Bowling program aims to rebuild

Successful 2018 season paves way to a strong future program


Junior Andrew Flynn prepares to throw the ball during a practice after school.

By Daniel Davidson, Sports Editor

Following a powerful season with wins at seven meets and three bowlers sent to state, the Lions were left with an abundance of empty spots to be filled this year.

For the boys especially, the majority of those spots have been filled with freshmen new to bowling.

“When they first came in “I wasn’t sure how I was going to fill those varsity spots,” coach Paula Bastemeyer said. “Having some of these freshman come in and step right into those varsity spots is nice. I think we’re having a stronger season than what I suspected at the start, mainly because we just had a lot of unknowns.”

Despite initial uncertainty, the team’s scores have continued to grow. Last week, junior Emilie Rodman bowled an impressive 600 series in Olathe that put her at a close second for the entire tournament.

“My first game I had seven strikes in a row,” Rodman said. “My ball was definitely doing what it was supposed to.”

The new team is also adapting to the introduction of the new assistant coach Gary Graves. Bastemeyer says he has been an asset by bringing new skill sets as a younger coach with a fresh perspective.

“I really am old enough to be his mother,” Bastemeyer said. “So from a coaching standpoint, bringing in somebody who does a lot of computer work and statistics and analysis, he’s making my life easier.”

By more closely tracking team performance, Graves can identify specific problem areas for bowlers to practice those skills specifically. One of the most important things the bowlers will have to improve on before facing regionals is consistency.

“This particular team, more than any previous one, has a lot of two-handed bowlers,” Bastemeyer said. “I think that’s leading to our inconsistency. When you have a strike, everything’s good, but when you leave a pin and can’t pick up the spare, that’s when your scores drop.”

After a cautious start to the season, the Lions are ready to focus on improving scores as they look forward to regionals and state.

“If we can pick up our spares a little more, I think we can go far,” junior Andrew Flynn said. “We’re middle of the pack right now but on the right track to the top.”