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Westmoreland County Senior Spotlight: Latrobe’s Robbie Phillips


Monday, February 5, 2024 | 9:18 AM

With a 219, Latrobe senior bowler Robbie Phillips has the second-best average in the WPIBL East-Southeast Division.

That didn’t happen by accident.

“I set a goal for myself, to raise my average by at least five pins, and I have crushed that goal so far,” Phillips said. “I raised my average by 15 pins, having finished with a 204 average last year.”

That average includes his highest score ever — a 299, a single pin off from a perfect game.

So what was going through Phillips’ head during that game?

“Honestly, the nerves kicked in during the ninth frame. After I got that, I was locked in,” he said. “All I had to do was throw three good shots for perfection, and I did. But I just got unlucky, I hit the pocket and left a 9 pin.”

Even with the near miss, Phillips remains confident that a 300 is not too far in the future.

He placed seventh at the WCCA championships recently, a competition he placed top three in last year.

Even with that drop in placement, Phillips sees the positives.

“I can’t say I’m proud of my performance, but It could’ve been worse,” Phillips said. “I walked in there on that Saturday morning feeling like a million bucks.”

Right around the corner are the WPIBL team championships (Feb. 14) and singles championships (March 1).

Last year, Phillips placed 15th in singles, and Latrobe placed fifth at the team competition.

“I hope to obviously place higher at championships this year. Considering I’m a much better bowler than I was last year, I have high hopes,” Phillips said. “Championships bring up so many opportunities, a lot of D-I bowling scouts show up and look for incoming graduating bowlers, so I hope to get a few offers.”

Phillips plans to take a year off to come back to coach on the high school bowling team and will be building his photo and video business that he’s owned and run on his own for about two years.

This week, Phillips took some time for a Senior Spotlight Q&A:

How did you get started with bowling?

Well, my parents actually met in a bowling alley, so when me and my brother were young, bowling was our thing as a family. Through seventh and eighth grade, I participated in a youth league but never took it seriously until I joined the team my freshman year.

Latrobe has a 4-5 record through Jan. 28. How would you describe your team’s performance this season?

I believe we as a team can do better than we have been. The team communication this year has been off, which made us get off to a rocky start. Being in third is scary, as only the top two teams from each section make it through to regional qualifiers. But there are a few other ways we can still make it, so we are fighting for that spot now.

How do you try to keep the team aspect in bowling?

During matches, I don’t think anybody individualizes themselves, which is key to having a great team morale. We cheer each other on after every shot and don’t let anybody get in their head.

What advice would you give to amateur or young bowlers?

Practice literally makes perfect. I know it’s cliche, but if you don’t practice, you will not get any better. It’s a sport that you have to put a lot of time into, and there’s more to it than people think. There are hundreds of PBA and professional bowlers who create content on YouTube. And it’s very easy to pick up small things off of them to improve your game.

What is one thing that people may not know about you?

I actually have been writing songs for about four years. I’ve released many songs on Spotify, Apple Music and other platforms. I’ve gathered tens of thousands of streams and a few hundred dollars of revenue. I’ve always loved music. It’s a huge part of my life. Making songs has been a hobby of mine ever since I was young. And I continue to this day.

Tags: Latrobe

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