Jorge Dyksen can roll a bowling ball as if it was thrown by a talented left-hander, with a biting, left-to-right hook.
How the Manchester senior accomplishes is even more impressive since he walks with artificial legs and uses no prostheses on his arms, which end just below the elbows.
Dyksen, 18, had both of his hands and feet amputated when he was an infant living in his native Panama. Though he’d gone bowling with his family only a few times before high school, he caught the attention of Manchester coach Rich Broderick in freshman gym class.
“I’ll never forget it. We were lifting weights in phys ed, and I said, ‘Jorge, I think I know what sport you’re going to play,’ ” Broderick said. “He said, ‘What?’ And I told him, ‘You’re going to bowl. I’m the bowling coach, and you’re on the team.’ ”
The coach offered the invitation after being captivated by Dyksen’s attitude and work ethic in class, and those traits enabled Dyksen to devise a unique delivery method.
“It took me almost my whole freshman year [to figure out],” the 5-foot-6 North Haledon resident said. “I saw all my friends use the curve and thought, ‘I really want to do that.’ So I had to learn how to do it myself, then learn where to place [the ball].”
Dyksen rotates his right arm under the ball and his left over the top to achieve the desired spin. A bit of forward thrust from his right arm propels the ball, which has no finger holes. That method works so well, he even can apply it elsewhere.
“He throws a perfect spiral with a football,” Broderick said. “There’s nothing this kid can’t do.”
On Jan. 22, Dyksen shot a team-best 152 in an NJIC Colonial match, just three pins off the lifetime high of 155 he set while bowling recreationally. He carries a league average near 120, though his impact on the program goes far beyond the scoresheet.