West Press Tries: Bowling

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As soon as I entered Gilmore Lanes on Dixie Highway, all I heard was the clattering and collapsing of bowling pins. With nearly all 25 lanes in use by the Lakota West and Princeton High School bowling teams, the balls were flying in every direction. Well, primarily one direction but the point is there were a lot of them. Most everyone knows the basic rules of bowling: ten pins, ten frames, knock down as many pins as possible per frame, and hope to get a strike. However, not many know of the many strategies and ins and outs of the game. 

Just by attending a single practice,  the knowledge that the individual bowlers on the Lakota West team possess, as well as their commitment to their team, became quite evident. In just a short amount of time, I learned the reasoning behind curving or hooking the ball, the three main types of balls which include reactive, particle and plastic, and a plethora of new bowling lingo. 

One of the most unknown aspects of competitive bowling is that of matches. A typical high school bowling match involves two teams with five bowlers from each competing to get the highest combined score in a contest called Baker’s Game. In Baker’s Game, the two teams go head to head with each of their five bowlers alternating between frames, bowling two each. Senior bowler Austin Clark provided much insight on the matches as a whole as well as West’s ability to compete in each of them. As a four year varsity player, he knows the ins and outs of the program better than any other athlete on the team and is able to compete with the best of them. Another bowler, sophomore Matthew Hollowell, was perhaps the most knowledgeable when it came to bowling tactics, strategies, and facts about the sport. He had a very thorough response for each of the questions I had about pins, balls, or throwing techniques.

Whether you are a fan of bowling itself or just West athletics, be sure to check out a match as Lakota West bowls down their competition.