For the first time in NCAA history, women’s bowling has been recognized as an official sport and FAMU team captain Felecia Hayward is setting high standards for future Rattler bowlers.
In her sophomore year at FAMU, Haywood, 21, a former softball and soccer player, was introduced to bowling by her roommate. She said she realized that bowling was a completely different experience that she thought would be a fun challenge.
“It was extremely difficult getting coached on something I didn’t know how to do,” said Hayward, a senior political science student from Waldorf, Md.
Being a novice didn’t deter her though. In fact, Hayward persisted and did well her first year and was awarded the most improved bowler award. At the end of her junior year, she was named co-captain of the team and received the team’s Sportsmanship award. She is now the FAMU bowling team’s first out of state full-time scholarship recipient.
“She is more of the representative for the team,” said teammate Kristina Leonard, a 21-year-old senior healthcare management student from Winter Haven. “She has dealt well with the coaches and administration.”
Hayward values her teammates and uses them as her source of motivation. Hayward’s being convinced the best teammates and coaches surround her, this group is aiming to accomplish greater things together.
“We bowl as a team not individually, we work as a unit,” Hayward said. “So being captain pushes me to do well.”
Hayward led her team to a second place finish at their first tournament on Sept. 27, bowling an average of 471 in four games, giving the Lady Rattlers a 6-2 record.
“She has taken pride in her bowling,” said head coach Novella Franklin. “From practicing during the offseason to attending clinics, she has worked extremely hard focusing on the game.”