Bowling team strikes interest with students

Abby Schilly and Shu Han

Photographed by Abby Schilly
Captain Austin Gray, senior, practices his swing at West County Lanes on Manchester Road. Gray said he has the highest average score on the team, with an average of 180-185.

It’s after school on a Monday and nine MHS students are heading to practice for their team. But they aren’t practicing on the soccer field or the basketball court; they’re heading to West County Lanes to prepare for the next bowling competition.

The bowling team has been growing since its inception five years ago. Currently, the team consists of nine students, including captain Austin Gray, senior.
Gray was joined the bowling team his freshman year.

“I originally just signed up for it because a guy I knew was on it,” Gray said. “He made me but then I went to practice and saw how fun it was and how fun the people were and then I realized I was good at the sport also so I joined to have fun and because it was something I was good at”
Rob Clemente, sophomore, has been bowling since middle school.

“I was inspired to join bowling because at the time I had nothing to do,” Clemente said. “So for about two months I decided to get my own bowling ball and it started from there.”
The bowling season started on Sept. 27. The team competes in matches against teams from local high schools, with the hope of reaching State and even Nationals.

“Every week, we play against a different high school team in Missouri,” Clemente said. “From there the top four teams go into the Regional Championship and from there into Nationals. The first team actually wins scholarships from the tournament.”

After reaching Regionals last year, the team hopes to improve to State.

Gray said their toughest competition is from private schools, like Vianney.

In bowling, scores can range from 0-300, and points are awarded based on how many pins are knocked down.

“A good score in bowling is anything above 200,” Clemente said. “I typically bowl a 180 average.”

Gray has the highest average score on the team, averaging 180-185. The team practices two times a week at West County Lanes. Monday practices are mandatory, but Thursday practices are optional.

“I want us to take practice seriously and have each other try to help when someone is struggling,” Gray said.

Outside of improving their performance both individually and as a team, the bowling team aims to recruit more students to join the team.

“Our goal this year is to get more members to join,” Clemente said. “Last year we had 70 people sign up to join but only two people joined which is really sad.”

Besides the fun of competing, Clemente said others should join the team because it’s a great opportunity to be part of a team and spend time with friends.

“The best part of being on the team is honestly just seeing all the new faces,” Clemente said. “I’ve made a lot of friends on the team. It’s a nice environment and it’s a lot of fun.”