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Hartselle Enquirer

Hartselle Bowling team changing the mold

The 2016-17 Hartselle boys and girl's bowling teams. | Caleb Suggs
The 2016-17 Hartselle boys and girl’s bowling teams. | Caleb Suggs

Caleb Suggs

Hartselle Enquirer

Hartselle is a school that has become known for many things, and among those is its sports program. Hartselle is known for winning championships in various sports including football, baseball, volleyball and golf among others. However, this year Hartselle is finding success in a unique sport, the sport of bowling.

This year Hartselle has fielded their first ever bowling team, and the results have been widely successful. The boy’s team is undefeated at 16-0 and the girl’s team is 15-1. Both teams are headed to the regional tournaments this weekend at Tuscaloosa.

The bowling team has experience rapid success, but that doesn’t mean the coaches and players knew what to expect. “Dr. (Vic) Wilson was actually the one that came to me and coach (Jeremy) Childers.” Said Tanya Lybarger head coach of the girl’s team. “We had never done anything like this. We’re all learning” Even though Lybarger and Childers, who is head coach of the boy’s team, are tied up coaching in some of the school’s other sports, Lybarger coaches volleyball and Childers coaches baseball, both agreed to take on the responsibility. So far, that was a gamble that has paid off.

Each team fields a roster of eight bowlers. The teams compete on the first day of a competition in three 10 pins games. The amount of pins those teams knock down will place them in rank for the next day of competition. The teams will then face an opponent in five baker games. Unlike all other sports in the AHSAA, there is no school classification in bowling.

The coaches feel this is important for some who don’t fit the traditional athlete mold. “It’s very important. They get a chance to do some athletic stuff and get the same success that all the other athletes get.” Childers said. “It says a lot about them for how much work they’ve put in to be as good as they because it takes skill to do this.”

Senior bowlers Will Tanner and Emily Clemons didn’t know what to expect but they are glad they made the choice to join the team. “I’ve had great time and it’s been real fun.” Tanner said. “I didn’t expect us to be as good as we are.” “In the beginning I think everyone was thinking of it as kind of a joke.” Clemons said. “Then we started to win, we were winning by a lot, and that just added to it.” The two seniors hope that their success will draw more students to join in years to come. “Everyone just thinks of bowling as something to do with their friends but it’s actually really competitive.” Clemons said. “We didn’t really know what to expect but the first time we went it was a great atmosphere. We have a lot of fun at practice and I hope more people join in the future.”

The boy’s roster consists of Parker Reist, Will Tanner, Weston Baker, Preston Smith, Nathan Shutt, Dylan Harper, Dalton Stewart and Kaleb Gunter. The girl’s team is Emily Cowart, Brooklyn Hamblin, Emily Clemons, Reagan Martin, Callie Burks, Kailee Adcock and Katie Henry.