The Season is Officially Over for the Bowling Chiefs

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Many people would agree that bowling is one of the most underestimated sports in any school. What people at Santaluces may not know is that our bowling team has been district runner-ups for the past two years, which means we made it to states. On the first week of November we were off to Orlando to bowl at Boardwalk Bowl, the biggest bowling alley in Florida.

This year at the FHSAA Bowling Finals there were more than 530 bowlers all competing for the same thing: the 2013 state champion title. There were 70 schools, with some schools having two coaches. Some of the local schools brought as many as 50 spectators to come and cheer them on. With all the coaches and spectators, it brought the body count in that bowling alley to almost 800. There were people fighting for seats, standing on chairs, crowding on the bleachers, and standing around tables, even if they couldn’t see anything.

The morning started early. We woke up at five o’clock in the morning because we had to get ready and pack our belongings to check out of the hotel. Although states is a two day event, bowlers were advised to check out of hotels on the first day just incase they didn’t make it to the second day. Bowlers were required to be at the bowling alley by 7:15 a.m. to check in and get in before the rush of the spectators.

At about 7:45 a.m., the UCF Color Guard presented the American and Florida flag while everyone stood to the singing of the national anthem. After that, the bowlers were put on for 15 minutes of practice.

For individuals, I was in the top 16 for the afternoon match play going into the fourth game. Needing a good game to secure my spot, I had a few obstacles that caused me to bowl horrible. My ending lane kept breaking down, delaying me between turns. The lane kept breaking down which caused me to get cold because the bowling alley was really cold. With me being cold, it slowed my swing down, throwing off my game. My last game was a 159, about 50 pins below my average. That horrible game knocked me out of the cut.

“This has been the best season for me. I can’t believe this is my last year. I’m really going to miss my girls next year,” said Jaymee Norris, senior. “I had a great season and can’t be anymore proud of how good we did this year and grew as a team. We aren’t only a team, we’re a family.”

We chiefs had a strong start, landing in 19th place after the first game. Our second game was one pin higher than our first game, keeping us in 19th place. The cut to the next round was 16th place, but the last two games weren’t that great, which dropped us down to 22nd place.

“My girls team was fantastic this year,” said Coach T. “It was a nice experience to go to states and see how it all worked. I told the girls not to look at the standings between games because then they would’ve been stressing about what they needed to do or get distracted with the other teams that are ahead of them. I can’t wait for next year. It only gets better from here.”

The champions of the 2013 FHSAA bowling finals for the girls was Krystina Nealon of Coral Glades High School in Coral Springs and the Oviedo High School Lions of Oviedo girls team claimed the team title. Tyler James of University High School from Orlando won the boys individuals and the Apoka High School Blue Darters from Apoka won the boys team title.

Many amazing things happened within the short two days in Orlando. The Martin County High School girls team did something that has never been done in FHSAA history, they shot the first ever baker 300 in matchplay. There was so much intensity in that bowling alley during the match play rounds. Bowlers that made it far in individual brackets bowled about 30 games each, while the teams that continued in brackets bowled about 50 games each.

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