The Duncan Banner
When people hear of winter sports, usually basketball, wrestling, and even swimming come to mind.
But, there is one sport that people might not know about that is starting to gather a strong following in Stephens County: high school bowling.
Every Thursday afternoon, the sounds of bowling balls humming down a lane and pins falling to the ground can be heard through Freedom Lanes, meaning the Duncan High bowling team is hard at work.
In only its second year of competition, DHS is looking to duplicate the success from its inaugural season, which saw the Demons finish 10th in the state overall, after claiming a runner-up finish in regionals.
Meanwhile, the Marlow and Comanche bowling teams will also look to build successful seasons. In 2011, Marlow’s girls team missed out on regionals by just one spot.
“This is the 11th year for high school bowling nationally in the country,” Duncan coach and Freedom Lanes owner Jean Brund said. “We lost a couple of boys from last year, but the ones who are still involved are excellent bowlers. They’re thinking they might make the top five this season, while I’m thinking they could even make the top three in the state. We’ll just have to see what happens with them.”
“Marlow has the biggest group of kids,” Brund said. “Their community really supports that team really well. They had a really good girls team last season, and Comanche has four returning players this season, while Marlow has two.”
Something which helps the process easier for high school bowling teams, is the fact corporations help fund and sponsor so teams can afford shirts and fundamental basics. These sponsors also allow participants to play free of charge throughout the year.
Among the returners for the Demons and Lady Demons this season will be seniors Logan Hankins, Dakota Goyer, Pake Stephens along with sophomores Drey Triche, Clayton Moore, and Jared Norton. Freshman Sheldon Yeargan will also be participating this season.
“Sheldon is a freshman, but I can see her participating at the national level soon,” Brund said. “She is a phenomenal lefty with so much potential and is a natural. All five of my guys have potential. Pake and Clayton both carry 140-170 averages, while the rest of my guys carry around a 180-190 average. They are all really good and I’m expecting big things from them.”
Brund added seeing the kids participate in high school bowling can open a world of opportunities for them down the road.
“Considering I bowled professionally for a long time, it’s exciting to me showing the kids bowling is more than just a recreational program,” she said. “There is big scholarship money involved with bowling. At the college level they can compete nationally and at the international level as well. We can take up to 16 boys and girls and they will all get to compete, whether they know something about bowling or not.”