Story and photos by Sarah Melchert.
Doing well at State is a goal for every team, and West’s bowling team is doing just that.
West’s bowling team is more of a club than an official team, and it largely made up of people who “bowl at Summit Lanes” said sophomore Christopher Grimes.
Even though it may not be an official West sport, the bowling team has had some successes in the past.
“Last year we got second at the zone, which is like qualifying for State. Then we got 6th at State and the top 6 got to go to a tournament after that and we actually got second at that one,” Grimes said.
Junior William Sullivan said that was a big success. They got 6th out of 24 teams and were therefore in “we were in the top 25 percent.”
Sullivan said there was another success at State too because they beat Lee’s Summit High School.
“We lost to Lee’s Summit at zone, which is our conference, we got second place in. But we got 6th at State and they got 20th, so we were fine with that,” Sullivan said.
The success last year has thus set a goal for this year- to do well at State again.
Austin Elkins said that one of the main things the team has been doing is practicing more. The bowling team usually practices on Mondays.
Although they have been working towards State with practices, there are still some challenges.
Grimes said he believes the team still needs some practice. “I think we have a better team but at the tournaments so far we’ve gotten like 3rd twice and second once.”
Grimes also said that they need to focus on consistency. “I think being more consistent because we’ll have really good games but then we’ll also have games with 160’s where we should be winning them.”
Elkins said that getting the team members to have higher averages can be a challenge.
Much of the practice is done individually too. Sullivan said that the bowling team bowls in a way called Baker.
“We do what is called baker which means you have 5 bowlers and they bowl twice every game. So you only have to bowl twice,” Sullivan said.
Even though you only bowl twice, there is still some pressure that comes with succeeding and getting to State.
“I think we all put pressure on ourselves to do well,” Grimes said.
Some of this pressure, Grimes said, can be relieved by just focusing on doing the best in the game your bowling.
“I think everyone just needs to focus on themselves and take their time and not worry if they mess up. If you do that you’re not going to do well from then on because you’re just worrying about it,” Grimes said.
Grimes also said that being in a good mindset during the game is helpful for winning too.
“That’s what we need to do- just focus on ourselves and not get mad or worried about what they’re doing.”
Even though there is some pressure and challenges associated with getting to State again, the team remains confident.
Elkins said he isn’t worried for State because they “have a better team this year.”
Grimes is confident that they will place for State in the zone tournament too.
“I think our team has a lot of potential. I think if we keep practicing, if we keep improving, I think we can be really good,” Grimes said.
The team’s main goal is doing well at State, and that goals remains the priority for the future too.
“Since our oldest is a junior we at least have another year with this team, and I still think we are really good at this point,” Grimes said.
But for now focusing on State is the main importance, and the team may be expecting success like last year. Grimes said that he would love for the team to win State, and that’s not just a dream.
“I don’t think that’s too far out of reach. I think that’s definitely possible.”