By Master Sgt. Jeff Walston
913th Airlift Group Public Affairs
Most bowlers step up to the line for the first roll of the game hoping it will be their first “perfect game.”
That was not the case when U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Anthony Szeluga, a loadmaster assigned to the 50th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, shocked the crowd of bowling enthusiasts during a tournament on Oct. 8, 2015, when he bowled a perfect 300. Szeluga was thinking it might be number eight. And, it was.
The final score for the 4-person team was 821, and it was enough for the 50th AS team to take first place in the Session 1 Bowling Tournament.
Asked if he ever considered becoming a professional bowler, Szeluga responded, “I thought about it when I was a kid. However, after I grew up I knew I wasn’t good enough to be a professional.”
The 50th AS team consisted of Szeluga, Senior Airmen Steven Bargmann and Tiffany Raimes, 50th AS crew chief and loadmaster and Cory Wright, 61st AS loadmaster.
Bowling for 22 years, Szeluga’s father started coaching him at the age five and supported by taking him bowling on weekends.
”I have traveled throughout the United States going to youth tournaments and was lucky enough to receive a bowling scholarship to Martin Methodist College, where I was part of the bowling team and earned my bachelor’s degree in history,” Szeluga said.
Passionate about being a loadmaster, Szeluga has no plans of becoming an Air Force officer, even though he has a college degree.
While Szeluga loves what he does, work can still be stressful. CareerCast.com lists “Enlisted Military Personnel” as the #2 of “Most Stressful Jobs of 2015.” A “Military General” is #3. For Szeluga, bowling is stress relief, most of the time.
“Bowling can be either relaxing and enjoyable, or frustrating and unbearable,” Szeluga said. “It all depends on the seriousness of the person. I do not take bowling lightly. For me, the hardest part is the science behind the game; knowing all the little things to adjust to put yourself in a better scoring situation.”
His knowledge and experience of the game are not taken for granted; Szeluga passes the lessons of his father on to others.
“When tournaments approach throughout the year, my key for success is to practice and to have fun,” Szeluga said. “After all, it is just a game. I learned a lot in my youth and today I teach others so they too might have a chance to have some of the opportunities that I did.”