BY Jackie Wyckoff
ARLINGTON, Texas - The International Bowling Media Association (IBMA) has selected a winner for the $5,000.00 Chuck Pezzano Scholarship, presented by the Billiards and Bowling Institute of America. The award goes to James (Jimmy) Sullivan, who was chosen from among 37 applicants, the most in the 17-year history of the award. The winner was announced at the BPAA Industry Awards Luncheon on June 20, 2017 during International Bowl Expo.
When IBMA President, Keith Hamilton, notified Sullivan that he had won the scholarship, he said, "To say that winning the Chuck Pezzano Scholarship is an honor would be an understatement. I would like to thank my parents, particularly my father, for piquing my interest in bowling at a young age, as well as my teachers and mentors for inspiring me to pursue a career in journalism. Finally, I need to thank my coaches for teaching me the value of teamwork, as well as helping me reach my full potential as a bowler and a person. I am beyond grateful to receive this award and would also like to thank the IBMA for considering me as a candidate."
Sullivan, a high school senior who hails from Dumont, N.J., will be attending Fordham University in the fall. In his essay, he noted the aspects of bowling that drew him to the sport and kept him competing throughout high school. He joined the bowling team at the start of his freshman year. "I was struggling to make new friends, and I was very unsure about life in general as high school began. After meeting the coach and previously knowing some of the members of the bowling team, I decided to become involved," Sullivan said. "I had bowled competitively since the fifth grade but my reasons for joining the Bergen Catholic High School bowling team were less about competition and more about making friends. Bowling afforded that, and I keep in touch with many of the same people I bowled with when I started high school."
Both he and his father were on the Bergen Catholic High School varsity bowling team, approximately 30 years apart. His dad, Sean Sullivan, was actually interviewed by Chuck Pezzano when he won the Bergen County High School Championships.
Sullivan is an avid sports fan and plans on a career in sports journalism. He has hosted a blog since 2014 titled "Sully's World of Sports", sullyonsports.com, where he has an impressive archive of editorials about many professional sports teams.
The scholarship judges' panel for 2017 included teaching professional Royce Clayton, a former San Jose State standout bowler; past Pezzano winners Blair Blumenscheid, Social Media Marketing for Storm Bowling; and Phil Brylow, PBA XtraFrame announcer. Sullivan edged out Kayla Hipp, Fort Smith, Ark. and Jacob Kersten, Clarkston, Mich., by a few points on the judges scale.
The scholarship, which is named after IBMA, USBC and PBA Hall of Fame journalist Chuck Pezzano, is open to any high school senior or college student interested in pursuing a volunteer, full- or part-time career in bowling journalism. Applications will be accepted from January 1 through April 30. To pre-register for the 2018 scholarship award, log on to BowlingMedia.org/scholarships.