By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
It’s no secret that the McNary High School bowling teams bristle at the notion of being “just a club.”
The members of the girls team want it to be known as a sport and they’re taking extra steps to ensure a higher ranking on the spectrum.
“We’ve been working out more before practices doing lunges and stretching and running. People think we’re not an actual sport, but we go home tired at the end of the day,” said senior LeAnne Miller.
“We go up to bowl and our legs are all wobbly,” added Lady Celt Tori Pike.
Last season, the girls team made it to state on a wild card entry when another team pulled out. They surged in the final round of district competition to take third place.
“This year we plan on taking district and then the state title,” Miller said.
To do that, team members will have to rely on each other as much as any other team sport would require. Team cohesion is essential because their games don’t unfold in the traditional manner. High school bowling teams compete in baker style bowling. That means each bowler rolls just one ball and, if any pins are left standing, it’s up to a teammate to clean up the lane. Teams are allowed to make substitutions and can play to their strengths. It also means when one person has a bad day, a teammate can make an enormous impact.
“We’re a lot stronger team this year,” said Brittney Kiser.
Less drama behind-the-scenes will allow the team to focus on being better bowlers, Miller said.
“I think we’ll have a lot more laughs and that will keep us from turning on each other when we’re having a rough game,” Pike said.
In the coming months, the team will face off with other areas high school teams in the run-up to district competition in February. While doing that, they’ll be focusing on improving the fundamental skills necessary for success on the lanes.
“Most of us have trouble with the corner pins, so we’re going to be focusing on that right now,” Miller said.
Pike wanted to see members improve their consistency and hit the right boards on every throw.
The other members of this season’s team are: Hope Placencio, KayLynn Hatfield, Sierra Mo Hurtado, Hannah Russell, Kymmery Marsh and Mariah Lucas.