For some, it’s about getting the opportunity to compete in a varsity sport without all the pressures that are attached to most sports. For others, it’s about the opportunity to excel in a sport that has far too many misconceptions about it.
Regardless of skill level or passion for the sport, high school bowlers are quick to remind people that there more to the sport than just picking up a ball, rolling it and sitting back down.
A lot more.
“It has to do with having a lot of focus,” Collingswood junior Sophy Siv said.
“People think it’s easy to just throw the ball down, but you really have to focus on those pins. This is only my second year playing, but during the match I just like to focus. I’m really competitive and just try to do my best at all times.”
Siv was second on the girls’ team with a 142 average entering Wednesday’s match with West Deptford. One point ahead of her is teammate Alyssa Bradley, who ranks sixth in the Olympic Conference Freedom Division with a 143.9. Bradley said anyone who wants to have success in the sport has to spend time working on his or her game.
“It takes a lot of practice to get used to the lanes and find your marks,” Brandley said. “You have to put the work in to get better.”
Everyone wants to roll a strike with the first ball, but it’s the frames that are closed off with a second ball that often decide a match.
“Each year, I just try to practice getting spares because that’s such a big part of the game,” Brandley said.
Siv and Brandley have been two of the major reasons the Panthers have found some success this season. Collingswood is third in its division with a 9-7 record.
Teammates Emily Madden and Jessie Super have also held their own, posting averages of 136 and 129, respectively.
“I think we are doing really well so far,” said Siv. “I just hope that we keep it up, stay together all the way and be competitive.”
The team is also driven by a desire to outscore each other, which is where some of the fun in the sport comes into play. Each game represents the chance for each individual to have a breakout performance and outshine one of their fellow teammates. The harder they work to outscore each other, the more their scores go up and the better their team results become.
“We all are close here, so we keep it competitive with each other and try to beat our friends,” Brandley said. “It’s a lot of fun, but it is also competitive.”