By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
While some may consider them “just a club,” the McNary High School girl’s bowling team has a rep to protect.
“We want to show people that we’re returning and we’re strong. Some people hate on us because we’re known, but it’s because we’re good,” said returning junior Vanessa Garza.
Last year, the team gained entry to the state tournament as a wild card and eked out a fifth place finish.
“We had some conflicts last year, but I think we have a stronger team and we can take the state title this year,” said junior LeAnne Miller.
The team had just enough members to participate in tournaments last year, but a 10-Celt turnout has its ranks overflowing this year.
“With that few we didn’t have anybody to rotate in or out. This year, a lot of people will get more time to play and we won’t get tired,” Miller said.
Coach Kathy Kaplan was elated to have so many enthusiastic participants turn out for practices this season, “It’s going to be a building year and a learning team, but it’s great to have so many brand new girls interested in bowling.”
The team competes in baker style bowling in which team members roll one ball and, if any pins are left standing, it’s up to a teammate to clean up the lane. Teams can play to their strengths as individual bowlers because they can rely on each other when they’re not rolling strikes on every ball.
“It’s about the team and it really depends on the mood of everyone and we feed off each other’s moods,” Miller said. “I would rather no one get down on themselves because of one bad ball because there’s others to recover you.”
While the tournaments have yet to start, senior Ashley Mayne was eager to see the team leave it all on the lane. “I’m excited to see how far we go and and to get everybody involved in the tournaments,” Mayne said.
Garza and Miller said the team still had lots of room for growth and that picking up spares will be a key to success.
“We need to be able to finish a frame well and not just have one good ball that each person can throw,” Garza said.
Bowling, after all, isn’t as easy as it looks, said Mayne, “You have to know your marks, bend your knees, set your feet and follow through.”