Boys Bowling Preview: This Time We’re Serious

Boys Bowling Preview: This Time We're Serious

Peyton Fester, Sports Reporter

Boys Bowling is chasing something they have never done before. That something is being crowned as conference champions at the end of this upcoming season. It all starts with head coach Grant Vermeer, who is entering his second year at FHC.

“In years prior we’ve had a few different coaches,” said Hayden McCarthy, one of the seniors that has been a part of the team since his freshmen year. “With coach Grant coming in last year, I think he has really changed up the team a lot. He has brought a lot more structure to it and a lot more order. He has really helped us learn a lot of new ways to help us work on our throws.”

With Vermeer coming in last year as the third head coach in three years, he wanted to create a more serious vibe around the bowling team. He noticed that a lot of the kids could be better if they took it more seriously. In order for the bowlers to take it more seriously, he had them all purchase their own ball.

“The difference between bowling with your friends on a Friday night and bowling with us is quite a large difference,” Vermeer said. “It’s the difference between a twenty dollar ball here at the bowling alley that’s just solid plastic versus a composite resin; their balls are weighted so that when they throw it they hook.”

Another thing that makes the bowling a lot more competitive is the oil patterns that the bowling alley’s use. For competitive events, the lanes are very tricky to get a good feel for. Thus generating another reason that Vermeer has used for the bowlers to take it more serious.

“It’s basically a layer of oil on top of the lane; it’s heavier in certain areas,” Vermeer said. “It’s a whole computerized scientific thing that’s consistent every time we bowl in the specific pattern, but it’s not very forgiving.”

Vermeer also pointed out that he has twelve guys on the team, so playing time will have to be earned. In bowling only five bowlers play during a match, so it will certainly not be easy to lock up a starting spot. Although Vermeer has pushed for a more focused program, the bowling team still has lots of fun.

“I’d say that Grant definitely has his times where he wants us to take it more seriously than we really do,” said Nate Deroos, another four year varsity bowler. “He definitely likes the fact that we’re all pretty laid back and are just out here having fun.”

Nate and Hayden are joined by two other four year varsity bowlers on the team, Ray Beckering and Ryan Daugherty. All four look to take advantage of their prior experiences and implement their skills when competitions begin. The Rangers certainly will look to lean on their performances; another bowler that has showed signs early on is freshman Cope Hungerford. Cope is joined by two other freshmen on the team, Jacob Laidlaw and Joseph Menichino. With so many bowlers, it is tough to say who will emerge into the starting varsity lineup. It also is inclined to change at any given moment considering that there is a different line up for nearly every match  based on who’s been performing well as of late.

“It’s great for me because it doesn’t make it personal,” Vermeer said. “Whereas some other sports the coach has to kind of judge who’s the best player and who’s the worst. Sometimes the coach makes a decision at the beginning of the year and doesn’t allow a change in thought. For me, it’s a weekly number. It helps me get the best five.”

The system will certainly make competition more fierce and help push FHC toward their goals. Their main goal: becoming the first ever boys bowling conference champions for the school.

“Every year I look up at the rafters in the gym, and I see that bowling has no banners there,” Ray said. “Every year it’s a shock. If I had to pick a team to win conference, it would definitely be this one.”

The season for boys bowling kicks off on Wednesday, December 7th at 3:30pm at Eastbrook Lanes against Ottawa Hills. The boys bowling team will eager to get their season underway, so come out and support.

“We’re going to shock the world,” Ryan said.