By OLIVIA MORALES ’22
Every year, the bowling team participates in the long-awaited J.P. Stevens versus Edison High School bowling match. This year, the girls bowling team won by a significant margin while the boys bowling team took a hard loss.
The game begins with the boys and girls team in individual huddles, with the captains of the boys and girls team, Jose De la Barrera ’21, Troy Began ’20, Gina Fitz ’21, and Fabriane Jean-denis ’20, shouting “WHAT SIDE?!” and the rest energetically respond “SOUTH SIDE!” before quickly going back to their assigned lanes. Each player brings their personalized bowling balls, customized to their owner’s hands and strength, allowing the balls to whiz down the lanes up to over twelve miles per hour to obtain a strike. Winning takes a practiced skill that few possess.
The match quickly progresses through three rounds. Each lane has three players. Every other lane has three EHS students, and the rest are filled with J.P. Stevens students. After the first frame, in which all the players bowl once, the EHS and J.P. Stevens players switch lanes for the second frame and so on, constantly switching, until completing all ten frames. Then, the round is over and the next one begins.
The bowling team can have bowling matches almost every day of the week that last up to three hours. Most bowlers start in junior varsity and hopefully make it into varsity by their sophomore or junior year. However, unlike novice bowlers, obtaining strikes scarcely phase them as strikes are a necessity to win.
When De la Barrera, co-captain of the boys bowling team, was asked about what makes the team great and how his team has impacted him, he easily replied, “Bowling has been a big part of my life, and when I came to high school, I realized that I had the potential to become something great. As a freshman, I was welcomed on varsity as if I had been a returning member. Our teamwork was flawless and we had won The Woodbridge Classic which was the best bowling experience I’ve ever had. Unfortunately, junior year has been tough. My team is very new and is still training to become better but as of now, we are just trying to improve.”
When asked the same question, Fitz, co-captain of the girls bowling team sincerely explained, “Well even though bowling is a really competitive and tough activity to be a part of, the friendships you make while on the team are something I’d never want to give up.” Despite the hardships and struggles, De la Barrera and Fitz, like many other athletes, remain in the sport not only for the winning but for the experiences.