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Jim Roberts, second from left signed an athletic bowling scholarship to Martin Methodist College. Witnessing the signing of the James Clemens senior were Jim's mother Barbara Roberts, far left, Michael Webber, longtime coach, right and Martin Methodist head coach Bob Learn, standing. Photo Contributed

Roberts Signs Bowling Scholarship Becoming City’s First

PULASKI, TENN.- James Clemens senior student-athlete Jim Roberts has signed an athletic scholarship in the sport of bowling becoming the first to do so in the short history of the high school sport among the Madison City Schools. Roberts put his signature to the financial support with Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tenn. during a recent signing ceremony.

“It’s feels special and I’m excited to not only be the first in Madison to do so, but I believe there are others on my teams I bowl on that can do so,” said Roberts, 17.

The son of Barbara Roberts and the late Jim Roberts, the 5-foot-9, 120-pound right-handed bowler took up the sport at age five hitting the lanes with his father, who was a one-time bowler with the Professional Bowlers Association. The father-son duo would bowl as casual outings, but there was a touch of competition the young Roberts noticed and has carried over through the years while continuing to step up to the lanes and learning the facets of the sport.

“I watched YouTube videos and took several years of lessons from Michael Webber at the Madison Bowling Center,” said Roberts.

Upon arriving in Madison in 2007 just months after the passing of his father, Roberts and his mother, who is a disabled veteran after 14 years of service in the U.S. Army, would bowl together as often as possible. His time was split between the lanes in numerous youth leagues and his spot on the James Clemens Marching Band and Concert Band where he played the clarinet. Upon entering his senior year at James Clemens, Roberts chose to concentrate on bowling and left behind the musical portion of his talents.

Listed as the No. 1 player on the Jets boys’ team, Roberts carries a 210 average. He also bowls in two additional leagues while carrying a 3.85 grade point average in the classroom.

Roberts also works in the bowling business spending two nights a week and portions of both Saturdays and Sundays at McCorvey’s Bowling World Pro Shop located in both the Madison Bowling Center and Huntsville’s Pin Palace. “I try and save my money for what I call a backup, especially for college,” added Roberts.

The Martin Methodist RedHawks program is part of the NAIA Div. I and is coached by Bob Learn. Roberts sent video of his own bowling talents to the school and he was soon invited to visit the school. Roberts bowled for Learn in sort of a tryout situation utilizing different patterns and different hand and foot positions on the lanes.

“I immediately committed to the school and soon received an e-mail from Coach Learn with an offer to bowl for the RedHawks,” said Roberts.

The James Clemens team with Roberts on board placed first in the region and fourth in the state during his sophomore year and second in the region and seventh in the state a season ago. The Jets are currently in the midst of their 2018 schedule with the State Tournament coming up in January.

Roberts, who wears an insulin pump as a Type I diabetic, has also fought off tendinitis in both his wrist and bicep. He takes to the lanes utilizing a high-rev rate in his stroke with medium ball speed. Once on the lane, the ball develops a big hook to near perfection for Roberts.

“I’m planning on studying accounting with hopes of working for an accounting firm or for a company as their accountant,” said Roberts, who said he was good with numbers and watches those numbers add up with each roll of the ball down the lanes towards a college education.

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