THE HIGH TIDE

No Sparing Success: The FMHS Bowling Team

Gabriel Acosta, Sports Staff

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While sports have always been a significant part of the school’s culture, there have been some sports that have taken a bigger place than others. There’s no question that different types of sports require different types of skills, but all are equally important. Over the last four years, bowling has taken a back seat because most students simply don’t know a ton about it. High Tide reporter Gabe Acosta went to a bowling match and sat down with one of its star players.

 

Walking into a bowling match is akin to stepping into a volcano. The intensity and determination are almost palpable. The atmosphere is intimidating. It’s not how I anticipated spending my Tuesday.  The structure of the matches doesn’t seem to differ from any other sport. There are designated matches on Tuesday and Thursday, there are practices on Wednesday. Team members show up, give each game their all, then go home to play another day.

The bowling team does not actually have a captain in the traditional sense. Upon asking the coaches, I found that there is no official bowling captain. However, after a quick chat with members, one name continually popped up as the bowling captain: James McIver.


The extent of 17-year-old senior James’ skills is obvious,  even to someone who wouldn’t know what a skilled bowler looks like. I was intimidated by strike after strike or spare after spare.  

After being blown away for a while, I knew I had to ask James to sit and answer a few questions.

 

Would you say bowling started out as a hobby, is it a hobby, or does it go deeper than that?

“It’s deeper than that I think. My parents and their parents bowled. My parents actually met at a bowling tournament. I’ve bowled five years now, I’m usually putting in more than fifty hours towards it. Since I was like, 12. I’m going to college for bowling actually. Hopefully, I’ll go pro.

I’m taken aback by this statement. College bowling teams exist – scholarships exist for bowling, there are professional leagues – that sounds like a sport to me.

 

I’m inclined to say that a great number of people wouldn’t see bowling as a sport. I’m inclined to say most people would see it more as a pastime or a hobby.  What do you think sets bowling apart from traditional sports like soccer or golf?

“Well, see, bowling isn’t as physical. It’s kinda like golf, it’s a lot more mental than physical. It’s doing the same thing over and over each time but each time it’s different. You get better. But yeah, it’s more of a mental thing.”

Would you say that your job as the sort of de facto bowling captain is different from that of a captain of any other sport?

“No, it’s not different at all. You’ve gotta keep your team motivated, and give help to those who aren’t as experienced. There’s honestly no difference there if I do something wrong they’ll do something wrong, just like with captains of any sport you’ve got to lead by example. There are lots of parallels there.”

This is the case for everyone, right? Every captain has to lead by example and I doubt this is any different.

 

Tell me some parallels here. I want your reasoning on bowling as a sport. Why is it so?

“You’ve got a hard-working team. You’ve got your captain. You’ve got matches and practice. Games can get intense, but there’s never any bad, bad or hard feelings towards your other team. It’s about having fun while hopefully beating the other team. The roles and like what each team member has to do, that’s all the same. But like, I don’t think it’s anything that has to be proven. It’s a fact.

I think we’re both running a bit short on time here but I think it’s apparent that bowling goes deeper than one would think, right? What do you usually say to people that don’t think it’s a traditional sport, or even a sport at all?

“I usually just ignore them, they don’t change anything.

Is there anything you want to say to those people?

“Prove me wrong.”

 

With a recent score of 300 and a bright future in bowling ahead of him, there’s no doubt that’s exactly what James will do.

 

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