MARYSVILLE — The local high school bowling league is in full swing, as tryouts for several local teams took place in the two weeks between Sept. 14 to Sept. 28, including for the former state championship contender, the Penguins team from Marysville Arts and Technology High School.
“We’ve got a lot of new talent coming in,” said Christine Mair, Arts and Tech PTSA president and mother of bowler Chance Mair. Chance Mair and Baylie Self are returning players from last year’s successful team, and Self has been promoting the team since the first day of school.
“It’s been kind of hectic. There’s a lot of people and it’s different than last year,” said Self. “I’m going to try to coach people and help them out when they need it.”
The Penguins saw 10 new bowlers during the try-outs and now have three teams for one school. Natialene Schopf and Gary Schopf are coaches for the Arts and Tech team.
“This is our fourth year coaching the Arts and Tech team, and we coached on the weekends before that,” said Natialene Schopf. “Our daughter Brittney started bowling as a freshman at M-P. Brittney mentioned that she wanted to bowl for school but there wasn’t a team. So we asked around to some of the parents of weekend bowlers and found that there were enough interested bodies from Arts and Tech to make their own team.”
One of the newcomers this year includes Kylee Heath, a freshman at Arts and Tech, who has been bowling since she was 5 years old.
“I compete in spring and summer leagues at Evergreen Lanes,” said Heath. “I wanted to join the team because I love bowling and I’ve been doing it for so long.”
Kylee’s mother Colleen Heath is proud of her daughter for trying out for the high school league.
“She started with her cousin when she was 5 years old and she liked it,” said Heath. “She wanted to stick with it and she’s good. She bowls at least one day a week.”
In the years since the Arts and Tech bowling program began, it has grown to include three teams. Marysville-Pilchuck and Marysville Getchell have a joint team that includes players from Tulalip Heritage and other district programs.
Cara Althoff is a first-year coach of the Marysville joint team, and her son Matt has been on the team for three years.
“Mike [Endleton] and others tried really hard to get more people involved in the team,” said Althoff, of previous coach Mike Endleton. “In the beginning they had to work really hard to keep people but it looks like it’s started to grow.”
One of the bowlers returning to the Marysville team this year is Bryson Parker, a senior who ranked in the top 10 in the state last year.
The president of the high school bowling league, Cindee Dowell, has been coaching Lakewood High School’s bowling team for three years, with more than a decade of coaching experience prior to that.
“Bowling gives these kids a sense of confidence and self-respect,” said Dowell. “We had a few bowlers who were first-time bowlers last year and started out with a 58 and ended with a 158 average. Watching them improve and improve their self-esteem is great.”
Marysville and Lakewood students who are interested in joining a school bowling team can contact their school’s athletic department.