Men’s Bowling Season Rolls In
By Kevin Rueda
The Men’s Bowling season has rolled in and the team is beyond excited. Bowling is a unique sport as it requires an individual to display exceptionally refined skills and techniques, as opposed to brute force or speed. Bowling demands an understanding of the complexities and systems behind the sport, and in many respects it is a mental game. For example, bowling lanes are covered in different preset oil patterns. Understanding these oil patterns allows a player to manipulate the movement of the ball. While mostly invisible to the human eye, the oil on bowling lanes is a complex and critical element that changes the structure of the game. As games progress and the oil on bowling lanes are disrupted by wear, players must adapt their play and techniques. Bowling lanes are only one of the many factors in the intricate game of bowling. A bowler’s stance, selection of ball, and many more variables contribute to an individual’s performance. However, when faced with the elaborate nature of the sport, Harrison Page, Adv. 903, said, “The most important quality is staying confident.”
The Men’s Bowling program is different than most athletic teams. At any given meet, only a couple of the team’s players compete. Usually, the best bowlers who score the highest at the team’s weekly practice compete at the meet, and as a result, the team’s starting lineup is dynamic and constantly changing. Matches are played between schools but are determined by the individual performances of each team’s players. Each school selects three players to compete. From there, each player attempts to rack up the most amount of points possible. It is an intense and stressful process, but as Page said, confidence is key. The difference between top bowlers and average players is the ability to remain calm under pressure and focus on the game. Hours of practice can be thrown out the window if an individual is distracted by the pressure. At the end of all the games, the individual scores of each bowler are added together and the school with the highest overall score is victorious.
Last year, the Men’s Bowling team displayed exceptional skill and confidence and were able to perform well at their meets. Unfortunately, the team was edged out by Schurz and fell short of qualifying for the city finals with a disappointing fifth-place finish at playoffs. However, the team has high hopes for this season. The team has already played matches against Lane Tech College Prep, Lincoln Park High School, Jones College Prep, Taft High School, and Walter Payton College Prep. Through their performances in practices and matches, the team is optimistic. The team has high hopes that they will be able to rebound this year and perform to the level that they know they are capable of. “We are hoping to get first place in city” said Page.
In the meantime, the Mustang Bowlers will invest many hours into practice. The team practices and competes at Chicago’s popular Waveland Bowl, located minutes from Lane Tech’s campus. Liam O’Connor, Adv. 004, said, “It’s just like any other sport. Practice makes perfect. A good bowler practices what they can work on individually to find a way to win, while also having a fun time bowling with their friends in the process. We would like for each person to get better individually. If we all continue to practice and become better, we will do well as a team. Our goal since day 1 has been to win.” Despite the differences between bowling and other sports, the best way to improve one’s game is to simply continue playing.