Jackson’s Sam Mutolo, shown here at Majestic Lanes in Lynnwood on Monday, has made herself into a state-caliber bowler despite being completely self-taught. Mutolo is also a standout softball player for the Timberwolves. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Jackson’s Sam Mutolo, shown here at Majestic Lanes in Lynnwood on Monday, has made herself into a state-caliber bowler despite being completely self-taught. Mutolo is also a standout softball player for the Timberwolves. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Q&A with Jackson’s Sam Mutolo

When Jackson senior Sam Mutolo became interested in bowling three years ago, she went all-in.

“She’s self-taught,” Timberwolves coach Dan Eng said. “She watched videos and found a style she liked. She watched guys bowl at (local) league matches. From there, she just started practicing. She bought a pass to bowl on the weekend and the lanes manager told me she’d bowl up to 20 games at a time. She dedicated herself to bowling 1,000 percent.”

Mutolo qualified for the Class 4A state meet last year and hopes to lead Jackson to a team berth this winter. She’s also a standout softball player, who last Wednesday signed a letter of intent to continue her softball career at Western Washington University.

The Herald recently spoke to Mutolo about bowling, softball and her other interests:

What do you like about bowling?

I actually used to hate bowling. I never wanted to join my friends when they wanted to go. But I started to view it as an actual sport. I watched it on television, and I realized that there’s a lot to it rather than just throwing a ball down a lane. It’s a lot more complicated. Now I like bowling a lot.

What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your athletic career?

Well, I don’t like traveling. My select softball team (Bellevue Blast) is always traveling, and I just hate it — getting to the airport, staying in a hotel, not being able to go home. I like my routines.

Why did you choose to attend Western Washington University?

I wanted to stay in-state, and I like Bellingham. I went to a (softball) camp up there and I had a lot of fun.

What would you like to study in college?

I want to be a high school math teacher. The pre-calculus class that I’m taking now is one of my favorite classes. I like math, it’s like trying to solve a puzzle, you’re trying to find that one number (to arrive at the solution).

You grew up in Arizona before moving to Washington when you were 14. How has that transition been for you?

I definitely like Washington way more than Arizona. You can actually go outside here and not die in 115-degree heat. And I like the rain. It doesn’t bother me, so (the weather) is fine.

When you’re not playing softball, bowling or in school, what are you likely to be doing?

I like to crochet. I’ve been doing it for about three years. (What I work on) depends on my mood. Sometimes I want to make something in one night, so I spend an hour working on headbands or something. Other times I’ll spend a week or two making a blanket, and I just won’t stop. I’ll crochet for four hours straight, get halfway done, then come back later and put in another four hours.

How would you describe your personality?

I like to stay busy. I don’t like not having anything to do. Usually when I jump into something new, after about a month I’ll (decide) I really like it or I’ll stop doing it. If I like something, I’ll (dive in) 100 percent.

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