Schoener plans to keep on rollin’ at Shawnee State

Published 9:40 pm Saturday, April 15, 2023

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ senior bowler signed a letter-of-intent with the Shawnee State Bears on Friday. Attending the signing ceremony were: seated left to right, sister Barbie Schoener, mother Debbie Schoener, Andy and father Greg Schoener; standing left to right, Shawnee State assistant coach Janie Sturgell, Ironton head coach Steve Cartmell and SSU head coach Bryan Sturgell. (Tim Gearhart Sports Photo for The Ironton Tribune)

By Jim Walker

As country singing legend Shania Twain once sang, “I Ain’t No Quitter.”

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When Andy Schoener started his Ironton Fighting Tigers bowling career as a freshman, he wasn’t sure where the sport would take him or if he would even  continue.

Ironton’s Andy Schoener

But he did continue and he plans to extend it even more after signing a letter-of-intent with the Shawnee State Bears on Friday.

“I knew it was a good start in the college feel plus it has bowling and I didn’t want to let that go,” said Schoner.

“I spent the last four years really trying to get as much as I could out of bowling. I hate the idea of graduating and having to leave it. It’s great to move on to a new team and still be part of it.”

Schoener said he has put in a lot of work the past four years trying to improve his game and help his team win.

As a member of the Ironton bowling team that qualified for the program’s first state tournament appearance.

Schoener rolled a 556 at the state meet which placed him No. 43 among 201 bowlers.

“The hard work I’ve put into (bowling) has paid off, but I think that college is going to be the same or even more. I have the same work ethic going into it and I think I can take an even bigger step in getting better being part of a college team,” said Schoener.

“I just want to stay focused and accomplish my dream. It’s what I really want. I don’t want to give up on it because I’m scared. I just want to go after my teams.”

Schoener comes from a running pedigree. His father Greg and uncles David and Stephen all ran cross country and track for Ironton. Andy ran track in middle school and as a freshman and then stuck with cross country only he picked up bowling his freshman year.

Schoener said cross country help

“Running is 100 percent a mental game and also 100 percent being in shape,” said Schoener. “I think the mental game goes into bowling, too. You have to stay focused. You have to throw a 15-pound ball 12 times and in the same spot every single time and that takes a lot of mental focus. So, the focus in both sports meet.”

While recruiting recent signee Blake Landers of Coal Grove, Shawnee State head coach Bryan Sturgell was introduced to Schoner. The two talked about what steps Schoener had to take in order to attend SSU and when Landers made an official visit, Schoener tagged along.

“He talked with some of our players and he really fit in,” said Sturgell. “He likes the game and there’s a lot of potential we see there, so we said we’re willing to take a shot if we have what you want to pursue in your academics. We offered him on the spot and he said ‘yeah.’”

Since the offer, Sturgell has watched Schoener bowl and gotten to know him better personally. Sturgell said talking with Schoener only solidified the decision to add him to the team.

“He’s a great kid. He kind of pick (the game) up and we’re excited. We have a lot of fun, we push each other,” said Sturgell.

“He seems really excited. I know we’re going to get a great effort from him and that’s all I can ask our of him. He’s going to learn. He’s always in here bowling, so I don’t have any concerns.”

Schoener plans to major in computer aided design and manufacturing and possibly something in music.