West Broward’s bowling team rolls a strike

by Madison Peller

A BOWLING FAMILY: From left to right: Joshua Stone, Alexis Torres, Kristen Moreo and Gabriela Brown stand in front of the lanes after finishing in their first competition. Despite this being this team’s first year, they continued to fight to be the best players they could be. Photo by Brad Fatout

West Broward High School introduced its bowling team to the district in 2020.  This is the team’s inaugural year, but Coach Lisa Bruce and her players set their goals high for the district season. Targeting the playoffs on Nov. 30, Coach Bruce and her team began practicing in hopes of making their first year one to remember.

Even though this is the first year WBHS has a bowling team with few players to begin the season, they were determined to stand strong against their opponents. An even balance between competitiveness and having fun is shown in this team, and the positivity among the teammates is what Coach Bruce was looking to see. While winning is their ultimate goal, their positivity and camaraderie is what made this year so special.

“Ms. Bruce is really competitive and good with helping us,” said Gabriela Brown, captain of the team.  “I have seen a lot of growth from when we first started and now and I could see our team going to districts and going further.”

Bruce had been thinking about creating a bowling team for West Broward for a year, and when she realized other schools had teams, she knew she had to start finding players. Once it got approved by the school, it was time to find people to be on the team. The two captains, Joshua Stone and Gabriela Brown, help Coach Bruce with group chats and reminders.

Due to COVID-19, finding players was not easy, but in the end, they made two teams, with five players each. Since COVID-19 prevents large groups of people to be together, instead of being in a group having meetings, the team has meetings on Teams to discuss practices, games and other bowling related questions.

“Starting a new team at West Broward was not difficult. It was just difficult going about getting the team approved through athletics and getting the players considering what the world is going through at this time,” Bruce said.

The initial difficulty of producing a competitive team was not easy, but that did not stop them from working extremely hard and continuing to practice multiple times a week for three hours a day. During practice, they do drills to increase their accuracy and to become better for the upcoming games and district competition. At times during the season, the teammates would go to  the bowling alley on their own and practice to become better. “Practice, practice practice. Practice is so important in this sport as it is in every sport,” Coach Bruce said. “When it comes to bowling you have to be persistent and always hitting your mark since bowling is such a competitive sport.”

KNOCKING DOWN THE PINS: West Broward bowling team captain and sophomore Joshua Stone is practicing for his upcoming game with our biggest competitor, Western High School. The West Broward Bowling Team practices multiple times a week for three hours each day to make them better for upcoming games. Photo by Alexis Torres

Everyone on this team is very friendly with each other and constantly cheering each other on, even when they make mistakes. There is never bad energy with the teammates and everyone always has a good time, whether at practices or their games.

“With the teammates, everyone is friendly and peaceful and we are always cheering each other on and celebrating with each other,” Stone said. “Even though sometimes we miss shots, we always celebrate and always stay positive throughout the game.”

After a very competitive and brief season, West Broward teamed up with South Plantation in District competition so that all of the bowlers could participate in the tournament and have a strong team. They ended up placing fourth in districts, with Coral Springs Charter and Western, their biggest competition, finishing ahead of them.

“Since our season was cut short due to COVID-19, we did not have enough time to practice and yet we took fourth place and beat nine other teams,” Stone said. “Overall, it was enjoyable and an unforgettable experience and we are looking forward to the 2021 bowling season.”

Next year, the team hopes to become more recognized around campus so that more students will try out, and they will have more of a selection to build an even stronger team. With a strong team and enough hard work, their next goal is to improve upon the fourth place finish and compete for a district title.

“Our goal was to win districts but considering this was our first year that we had a team, I think we did pretty well. I think we held up a good competition and did not hold back and hopefully next year we will do even better,” said junior Alexis Torres.

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