Bowling season started Nov. 20 with the McNick Teams facing off against Chaminade Julienne High School at Cherry Grove Lanes. The Bowling Teams compete in matches two to three times a week, and the bowling season lasts through January. The next game for the bowlers is Jan. 9 against Roger Bacon at Colerain Bowl.
Brian Combs is the Boys’ and Girls’ Head Bowling Coach and has been coaching for seven years. He said that he enjoys teaching bowling because it brings together a number of people with different backgrounds. “While being a good athlete helps with bowling, it is not a requirement as with some other sports. The greatest satisfaction I receive is watching players develop from their freshman year to their senior season,” Combs said. He added that he has seniors who have raised their bowling average over 100 pins since their bowling start, and that senior Matthew Massie has a chance to be Player of the Year in the Greater Catholic League (GCL).
According to Combs, his top goal is to win the GCL, followed by advancing from the Sectional to the Regional Tournament in February. While he does admit that there isn’t much time for practice in the busy schedule, Combs said the teams are working hard, and the Boys’ Varsity Team is 4-0.
McNicholas High School has three bowling teams: Boys’ JV, Boys’ Varsity, and Girls’ Varsity. There are a total of over 20 bowlers split among the three teams, and this is the first year since the 2012-2013 school year that McNick has had a Girls’ Bowling Team. Combs attributed the expanding size of the boys’ teams and the reestablishment of the girls’ team to the increased interest in bowling.
The teams are still small compared to the teams of other schools. The Girls’ Varsity Bowling Team consists of only six bowlers: Juniors Hannah Herforth and Angela Bolan, sophomores Ashley Jenkins, Annie Savage, and Jordan McCormick, and freshman Hailey Bell. “We’re smaller than a lot of other teams, so we’re more connected,” Herforth said.
“It’s a small team, so it’s more about having fun with friends than it is trying to be perfect,” Jenkins said. She added that they are constantly trying to improve their skills. “It’s stressful because we’re always trying to improve and get better, but it’s hard to polish our skills,” Jenkins said.
“It’s an environment that has little pressure. Games are a little more stressful, but practices are really laid back so you can really improve on your skills and technique,” Savage added.
Herforth’s favorite part of bowling is that it’s individually competitive. “It’s a self-competitive sport, so I’m working to improve my own skill as well as the team’s score,” she said.
Herforth continued by saying that more people should join bowling. She said that it is a positive and friendly environment, and that they have even received emails from bystanders at the games saying how kind and respectful everyone is. Plus, Herforth said it was a good way “to make friends and just have a good time.”