Murphy News Service
The members and coaches of the Maple Grove High School Bowling Team have a lot to be proud of nearing the conclusion of their 2013 season.
The varsity bowling team, consisting of Maple Grove Senior high students and homeschooled students in the Maple Grove area, has a record of 13-1, and their sights are set on the Minnesota State Tournament.
Team Captain and senior, Buddy Anderson, said the goal is always to make it to state. However, “this year, it can happen with this team we have,” he said.
The team practices only twice a week for an hour and a half each practice. Other sports, like football, practice five days a week, Coach Ron Klug said. “That in itself is a great achievement,” Klug said.
Bowling is not governed by the Minnesota State High School League, as are other sports like football, baseball and basketball. It is considered a club sport, and it is organized by the Bowling Proprietors Association of Minnesota. This association is divided up into a number of conferences. Maple Grove is at the top of its conference, Metro Northwest. The team finished in second place last year, Klug said.
The team has had an increased amount of success this season. The varsity team has only lost one meet, and the team bowled a 295 at its Oct. 8 meet.
In bowling, the maximum score is 300. This means the team only missed five pins in the 10th and final frame of the game.
The game was Baker’s style. This means that five bowlers were competing against five other bowlers from Osseo’s team, Landy Anderson, coach and Buddy’s mother said. The first bowler bowls frames one and six. The second bowler bowls frames two and seven. The system continues for the next three bowlers.
Landy was coaching the junior varsity at the meet when she first heard the varsity team had seven strikes in a row lined up, she said.
“When you start to think about it, that’s a big deal to get to seven,” she said.
The team managed to throw strikes 11 times in a row.
“I guess [the final bowler] got a little hesitant on the 12th shot and took five [pins] instead,” Klug said. “He was nervous, but it was a great feeling. I was shaking like a leaf.”
The league coordinator said he hasn’t seen a team bowl a perfect game in at least 20 years, Landy said. The team wasn’t upset with a close-to-perfect game.
“The other teams came over and cheered,” Landy said. “It wasn’t a disappointment. For the 295 to come up was a big deal.”
Buddy was a part of the team that bowled a 295 and said it was the highlight of the 2013 season.
“I didn’t really believe it was happening,” Buddy said. “It was really fun and everybody was so excited and jacked up.”
Amid excitement over the nearly perfect game, the bowlers are still focused on reaching the State Tournament. The team is determined to compete in and win this year, Klug said. The tournament takes place in December.
There’s still that chance for a truly perfect game.
Danielle Dullinger is studying journalism at the University of Minnesota