For the Belle Plaine Bowling Team, this season has been rife with serious competition and not-so-serious moments alike.
Now statebound after taking third out of 20 teams at their Super Regional Competition, the Belle Plaine varsity squad has had loads of success this season.
In their conference championship outing, the Belle Plaine varsity team, consisting of Derek Hoffman, Ethan Hoffman, Michael Glynn, Aidan Heidecker, Lucas O’Brien, and Ben Davis, bested their friendly rivals in New Prague for the first time this season, earning them the conference title.
The team for the Super Regional competition remained the same with the exception of Derek Hoffman, whom his teammates describe as one of the top bowlers on the team, being out of town for the competition. Despite being down a top bowler, the team managed an impressive finish. But for some on the team, it’s not all about winning
For junior Glynn, who has been in the program since it began five years ago, the conference showdown against New Prague a couple weeks ago was an example of how the team can be competitive and fun-loving at the same time.
“There’s no seriousness when we bowl against New Prague,” Glynn said. “It’s always really relaxed.”
Glynn noted the opposing teams have grown to know each other over the years and often jokingly tease one another inside and outside of competition. Still, the win was a nice cap to the latter part of Belle Plaine’s season for Glynn.
Senior and fellow five-year Belle Plaine bowler Heidecker shares Glynn’s satisfaction with the conference win.
Heidecker added that the lanes in Austin, where the Super Regional competition took place, were made from wood. Given that the team has primarily played on lanes made from synthetic materials, Heidecker believed the lanes may have posed a challenge for the Belle Plaine lineup. That fear proved to be unsubstantiated as the Tigers rose to the top of the ranks and tied for third place to advance to state.
Coach Kris Davis said that this season has been an exercise in trusting the more senior bowlers on the team to dictate the competitive trajectory for the team.
“I really rely on the boys to know how they’re feeling on that runway.”
Davis also noted the more senior bowlers on the team have been instrumental in improving the skills and outlooks for the younger, less experienced members of the team.
This year is the first in program history that the team has been made up exclusively of Belle Plaine bowlers. In previous years, the program was held jointly with Jordan.
The state competition is set for Sunday, Dec. 8 in Alexandria.