Feb. 8, 2022
By Anastasia Loutroutzis
After a tough month in December, the bowling team is now recovered and finished its regular season on Jan. 27 with an 8-10 record. The team is now looking towards the state championships on Feb. 10 at Lodi Lanes.
During the Omicron surge at the end of last year, there was a point when there were only five healthy bowlers. The rest were quarantined due to illness.
“This hurt both of our teams because we had to bring [junior varsity] bowlers up to varsity, which hurt our JV team,” Head Coach Offitto said.
Offitto, who has been coaching the team for four years, got Covid-19 in December and had to miss three matches.
“Luckily Coach Tuero and Coach Auteri filled in for me and did a great job,” Offitto said. “I was able to keep in constant communication with them throughout the matches and school day to see which bowlers were in school and who we had for that day.”
Offitto said he is happy this season brought new and talented bowlers to the team.
“Next season, we will just need to find more consistency game to game, which will come with experience and practice,” Offitto said.
“We all get along despite our differences and made the matches an enjoyable time for each other.”
Senior Isabella DiPisa said to be successful in the sport, a bowler must be focused and dedicated.
“The most difficult aspect of this sport is staying consistent and not letting your emotions get the best of you,” DiPisa said. “This sport has taught me a lot about patience and accepting not being in control all the time.”
She said her teammates’ greatest strengths are that they have shown improvement and have a strong bond.
“We all get along despite our differences and made the matches an enjoyable time for each other,” DiPisa said. “We did a lot better compared to last season since we were actually winning matches.”
Last season, the team did not win any meets.
DiPisa said she was especially excited to see the junior varsity bowlers have so much success. They tied with North Arlington High School for first place in the league.
Sophomore Shane Keeler, who is in his first year on the team, said Covid-19 had a severe impact on the season.
“We were getting hot and starting to hit our groove until more than half of our players and our coach were knocked out with the virus,” Keeler said. “It really hurt us, as we were starting to heat up.”
Despite the challenges of the season, Keeler said a highlight for him was breaking 200 points in a game against St. Mary’s High School on Jan. 20.
He said bowling has taught him about the importance of confidence.
“It’s all about how much you believe in yourself,” Keeler said. “If you start to do bad[ly], or if the game is close, it’s all on your shoulders. I cope with it by relaxing myself and clearing my mind.”
Looking towards states, Keeler said his goal is for the team to average a score between 165-170.
“Our team hopes to win and place well in the state championships,” Keeler said. “We have a real shot in our section to win.”