Bowling team to travel to regionals for fifth time

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Courtesy of Lovejoy Bowling Twitter

Benjamin Nopper, Special to The Red Ledger

After capping off a strong regular season campaign, the girls’ varsity bowling team has its sights set on this weekend’s regional tournament.

The team is sending its top eight bowlers to compete in the tournament, which will be held on Sunday, March 5 at Rowlett Bowl-A-Rama. The tournament consists of five varsity teams from the North Texas area, and the top three teams will advance to the state playoffs.

Although the team is expecting to face tough competition in schools like Plano Senior and Allen, senior captain Katie Williams is confident about her team’s chances to advance to state.

“We feel pretty optimistic about our chances of being in the top three leaving the regional competition,” Williams said. “We have gone to regionals for the last four years, I believe, so most of the girls that are going to regionals have experience in that type of environment.”

Knowing the stakes have risen, coach Crystal Smith emphasized the importance of the mental game and keeping a positive attitude to her bowlers so that they can achieve their goal of advancing to state.

“It’s more about the mental game,” Smith said. “We focus on the positives versus the negatives. What we’re doing in that is really having them go into the [mindset] of ‘Hey, let’s expect the best, let’s hope for the best, but even if it doesn’t happen, it’s OK.’”

In addition to this approach, the bowlers are also looking for other factors that can improve their game in the tournament and give them the extra advantages they need to be successful. This season the bowlers have found one such advantage by using knowledge learned in the classroom.

“You definitely use geometry, to judge the angles that you are going to aim your ball,” Williams said. “All in all it is sounds more complicated than it actually is, and it sounds harder than it is most of the time, but it is all about practice and being consistent and accurate.”

This week the team is scouting out the regional location by having practices in Rowlett.

Our plan is to get comfortable in the different surroundings and setup of the bowling alley,” Williams said. “We are also planning on getting used to the lanes that they have there. Each bowling lane is different, even ones in the same bowling alley.”

The bowlers will also experience a unique setup at the tournament.

“At regionals the setup is a bit different, we only play baker games against each team,” Williams said. “A baker game is when each of the five team members has two particular frames that they bowl.”

Senior Kathleen Kelly also addressed the advantage of keeping a positive team morale.

I think I can support my teammates by coming up with nicknames and cheers for everyone and making sure that our mood stays positive,” Kelly said.

Although the girls’ team clinched a spot in the tournament a few weeks ago, the boys’ team missed out on qualifying for the tournament after falling just short in their qualifying match on Feb. 20.

In spite of this tough loss, freshman Andrew Khalil considered it a learning experience.

“What I learned from falling short in the tournament is to keep practicing, keep your head up and have fun,” Khalil said.