HARRISVILLE, MI — When someone asks about bowling, it’s easy to think about a child’s birthday party or a Saturday night with friends fueled by “liquid confidence.” It’s a sport played by many people just for fun, but it takes a lot of technique and skill to be a great competitor.
“This is a varsity sport. We take this seriously,” said Alcona girls head coach Lynn Gibson. “They’re really working and they’re learning.”
The Tigers added a girls team in 2015. They started with only four members, including senior Raegen Eller, and have now grown to nine members. Eller currently holds all three scoring records (best score, best two game average, and season average) and has been both a leader and a mentor on the team.
Eller has been playing since she was four years old and also plays volleyball, softball, and golf.
She has a simple recipe for success, “A lot of practice. Repetition. You have to slow yourself down and just focus on your mark.”
“She has such a bubbly personality. When you mess up or don’t pick up a spare she’s always there to pick you up,” said teammate Isabella Bates. “She’s a great friend to have because she pushes you to be your very best.”
Eller and Bates are vollyeball teammates, and Raegen got Isabella interested in competitive bowling.
The boys and girls teams practice together at Village Lanes in Harrisville. The two teams can combine during mixed meets in Baker games as well. There’s some friendly competition between the teams as well.
Alex Harmon, a senior on the boys team, and Raegen are teammates during Baker games, though the two have a friendly rivalry.
“On a good day, I’d probably win,” said Harmon. “If Raegen’s having an okay day and I’m having an okay day, she’d probably win. I think it’d be a 50/50 chance most of the time.”
Team regionals start on Februrary 23rd, while individuals begin on the 24th.