Haslett bowlers sweep through CAAC singles

Story: Cassidy Wolf, Staff Writer

The stale smell of resin and freshly oiled lanes filled Royal Scott bowling alley on Saturday Feb. 11. Check-in began at 8 am and bowlers from all over the region dragged their bowling bags through the automatic sliding doors. Approximately 150 high school bowlers, both male and female, held their head high as they prepared to compete in the 2017 CAAC singles bowling tournament.

Coaches Dean Matsudo and Jennifer Tebedo had high hopes for their team, that consisted of students of every grade. “Every pin counts,” coach Tebedo said to her bowlers before the announcer called all senior bowlers onto the approach to be recognized for their many years of dedication to the sport of bowling. The rest of the players were then called to the approach along with the coaches of the 12 different teams attending the tournament. As gentlemen removed their caps, and hands were placed over hearts, the national anthem was played over the loudspeakers. After the conclusion of the song, teams gathered in small circles to chant the names of their school and mascot.

The lanes were then lit up, and pins were reset to start a 10 minute warm-up session. Students from six different schools were assigned to a pair of lanes. Not a single player had someone from their team on the same pair of lanes as them. After throwing a couple of balls on each sides, lanes were turned off and reset one last time before the six game series tournament was underway.

Bowlers went ball for ball, trying to block out the cheering of spectators out while they were on the approach. Haslett bowlers were prevailing over the competition in the first two games with senior Jerrod Gardener, sophomore Delaney Andridge leading the pack.

After game three, the oil started to dry up, and balls started to hook more than before. It became hard for bowlers to adjust, and the Vikings fell a couple of spots down in the rankings. By the end of the fifth game, blisters had formed on the bowler’s’ hands and everyone’s arms had gotten tired.

Andridge, only 11 pins out from qualifying after five games, threw a 169 game but fell short of qualifying in the top 16. Overall, it was a good day for Viking bowlers despite the fact that no one qualified. The rookie bowlers, who had never previously bowled before this season, did better than coaches had expected.

The singles’ tournament was a good tool of preparation for the upcoming regionals tournament on Feb 24 and 25 that is being held at City Limits in Mason, Michigan. Coaches Matsudo and Tebedo have high hopes for their teams in the regional tournament.