Public service announcement: Revive the bowling scene

The odds of an amateur bowler rolling a perfect game are 11,500 to 1.

“My sophomore year, Alex Sousa was on track to bowl a 300 at a game,” senior Joey Spaletto said. “Each strike he got, we all went crazy; he ended up bowling a 268.”

Unfortunately for Joey and his teammates, though, there weren’t any students there to jump around with them—none at all. 

“It definitely sucks sometimes when students miss out on cool moments like Alex’s because those moments can be just as exciting as huge basketball shots or game-winning touchdowns,” Joey said.

Although the bowling team and its upcoming winter season have been advertised on FX recently, bowlers still feel that students don’t truly understand the pitch they’re trying to make.

“Our winter season this year has been talked about on FX, but usually kids have no way of getting on the team because FX makes bowling announcements when everyone has decided whether or not they want to play a winter sport,” Joey said.

So before it’s too late for FHC students to translate their Wii Bowling skills to the MHSAA lanes, there are some appealing aspects of high school bowling for them to consider, including a phenomenon that can grab any teenager’s attention: free access.

“Students should make their way out to Eastbrook because it is not too far away, matches don’t take too long, and it costs nothing for students to come and support their fellow classmates,” senior Zach Guikema said. “And plus, there’s food; who doesn’t like food?”

As Zach alluded to, a bowling match can be as much of a sporting event as a social gathering. Back in the seventies and eighties, bowling alleys were a hub for conversation, competition, and food. According to Bowling Seriously, the number of league members in the United States peaked at an astonishing nine million affiliates in the late 1970s. Head coach Terry Metzner, who has been a member of the Professional Bowling Association since 1992, remembers when alleys were the most popular places to be on a Friday night. 

“I remember in the early ’80s when everyone was addicted to bowling,” coach Metzner said. “Even if you weren’t the best at it, you could still have fun just being around people and having a good time on a Friday night.”

Unironically, while bowling has decreased in popularity on a national level, so has the number of people who socialize face-to-face. Studies by the website Statista showed that in 2020, only 24.9 percent of men in the U.S. engaged in socializing and communication every day. And the average woman spent around .56 hours a day socializing with other people. 

“So many people today don’t go outside of their comfort zone and talk to new people or experience new things,” Zach said. “Going out to our games this season would be a perfect way to improve your social skills and find new friends.”

The time is now, FHC. So make it out to Eastbrook Lanes to watch the boys and girls’ first home game of the 2021-2022 season on Monday, December 13, at 3:30 PM against Byron Center.

“Expect lots of yelling and screaming, along with fist pumps and stuff like that,” Joey said. “Both teams have a lot of energy this year, so it should be pretty enjoyable.”