Marshalltown bowlers Ray Wiegand, Carson Potter sign on with Iowa Central
When Marshalltown senior bowlers Ray Wiegand and Carson Potter graduate this season, they will be going from one program with a championship pedigree to another.
The Bobcat duo signed their National Letters of Intent to continue their bowling careers at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, a program that is just two years removed from winning an NJCAA title in 2017.
After his signing, Wiegand said he’s ready for what his bowling future holds.
“It definitely feels weird to make that next step in my life,” he said. “It’s a big decision and I didn’t realize how big it was until you really start signing the paper. It kind of hit me that the next couple of years will be spent living at school, but I’m pretty excited. I can’t be more excited to do it with Carson.”
Potter was also enthusiastic about becoming a Triton.
“I am pretty excited for the future,” he said. “I’m really excited to learn more about the game.”
Iowa Central head coach Gregg Haden, who was on hand for the signing last Thursday at Wayward Social, said he’s experienced quite a bit of success with Marshalltown bowlers in his tenure.
“This is a good school, good kids come out of here,” Haden said. “When Brandon Freese and Caleb Hala came out of here three years ago we ended up winning a national title with them. We are hoping we can do the same with Carson and Ray and keep it going for us.”
Bobcat bowling head coach DJ Wilder, who has two boys going to the next level in his first year at the helm, said both Wiegand and Potter have earned their spots on a college roster.
“I think it speaks volumes for the previous coaching staff and the youth program here in town,” Wilder said. “Those two are great kids and Ray is definitely going to do a lot with his bowling career, and Carson is right there with him. It’s a great deal and Iowa Central is very, very lucky to get two accomplished bowlers like this.”
Former MHS boys head coach Roger Taylor Sr., who coached the duo in their first three years of high school competition, said Wiegand and Potter couldn’t have chosen a better place to continue their careers.
“It’s wonderful to see that they want to continue their education and they are going to a school that they can learn what they want to learn and bowl,” Taylor Sr. said. “Iowa Central is a good school for that, they are going to have a lot of great experiences that they are going to remember forever.”
The fact that two Bobcats have already had success with the Tritons, with Freese winning the all-events champion in 2017 when Iowa Central got its first-ever national title, is something that Wiegand said was an influence on his decision.
“Ever since Brandon and Caleb committed there we’ve been talking with the coaches. I’ve been up there on a few visits and I just feel like I fit when I took my visits,” he said. “I really liked the campus and how it’s kind of bigger. I liked the program and I’m excited to try to go get a national championship for sure.”
Potter also said the campus in Fort Dodge felt like a good fit for himself, but he is most excited about sticking with Wiegand.
“Ray has been bowling for a long time but when I started we were right together,” Potter said. “We met in school then he got me into it, now we’ve been bowling for six years straight together.”
Wiegand agreed that continuing his career with one of his closest friends is a dream come true.
“We got to spend four years together and now we get to spend two more, possibly living together in the dorms and it’s going to be a lot of fun for sure,” he said.
Haden said both boys clearly are great out on the lanes, but that’s not the only reason he recruited them.
“As a coach you can look at a person and they might have good mechanics, they might have high scores, but if they don’t have that passion for it they are just going to go through life and rely on their talent,” Haden said. “It takes more than talent, you’ve got to have that passion and that drive, you’ve got to want to get better. As a coach you have to be able to pick out who has passion, and you can see it when Ray and Carson bowl.”
Wilder is excited for the boys and what the future holds for them, but he also said their signing is a great message to other athletes on what their possibilities could be on the lanes.
“I have two teenage boys myself and I constantly tell them, ‘you don’t have to have those big college signing days like basketball and football,'” Wilder said. “There’s tons of things you can do in this world to be successful and get your college paid for or what have you. This is a prime example of that, and that’s why I want to get our youth program built back up so things like this can show you don’t have to be a five-star athlete in football to get some recognition for something. You can do this and be just as successful.”