The Battle Ground girls bowling teams started off their season strong with a 4-0 undefeated streak.
So far, the team has gone against Evergreen, Union, Skyview and Camas. They were able to accomplish the streak despite their home bowling alley, Tiger Bowl, being closed due to repairs, but they are “ahead of schedule,” according to their coach Harold Lysne.
“We went from five girls last year, because of the pandemic, to 12 this year, so we’re quite happy with the response right now,” Lysne said.
He said the team generally has as many as 17 girls on a good year, so he’s happy with the turnout. The new kids include freshmen and sophomores, which he said makes the team more stable for coming years. When seniors leave, the younger players are needed to fill in for them.
Lynse said that in the past, the team has won four different state team championships and three individual state championships due to the girls’ competitive nature. They’re in the 4A division, which is the highest. Some of the players who stand out most to Lynse are seniors Sydney Wheaton, Grace Beagle and Delaynne Edmondson.
“They’ve been in the program for at least three or four years, so they put in their dues and they are really good bowlers now,” he said.
At the alley, Lysne said he bowls against the team personally and noted they are “really competitive.” The team is even able to keep up with his scores, Lysne said.
“I feel like girls in the program, if they stick with it, they’ll be able to average 200, so they’re on their way up,” Lysne said. “They’re getting better every year, because the deal with bowling is that it’s a lifetime sport. Once they get out of high school and graduate, some of the girls I’ve had in the past went to play on college teams, so you can go on and on and there are leagues and such afterwards.”
The less experienced team members have been racking up similar scores as Wheaton, Beagle and Edmondson when they first started on the team, so Lysne believes they will improve as time goes on. They also get the opportunity to look back at their scores and see how well they improved each year.
The away games the team has won hasn’t stood in the way of the team’s success. Lysne stated every lane has different conditions, which includes tings like how much oil is in the middle of the lane, so the players need to be able to read the lanes.
“It is really tough to win on the road, but when they play at home, they practice and practice under these lane conditions, so they should be able to do a lot better,” Lysne said.
Wheaton is excited from the great start of the season.
“It’s really exciting,” Wheaton said. “It’s my senior year, so it’s good to be able to start the season being undefeated so far.”
Wheaton was inspired to join the team after watching her sister, who was a freshman at the time, play.
“It looked really fun, so when I became a freshman, I decided to bowl, and we got to bowl on the same team together for two years, which was really great,” Wheaton said.
Her current average lands at 163, according to team manager Amy Wheaton. Their last game was against Kelso, which was their first home game of the season. It was their first loss so far. They were defeated by 11 pins, according to her, bringing their recrod to 4-1.
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