Hitting the last pin: Girls’ and boys’ varsity bowling teams recap season

Tehreem Shahab, Staff Writer

The bowling team is down to their final turns. Yet the team stays calm.  They laugh and yell out each other’s nicknames. According to junior Brian Robinson, unlike some other bowling teams, they have a good time.

Robinson began bowling as a freshman and has been hooked on it ever since.

“After I tried out, they asked me if I wanted to be on JV because I wasn’t really the best then,” Robinson said. “But after a lot of practice, I’m now second position on varsity and I’ll be captain next year, so I’m really excited about that.”

Last year, the team made it to the state competition, where they bowled against teams from San Antonio and all around Texas. This year the team is working towards making it to state again. Right now the team is in second place in the district with Allen in first place.

“Allen is pretty hard because they have always been the team that can really beat us,” Robinson said. “We also lost to McKinney Boyd once but the last time we bowled against them we swept them. Other than that, we beat everyone else.”

On March 3 and 4, both the girls’ and boys’ varsity teams have regionals at Plano Super Bowl. According to Robinson, the competition is a little nerve-wracking.

“It is always exciting to get there,” Robinson said. “But it takes a lot of work. You have to get up early in the morning and have practice from 7 until school starts. Most people think, ‘Oh, how do you practice for bowling? You just get up there and throw a ball the whole time.’ It’s not really like that; it’s a lot more complicated. There are certain pins that are hard to get, and in practice you throw tons of balls but in games you have to be extremely focused.”

Girls’ varsity captain senior Kimberly Brondeel also believes bowling is not as simple as some may think it is.

“You have to be exact and you have to have a checklist of probably a thousand things, such as bringing up your average or cleaning up a messy pick up, before you throw that ball,” Brondeel said. “Most
people have no idea how hard it is to get the ball to hit the same exact spot with the same swing, every single time.”

Brondeel began bowling her junior year. She had an average of 38 pins when she tried out for the team. This year she bumped her average up to 168 and became captain. The girls’ varsity team played against schools such as McKinney Boyd, whom they won against one time and lost to later on. The same occurred with Plano East. They have lost four matches out of a total of fourteen, played both by JV and varsity.

“It’s awesome being captain of such a successful team,” Brondeel said. “I feel like we’re doing much better than last year. It’s not like we didn’t have any talented people, we just needed to work more like a team and I feel like we are doing that now.”

However, Brondeel said that there are certain times when the pressure gets to the team.

“As soon as you get upset, your game gets bad,” Brondeel said. “Usually I do well but I remember once I was on the 10th frame and whether we won or lost depended on whatever shot I threw. I blew it once and that made me never want to do that bad again, because I disappointed the whole team. I beat myself up for it a lot, but eventually I just practiced and tried to become better at it every day.”

Varsity member junior Caitlin Ramirez has also faced a similar situation.

“Once we were up against Allen and I was down by a couple pins and we were in the 10th frame,” Ramirez said. “I had to bowl a strike to win. We won the game and it was a great accomplishment. I just tried to chill out, bowl well and focus on what was good for me.”

Brondeel and Robinson both hope to bowl in college. Brondeel plans to go to Tulane University and join their bowling team. If possible, she would like to go into professional bowling. Robinson on the other hand, does not want to play professionally.

“I’m okay with being a college bowler, but to be a professional bowler, you have to be unbelievably committed,” Robinson said. “If you want to go into pro-bowling, you have to think about it before going into college. I haven’t even thought about it because it’s too much to handle and if it doesn’t work out then I won’t have anything to back up on.”

According to Robinson, the bowling season as a whole has been okay but enjoyable.

“We’ve both had better years,” Robinson said. “It’s always fun to go out and beat the other team really badly. The Plano team always has a lot of fun people and it always puts me in a good mood to just go out and have fun with friends, yet have that competitive feel. You still have rely on your team and worry about doing well yourself.