It’s the game that has people voluntarily picking up weights, it’s the perfect excuse to eat greasy food, it’s everyone’s favorite family game night outing, and it’s now Nebraska’s newest NSAA competitive sport. Bowling has rolled its way into 32 schools across the state this year, including Marian.
“The schools proposed to have bowling as an organized sanctioned sport through the NSAA legislative process and the schools voted it in,” said NSAA Assistant Director Dan Masters, who is in charge of bowling and headed the committee to create the sport.
“The first thing our committee dove into was deciding on which governing rules body we would follow, and we decided to follow the United States Bowling Congress at bowl.com,” Masters said.
With this being the first season of the sport, the Marian bowling team’s future truly can’t be predicted.
“We had 12 try out and decided to keep all 12 because of COVID this year and people having to quarantine and things like that,” said Marian bowling coach Mr. Chris Dziadus.
“When they asked if it would become a sport here at Marian Athletic Director Ms. Rohlfs also asked if anybody would be interested in coaching, and I told her that I would. I did bowl in a league for two years a long time ago. We did not have bowling when I was in high school, just recreational,” Dziadus said. Most of the team’s experience has also been recreational.
“I grew up bowling with my cousins all the time. However, I never thought of competing or playing it as a sport. I had only ever played for fun!” said senior bowler Molly Griffin, who started the season with the highest score.
“For tryouts, no one knew what to expect since bowling is a new sport at Marian. I was a little nervous, but thought I would just go out and if it was meant to be, it was meant to be….I couldn’t remember a time when I had ever bowled over 100. But, in both games I bowled over 100 at tryouts,” Griffin said.
Senior bowler Emma Gunn also surprised herself with her skills on Wednesday, Dec. 2. “I never thought I would get a turkey, which is three strikes in a row, and somehow I ended with five! It was a crazy experience, but the way the rest of the girls were cheering me on and were so happy for me felt really special. It’s such a fun thing to do after school, and I love our small team!” Gunn said.
“We go to Maplewood Lanes after school and bowl from 3:30-5, one or two times a week. We usually get in about three games. It is really fun because it’s a nice break from school work! We chat and bowl and try to improve our scores. Also, each practice determines who goes to the duals so it’s important to score the highest you can,” Griffin said. The team bowls its top five bowlers at each dual. Their first dual was on Thursday, Dec. 3 against Westside, who defeated the Crusaders 9-2.