Story by Tamara Tiethoff, The Saint Reporter
Photo Courtesy of Andris Visockis
As the ball rolls down the lane the crowd waits with anticipation for the pins to fall. Loud cheers ring through the alley when all ten pins fall giving the bowler a strike. For those on the Aquinas College Bowling Team their passion for the sport is undeniable. Although many of the players were recruited, tryouts were also held in early September. Since the season is just beginning, the teams are working hard to get ready for their upcoming tournaments by emphasizing basics and drills. Each individual player is focusing on the small details like their style and technique that need to be perfected. However, the teams as a whole are working on things as well. The girls team is placing a big focus on bonding right now.
“There is no individuality. College bowling is team oriented,” explained girls bowling coach Marliss Tapp.
Coach Tapp emphasized the importance of having a close-knit team. When one player throws a bad shot it is up to their teammates to pick them back up again.
“[My favorite part about the team]” is the camaraderie between all of us. We all get along and always have fun at practices,” said senior Allie Neal.
Although the score at the end of the day counts, Tapp wants them to have had a fun time and be remembered as a team who encourages.
“I want them to be champions of character,” said Tapp.
Along with encouraging each other, she hopes the team will be supportive and encouraging to other teams as well. She loves the way the girls have interacted with each other thus far and believes they will not have a problem succeeding this year.
“We have one of the best teams that we have ever had,” stated Tapp.
Both the boys and the girls teams are excited to see what the season has in store for them. For some of the new players on the team the upcoming season will be a new learning experience for them.
“I’m just excited for the experience of next level bowling,” said freshman Casey Gwell.
Others that have been on the team for a longer period of time are excited for the new memories that will be created during the season.
“[One of my favorite parts] is making friends and going on the trips [during tournaments],” said senior Dakota Neff.
The tight bond between the bowlers has proved to come in handy. Last year, the boys team won the WHAC Championship conference tournament and plans to do so again this year.
“Our ultimate goal is to earn enough points to improve on our national ranking enough to get invited to the USBC Sectionals then hopefully bowl our way to Nationals,” explained boys bowling coach Charles Tapp.
Both teams know they are in for a difficult season. Many don’t realize how many different conditions go into bowling. The oil pattern on the lane is constantly changing. The type of lane, synthetic or wood or guardian. Each new ally is basically an invisible playing field. If you would like to come out and support the bowling team this season their first tournament is October 10 at Star Lanes in Sterling Heights, Michigan. The first home tournament is November 7 at Westgate Bowl.