MARYSVILLE — Local high school bowling teams are about a quarter of the way through their season, but some are already looking forward to the state competition.
Marysville-Pilchuck's Bryson Parker has been to state three times, and holds the individual high average for boys in the high school league with a 201.19 average. The Tomahawks bowling team is fifth overall, with 102 points won so far this season and a total of 14,312 pins. Parker has the top scratch series total at 725.
"Last week he bowled a strike in every frame except the last one," said Christine Mair, mother of Chance Mair, an Arts and Technology bowler.
He bowled a 277 and a 279 at Glacier Lanes, his best scores this season.
"It's not my top score," said Parker. "I've bowled a 290 before." Parker said he enjoys being part of the bowling team for the friends he's made and the camaraderie between bowlers.
Parker's success on the lanes has not only been beneficial to him, but also to his fellow teammates who are learning from him.
"He's one of the highest scorers," said M-P coach Cara Althoff. "Bryson and Matt [Althoff] have been in it for three years so I am encouraging them to be leaders. Bryson has been setting up our lineup and he's been really good about deciding who bowls. It's helping him grow and be a leader."
Parker's parents, Terry Parker, Jr. and Barbara Parker, are proud of their son's accomplishments, and hope more kids will get involved.
"Some people don't know about the opportunity to bowl at the high school level, but it's very inclusive. Kids can join and learn and get coached. It's really great," said Terry Parker, Jr. "Some kids have gone on to get scholarships to bowl for college bowling teams."
"Even though it's a competition, they are really encouraging to each other. You don't see that in most sports," said Barbara Parker.
Parker wasn't the only bowler making strides during the season. Chance Mair, of the Marysville Arts and Technology Penguins first team, beat his personal high school score during a match on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at Glacier Lanes.
"It feels awesome," he said. "I tried a new strategy. I didn't think it would work but it did."
Lakewood Cougar bowlers have been consistent this season so far as well.
"We are doing really good, we are in third place," said Lakewood coach Cindy Dowell. "We have two brand new bowlers who are really good. They just bowled a 145 and 140."
The Penguins' coaches, Gary and Natialene Schopf, are also excited to see new faces this season.
"It's pretty crazy with three teams," said Natialene Schopf. "It's a lot of fun, there are a lot of new bowlers. Now that we have a chance to get down to the basic fundamentals they are improving. It sure makes then feel good that they are getting better."
With the addition of so many new teammates, the Penguins are struggling to afford new shirts. The Arts and Tech PTSA is hosting a fundraising event at Applebee's in Marysville on Nov. 15. With a flyer that can be picked up from Strawberry Lanes Bowling Alley, Applebee's will donate 15 percent of the dinner cost to the bowling team.