Girls’ Bowling Team Strikes A Successful Season


PHS girls bowling team (2015-2016)

Rachel Smith, A&E/Opinions Editor

With winter nearly over and spring almost here, the bowling season has concluded. This year’s season, coached by Kristy and Rick Witcher, went extremely well, even with only four players on the team: Megan Crane, Olivia Ramirez, Isabel Forsell, and Kayla Murray. Each player bowled with scores ranging from the 120’s-180’s. Due to the small number of players, Peninsula combined with North Mason in order to qualify as a team, but the Peninsula girls were still forced to bowl in singles.

Despite this setback, the overall team atmosphere held true to what PHS is known for- its positivity.

“It was sisterly; no matter what each other’s interest, there were no girls that were singled out or cast out. Within the first two to three practices everyone knew each other’s names, interests, and personalities. No matter how good or bad you were doing during a match, it was all just an accepting and happy environment,” said Crane.

Though bowling is considered a sport, it is very different from many of the activities offered at PHS. The bowling team emphasizes practice and improvement in an uplifting atmosphere that is more focused on fun and growth than on competition, making  the incorporation of both Peninsula and North Masons’ team that much easier.

“I have a pretty good group, with 10 or so on Facebook from North Mason. There are two or three of them that I am pretty close with and still talk on the phone with,” said Forsell. “Not all sports have to be about that competitive rivalry; there can be friendships too, and bowling is definitely one of those sports where is is easier to develop friendships.”

In fact, this friendly atmosphere is just what prompted a majority of the players to decide to join.

“I’ve always loved baseball and soccer, but I never really got along with other girls in the sports. It was all about the game, never the fun. But my friend Isabel was on the team last year, and she invited me to join,” said Crane. “From day one, it was like learning a new skill. It was so much fun and even if I got a gutter or no pins at all, the girls were always cheering and telling me I was doing fine. I joined because I wanted to play a sport that wasn’t all about competition.”

Crane, who joined upon Forsell’s request, returned the favor by asking Ramirez to join the team.

“This year’s season was so amazing, it was so much fun with the people you meet, the friendships you make, and going to the matches and cheering on your teammates,” said Ramirez.

The friendly, fun, and overall uplifting team environment does not exclude competitiveness; it just presents it in a positive manner that has paid off.  All of the girls went on to play leagues.

“Imagine an entire bowling alley, completely full of girls there to just bowl, and it’s louder than the commons at lunch. However, when you are there with your team, you’re in your own world and don’t necessarily pay attention to the other teams. Only yours. And if your team makes the top 6, or you as an individual make the top 10 best, then you advance to state,” said Crane.

At leagues, the girls played their hardest. Unfortunately, since the girls were forced to bowl as single players instead of as a team, Murray was the only member to make it to districts, along with North Mason’s team.

“Just before we started the district match, I was worried about my performance,” said Murray.

However, Murray had no reason to worry; with the support of family members and friends, she placed 10th at districts, narrowly missing a spot in the top eight that continue on to state.

Overall, the girls’ season was successful because the team incorporated a positive atmosphere and a hard working attitude. With the exception of Forsell (who completed her fourth season this year), this season was all of the girls’ second season. The past experience as a group helped the team in terms of bonding and working together, but sadly, three of the four players are seniors, leaving Ramirez, a sophomore, as the only returning member. Because of this, Ramirez is actively seeking new participants for next year’s upcoming season.

“I know that next year I have to work extra hard to recruit more girls for the team, considering the fact everyone graduated this year. It’s an experience- you create friendships with all the girls and it’s a great way to spend your fall,” said Ramirez.