKenzie Boyd, daughter of Lisa and Trevor Boyd, of Knoxville, signed a scholarship letter-of-intent to bowl for William Penn College in Oskaloosa.
On hand for the college signing at the Knoxville High School inside the library was William Penn Bowling Coach Mark Van Wyk.
The bowling program at William Penn will be entering year five next season.
“I’ll look to sign anywhere from five to seven girls and seven to 10 men,” Van Wyk said.
The William Penn bowling roster has 35 to 40 athletes on the two teams combined.
What does Van Wyk look for when he offers a college scholarship?
“I look for athletes who are coachable and have a certain style of game that is not normal to league patterns,” he said.
“Spares are a premium in college,” Van Wyk said.
“When MacKenzie came for her visit, she listened to suggestions, worked hard at it and I know she will be very coachable. She wants to get better and learn,” Van Wyk replied.
Van Wyk said the college bowling schedule will take the team around the country, as far away as Las Vegas.
The William Penn bowling program has been a two-time national qualifier for both its men’s and women’s programs. The school has already produced three All-Americans.
MacKenzie said she looks at attending Indian Hills before she was offered in the sport of bowling.
She also considered Grandview, but didn’t feel it was the right fit.
“When I visited William Penn it felt like I was at home. I had a good vibe about the campus,” MacKenzie said.
According to MacKenzie she plans on taking a lot of science courses to pursue a study into physical therapy.
MacKenzie has worked hard to earn the scholarship offer to become a Lady Statesmen. MacKenzie said when she first went out for bowling, she didn’t even know how to hold the ball.
The 2013 Knoxville Panther bowling team qualified for the state tournament for the first time in school history. The state meet was delayed for three weeks due to inclement winter weather.
The wait was worth the time as the Panthers finished seventh at state. MacKenzie was the lone senior on the state team.
Lisa talked about what her daughter has gone through. “I believe it was God’s plan giving her an opportunity in bowling. She spent 10 years working on softball,” Lisa stated.
In regards to her emotions on the signing, MacKenzie replied, “I want to cry now, It would be both happy and sad tears.”
“I’m done with school and starting to move on to a new chapter in my life. I want to thank Coach Van Wyk for the opportunity,” MacKenzie said.
Lisa stated, “I’m excited for MacKenzie. She’s had a tough time with sports and she’s tried a lot of them, soccer, track, Volleyball, basketball and softball. She is so determined to be the best. Bowling just seemed to be the perfect fit for her.”
MacKenzie’s dad, Trevor added, “I’m excited for her also. She has worked very hard in life and particularly in sports. I had the privilege of coaching her along the way in softball, we have a very close bond.”
Trevor replied, “It’s a sad day for me,” as he was choking back tears.
“It’s also a very happy day,” he commented. “I’ve been there for her all the way and there are many good memories.”
“I really think she’ll go far,” Trevor said.