Q&A with Three Bowling Athletes
For the first time in CAC’s history, there is a Mustang Bowling team that practices together and competes against other schools in central Arkansas. There are 17 members, the majority of them being seniors. We sat down with three of them, Mary Katherine Childers, Austin Holley and Bret Bishop, to get a glimpse into what it’s like.
Why did you join the bowling team?
Austin: “It seemed like it would be fun and that it would be unique opportunity. I had never been on a bowling team before, so I figured ‘Why not?’ I also get to hang out with my friends after school, and that’s fun.”
What are practices and matches likes?
Bret: “Bowling is kind of calming. Normally sports are frantic and you are always rushing around and dreading going to practices, but bowling practice is always fun.”
Mary Katherine: “It can get nerve-wracking sometimes because you want to win, but there also isn’t any pressure if you don’t do well. You are there to have fun; it isn’t all about winning.”
What have you learned from being on the bowling team?
Austin: “Sometimes you can throw the bowling ball hard, and have it perfectly right on course and it still doesn’t strike. So, sometimes you can plan things out in life and they still won’t happen the way you thought they would. You have to learn to adjust.”
Mary Katherine: “It’s really about teamwork. If someone isn’t doing well we still cheer them on and laugh together. It’s fun to encourage each other.”
Bret: “There are multiple approaches, like the 4-step and 5-step. There are also different ways to bowl the ball – I didn’t know that. I just thought you had to put three fingers in and throw it. But there are so many more ways.”
What is your favorite part?
All three: Practice.
All three: The music is playing, we get to hang out with our friends, and get closer to people we wouldn’t normally see.
What are some other technical things you’ve learned?
Mary Katherine: “Before I joined I didn’t know that there were arrows on the floor to help you aim.”
Bret: “You aren’t allowed to go up to bowl at the same time as a person on the team you are competing against. So, you have to wait for them to finish before you can step on the wood.”
Austin: “I spend the majority of time at home looking up bowling techniques on YouTube, which is like the nerdiest thing in the world, but I do it all the time. The number-one bowler in the world right now is Jason Belmonte, and he bowls two-handed. So, at the beginning of the season I tried to bowl two-handed and I ended up bowling a 65 in a match so I stopped that the next week and switched over to the one-handed and got a lot better.”
Do you think you’ll continue your bowling career after you graduate?
Austin: “Oh, definitely. I might try to start an intramural team in college.”
Mary Katherine: “I will probably go play more for fun than I ever did before I joined the team.”
Bret: “Yeah, who knows. It’s really fun, so I will play around for sure.”