Prep Sports

Bowling brings Xavier's Russ, Marcus Camacho closer

HS journalism: Father-son, coach-athlete bond over sport

Cedar Rapids Xavier bowling coach Russ Camacho talks to his team during a dual at the Cedar Rapids Bowling Center in Nov
Cedar Rapids Xavier bowling coach Russ Camacho talks to his team during a dual at the Cedar Rapids Bowling Center in November. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Someone once said “there is no greater bond than the one between a father and a son — strong, unyielding, everlasting.”

This remains true for Russ Camacho, Xavier science teacher and head bowling coach, and his son, Marcus, a freshman. Their bond has been formed in a unique way, through bowling.

“Bowling has helped us grow closer and has given me an opportunity to help Marcus learn to overcome a different type of adversity,” Coach Camacho said.

Coach Camacho plays the role of not only a father, but coach, too. It gives him the chance to witness and support his son’s growth.

“Now that Marcus is on the team, I get the opportunity to see him overcome struggles and experience success,” Coach Camacho said. “These experiences help me gain a better understanding of how his mind works and helps me discover ways to help him that I would not have if he was not out for a sport I coach.”

Marcus said he finds joy in the little things.

“It’s nice having him as a coach because I don’t have to wait to be picked up anymore,” Marcus said.

Bowling is something Marcus has enjoyed since he was young.

“I don’t remember when I started bowling but I know I’ve been doing it for fun for a long time and only recently started getting serious about it,” Marcus said.

The sport has allowed them to share the same hobby. Coach wants to help his son succeed.

“I also want them (all his children) to understand the importance of hard work and how that can help them throughout their life,” Coach Camacho said.

The work that he has put in to help his son improve has made a positive impact on Marcus.

“My dad has helped me refine my form and score higher,” Marcus said. “Having my dad be a part of it is nice because he definitely knows what he is talking about and is passionate about it.”

Although it seems their journey together has been easy, it took a lot of sacrifice from Coach Camacho just to have his son attend the school where he works.

“I have worked for many years to make sure that Marcus comes to school at Xavier,” Coach Camacho said. “I believe in every fiber of my being that Xavier is the best school in the area not only athletically, but academically. Xavier gives him the best opportunities to compete at and to make a contribution to his teams.

“This is going to sound a little cliche, but having my son represent the school that I love is a dream come true.”

Marcus believes Xavier is a good fit for him, especially academically.

“It’s a better education and it’s more personalized and easy to talk to teachers,” Marcus said. “It will prepare me for later in life and help me gain responsibility.”

The love they share for Xavier and the sport of bowling has brought about a competitive spirit between the two.

“I like to think that I’m the better bowler, but from a form and consistency standpoint, he is probably better,” Marcus said.

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Coach Camacho agrees, believing he is the better bowler right now, but has high hopes in his son’s potential.

“It is me. Hands down,” Coach Camacho said. “I have about 23 years of experience on him, but I could see him developing into a really good bowler if he stays with it and wants to continue to improve.”

The sport of bowling has brought the two closer and has given them opportunities to experience growth, passion and love for one another.

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