Bowling teams place at State

The men’s bowling team placed third, and the women’s team placed sixth at State on Feb. 24 at Cadillac XBC in Waterloo.  

Juniors Matthew Swanson got fourth and Ryan Venem got seventh overall. 

At bowling meets, each player plays two games, and the team plays a Baker game where each team member plays two rounds.  

Both teams had external setbacks, but they both continued to fight, with State as a goal. “Obviously with the fire at Maple toward\ the end of the season, it threw a major monkey wrench in our practice schedule as well as costing us some of our equipment. However, even with that, the men’s team won its division and both girls and boys teams qualified for the state tournament,” men’s coach Brad Baker said. 

The men had set their eyes on placing top three at State, specifically defeating the top rated team who won the tournament last year, Waterloo West. 

 Senior team captain Sofia Munoz said her coach Scott Holman, “at the beginning of the season … made the goal for the team to make it to State, and I just about rolled my eyes,” she said. “Knowing that it had been decades since our team went to State, I thought that was an unattainable goal. Once we won our conference and placed in our region, that goal started to become more and more realistic, and just making it to State was more than I could have imagined.” 

Both teams said they feel proud of how the meet went. “We were maybe a little disappointed that we didn’t win, but we made a big move during the Baker round and passed three teams to end up in third place,” Baker said. 

Senior Will Nickey said the team was focused on the competition. “We knew there were going to be a bunch of good teams there, and if we wanted to compete we would have to go out and bowl the best we had all season,” he said. They about did that. “I think we bowled our third highest score all season.

“Ater State, me and Nick hugged each other real hard because we had both been there since freshman year, so we’ve been there from the start. It was really emotional afterward,” senior Stanley Adix said.

“I honestly didn’t have expectations for State. I went into it being in awe to even make it, so my philosophy for the tournament was to leave senior season with a bang and be the best teammate and captain I could. I am more than proud of how our team did,” Munoz said. 

Steering the teams to success, was their coaches. “My job is mostly to help them spot things in their approach that they need to work on in order to stay consistent,” Baker said.  “Bowling is about being able to reproduce the best shot you can every time that you are up. It depends a lot on muscle memory and your ability to focus on hitting your spot on the lane correctly each time. My biggest responsibility is making sure our team is mentally and physically prepared before they step on the lane to throw their shot. “

”During meets, our coaches can see things that we can’t, like our release, if we approach the lane in a straight line, things like that. Those small details are what makes or breaks your frame, and having them there to notice those details is vital,” Munoz said. 

The men’s and women’s teams are graduating a lot of senior bowlers, but the teams are looking forward to the talent the younger bowlers will bring next year. “I think the development of some of our younger bowlers went well, and I hope that continues on to next year. We are graduating quite a few seniors and will need some younger bowlers to step up next year to take those roles,” Baker said. 

“It’s weird to think about because bowling has been such a big part of my life for the last four years, and now it kind of abruptly stops being such a big part of my life,” Nickey said. “I’m sad that I won’t be able to bowl anymore, but I’m excited to see what the underclassmen can do next year.”

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