Bowlers still have time to roll

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 20:00
Prep coaches say they’ll welcome new bowlers
Eagle River’s Destine Rainer uses a little body English to pick up a spare during the Wolves’ 21-9 win over West on Nov. 17.

Though the season has been rolling for a month now, local high school bowling teams would be more than happy to welcome new members.

“We’ll take more kids any time,” said Eagle River coach Lynn Kocher.

With just 14 bowlers in her program this season, Kocher said she’d love to see some new faces at practice.

“It’s the smallest turnout I’ve had,” she said.

Though Eagle River’s squad is small, the Wolves are one of the Anchorage Scholastic Bowling League’s top squads. They proved that again on Thursday, Nov. 17 with a sweep of West at the Eagle River Bowl. Eagle River’s boys team crushed the Eagles 29-1, while the girls put a 21-9 beating on their opponents. Josh Bogowith had a 205 to post the top individual score for the Wolves’ boys, while Destinie Rainer posted a 170 for the top individual girls’ score.

Both teams currently sit in second place in the league, trailing only powerhouse Dimond, which also picked up a pair of lopsided wins on the 17th.

“It’s hard to catch ‘em when they won’t stand still,” Kocher said of the mightly Lynx.

Eagle River has an experienced squad. Four seniors lead the six-member girls team, while all but one of the team’s eight boys are returning bowlers.

“I’ve known most of these kids since they were seven or eight years old,” she said.

But while the majority of her squad is made up of longtime rollers, Kocher said there’s still a place for beginners on the team. The team’s twice-weekly practice times are free, and Kocher said Eagle River Bowl owner Lynn Lythgoe Jr. gives high school bowlers passes for three free games each week.

“He’s hoping they will stick with the sport until they become adults,” she said of Lithgoe’s generous lane allowance.

Over at Chugiak, the Mustangs are even more desperate for new blood. This year’s team has just four boys and six girls, said assistant coach Teri Schneider.

“We really are having a rebuilding year,” said Schneider, whose team graduated eight seniors a year ago.

So far this season, both Chugiak teams are in eighth place in the ASBL, and both took tough losses on the 17th. The boys team fell 25-5 to Bartlett, while the girls dropped a 27.5-2.5 decision to the Golden Bears. Steve Wehr had the hot hand in individual play for Chugiak with a 175, while Mariah Schiefer shot a 160 to lead the Chugiak girls in individual scoring.

Despite the losses, Chugiak’s team was all smiles throughout the match, often exchanging high-fives and grins as they took their turns on the lanes. With the laid-back atmosphere of the sport, the event looked more like a Saturday afternoon outing than a competitive high school sport.

“They really do have a good time bowling,” she said.

No prior experience is needed to join a high school bowling team. Anyone wishing to go out for the sport can simply contact their school’s activities office or talk to someone on the team.


Contact Matt Tunseth at 694-2727 or [email protected]

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