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Marysville, Lakewood bowlers hit the lanes
MARYSVILLE — Kids who wish to participate in bowling at the high school level may do so thanks to the Snohomish Traveling League which allows various high schools to compete with each other.
Students from Marysville Arts & Tach can bowl on the Marysville Penguins team, Marysville-Pilchuck and Marysville Getchell students bowl on the Marysville team, and students from Lakewood High School can bowl on the Cougars team.
As of Dec. 16, the top three teams in the league were Lakewood Cougars, Marysville Penguins, and Marysville.
The teams’ rosters include state recognized talent.
A notable player from Marysville team is M-P senior Bryson Parker, a bowler who placed second in the WSBPA High School Varsity Championship at last year’s Acme Bowl.
Parker has bowled for only four years, whereas many other bowlers his age started at a young age. Parker is currently the leading player on pins, with 8,167 as of Week 16 of 23, on Dec. 16.
What Parker enjoys the most about bowling is the competition. “I enjoy bowling against other people,” he said.
Other participants enjoy the social experience.
“I enjoy meeting all the interesting people,” Lakewood bowler Ellen Dowell said. “I made a lot of good friends.”
The Penguins feature accomplished bowler Baylie Self, who also placed second in last year’s state tournament.
The league currently has 10 teams competing. The top three teams will move on to compete in the state tournament.
Ed Friesner, Head Coach of the Marysville team, challenges all his bowlers to develop crucial skills necessary in the sport.
“I want to teach the kids how to bowl right, have fun and good sportsmanship,” he said.
As a bowler for 50 years, and a coach for 20, Friesner sees himself as mentor for the young bowlers. “I started bowling at their age,” he said.
Friesner has bowled around world. He began bowling at a young age, and bowled while serving in the Air Force.
Some of Travel Leagues team’s rosters exceed the number of players a team can have.
The Penguins, for example, have three teams but score as a single unit. “We have enough players on Arts & Tech to have three teams,” Penguins Head Coach Gary Schopf said.
Lakewood also has a similar way of coaching its team. Head Coach, and mother of Ellen, Cindee Dowell coaches two Lakewood teams.
The challenge this poses is the micromanaging. The coaches have to navigate to different lanes manage their teams. “It’s a bit of a challenge,” Schopf said. “You kind of have to run back and forth.”
Because of the number of bowlers for the Penguins, Schopf’s wife Natialene assists in the coaching.
Bowling, in terms of popularity, is an often overlooked sport, with the more well-known sports such as football, basketball and baseball getting the most recognition.
“A lot of people don’t think it’s a sport,” Friesner said.
One of the challenges the bowling teams face is funding. The Penguins do not receive funding from the school. “Where I coach we don’t have sports,” Schopf said. “And it’s not a sport, it’s a club.”
Because of this, Schopf’s bowling team has to create ways to make money, such as car washes and other fundraisers. “We’re always looking for grant money,” Schopf said.
The Snohomish Travel League’s next bowling meet will be Jan. 9 at Strawberry Lanes, located at 1067 Columbia Avenue, in Marysville.