That’s Just How They Roll

The Striking Vikings bowling team kicked off their tenth season this winter.

Caroline Fullerton, Eric Sedlacek, and Brevin Turner

Bowling is one of the most, if not the most overlooked sports at West.

However, the number of bowling participants and the number of schools with varsity teams has doubled in the previous five years, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.

West kicked off its tenth season as a varsity sport this season, and hopes to have its strongest season yet.

“We show up and put on our shoes, then we warm up (shoot shots on different lanes), play practice games, and sometimes do competitions,” junior Brian Tines said, “Bowling is a really great thing to do if you’re interested in trying something new. It’s as serious as you make it, and a great way to make new friends.”

Tryouts were held from November 30 to Tuesday December 3 at AMF College Lanes.

“You basically show up and play three games and then the top 12 or 13 highest scorers are the ones that make the team,” Tines said.

The bowling team practices at AMF College Lanes on College Blvd.  Practices are every day Monday-Friday with meets once or twice a week. Players say that bowling is a really good way for them to test their skills while still allowing plenty of time for socializing.

“Bowling is really laid back, you do whatever the heck you want, it’s really fun,” junior Max Cross said, “One of my personal goals for this bowling season are to score over a 220 in a game.”

Most winter sports begin in November or early December. Those sports will last up to the end of February or into the beginning of the Spring sports season.

“It starts out chill and by the end you’re really trying to make the last frames count to add to your team score.” – Reilly McMillan

“The bowling season is actually really short, it’s only from the beginning of January until the end of February,” Tines said.

“There is a boys Junior Varsity and Varsity and the girls have a separate Junior Varsity and Varsity. Teams are never set, you can be moved anytime between Junior Varsity and varsity,” junior Max Cross said.

In other sports, some players who play JV will suit up for varsity, or they will play a little of both. In bowling if you had a streak of a few good games or had a really game you could bowl in the next Varsity meet whenever that is.

“Our first tournament we played Shawnee Mission schools, Blue Valley schools, and schools from Lawrence,” Senior Reilly McMillan said. “The people I get to meet is probably my favorite thing so far. Everyone helps each other. The competitiveness is also fun. It starts out chill and by the end you’re really trying to make the last frames count to add to your team score.”

Their first bowling meet was in Lawrence. The bowling team plays mostly Sunflower League schools and some of the Eastern Kansas League schools.

“We as a team placed in two meets last year, but we’re really hoping to have a strong showing this year. I’m going to try my hardest to achieve my personal goals and attempt to make it to state. I’d like to see a lot of West bowlers make it to state this year, and whether I’m there or not I’ll still be supporting my team.” Tines said

State is in early March, and is played in Wichita.