Varsity girls bowling doubles in size after tryouts

Varsity girls bowling prepares to strike down the competition

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Huntley’s girls bowling aims for state with their 2021 team doubling in size. (ShareAlike 2.0 Generic CC BY-SA 2.0)

Sara Gebka

Rows of lanes reaching from one end of the room to the other stretch themselves out; their glossy finish reflects the bright lights which hang overhead. A set of 10 bowling pins sits at the end of each lane; their yellowed coating was worn from constantly being hit. As each bowling ball rushes towards them, the same reminiscent, yet musical sound can be heard.

Ping.

Earlier this week, varsity girls bowling held tryouts from Nov. 15 to Nov. 17 from 3 to 4:15 p.m. Practices will occur every day after school at the same time, just like with their tryouts. During those three days, seven new bowlers joined the team while five returned from the previous year.

Of the five returning bowlers there are senior Kayla Sass and juniors Taylor Dulson and Grace Lehmann.

All three of these returning bowlers joined the team during their freshmen years, all with a similar reason: to improve their bowling skills and to be with their friends.

“I decided to join bowling because I happened to be good friends with upperclassmen who were in the bowling team at the time, and it sounded like a fun activity that could keep me active and engaged,” Dulson said.

Sophomore JazzAre Thompson and freshman Erica Debello are some of the team’s newest recruits.

“The environment during tryouts was amazing. The girls who’re there are all really nice and welcoming. The coaches are really nice and supportive. So far it has been such a great experience for me,” Debello said.

Debello had been bowling since she was 4 years old, starting off as a fun hobby but becoming more serious as she grew older.

“I decided to join the girls bowling team since I thought it would be a fun experience to bowl against other schools and to meet new people,” Debello said. “[Bowling is] something I always look forward to doing.”

Thompson has been bowling from time to time as a hobby; it is her first time bowling from a team. During tryouts, Thompson was able to get to know her teammates and coaches better.

“Everyone introduced themselves and we got to know everyone. After that, my friend and I picked a lane and went bowling,” Thompson said. “During that time they were teaching us new ways to aim the ball towards the pin which made us improve.”

Kim Fekete is one of the bowling coaches on the team. It is their seventh year coaching and they hope that the team is able to get to state during this season.

According to Fekete, the team has gotten close to moving onto state during their 2020 season, which had to be moved from November through February to January through March.

“We had practice like normal, just with the added precautions like one to a lane, masks, and temperature checks. It was a little weird as we couldn’t have any spectators during the time for our games, but we were all just happy to be able to have something normal again during the pandemic,” Lehmann said.

According to Dulson, only six members were on the team, which was less than half the size of the team during her freshman year.

Even with the difficulties from the year before, the bowlers on the team were able to bond, improve their skills, and enjoy themselves while they played; and hopefully, this year, these components that hold the team together will continue as they progress through the season.

“I highly suggest joining something even if you’re slightly unsure. I was a little nervous about joining bowling freshman year, but I’m glad I did!” Lehmann said.