Bowling Rolls into Regionals, State

Luke Wienecke

As regionals approach, the Bowling team prepares to make a run towards the program’s third state championship match. And when looking back on the season, these bowlers show a true love of the game. 

“I love the adrenaline I get when I see the ball flyin 20 miles per hour towards those pins,” junior Gavin Johnson said.

The rest of the team can attest to this excitement. From 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday evenings, one need not look any further than Heritage Lanes for a spirited and supportive experience. 

“I love how we’ve come together as a team and made new friends,” junior Jackson Edmonds said.

Each match, the squad pursues victory using what is called the Baker format, where the top five bowlers on the team, the varsity, each bowl two frames that are equally spaced apart. This means one player will bowl frame one and six, and the next, frame two and seven and so on. The fifth bowler is often the most experienced and consistent, as he or she will bowl the final frame. This leadership position is held by Junior Cade McNeil who, as Coach Alex Genheimer says, has shown “a consistently positive and encouraging attitude towards all other members of the team”.

But Irish bowling is open to all skill levels. Anyone with a little time to spare can try his or her hand at practices on Thursdays.

“Although it is a competitive sport, and ultimately, we want to qualify for the state game, everyone can bowl. Even the players that don’t end up making the regional team can still show up every Thursday and have fun with all the other bowlers,” Genheimer said. 

As the season rolls onward, the top five bowlers who make up the regional team have a singular focus on the Feb. 22 regional tournament. Around 20 teams, regardless of the size of the school, will each bowl eight games to determine the seeding of the regional bracket. With the seeding in a standard 16-game format, each team will duke it out one on one, to see who the final two state participants will be. That’s correct, only two teams make it to that final match on Feb. 29, but Genheimer is optimistic.

“We have qualified to state two times since I’ve been the bowling sponsor at McGuinness, and I believe we have another shot this year.”