Rolling with the Bowlers

NASH Bowling has made several headlines in the past, but how do they do it?

Shuban Tiwari, Staff Writer

­­The North Allegheny Boys’ Bowling Team was the PA State Champion in 2021 as well as the state finalist in 2022. With a resume as impressive as that, it would seem that the team is unrelentingly serious.

But Ella Cullen, a senior on the team, says that’s not what others may think.

“There’s no pressure. It’s fun, and you still get to be around your friends. Also, you’re still doing a sport, so it’s nice for college applications too,” Cullen said.

Bowling is, of course, fun. Most people understand that. But competitive bowling can be a different experience

“It’s ten times more competitive than casual bowling,” Cullen said. “These people are bowling for a competition, and they actually take it really seriously.”

After a certain point, bowling is not as much a physical game as it is a mental one. Carrying a 16-pound ball is one thing, but aiming it in the proper direction to achieve a perfect score is no easy feat. Cullen notes that competitive bowling can get so accurate that it demands mathematical intuition.

“There’s geometry involved because you need to hit a certain angle, which can be mentally challenging,” she stated.

“One mistake can lose it all. To get a perfect game you need to have all strikes, which means you need to be really really detail oriented. Even one frame can lose you the game,” she recognized.”

— Ella Cullen, Female Bowler

Bill Jorden, NAI science teacher and head coach of the team, runs practices on Monday and Tuesday, while the games are on Thursdays and Fridays. His practices can easily last up to two hours, and each practice usually contains three games. Actual bowling matches, however, typically take three hours.

Jorden has high expectations this year.

“My expectations are that the boys’ team will be one of the top teams in western PA. Our goal is to qualify for states for a third consecutive year,” he said.

Cullen added that, despite the fact that it is a competitive sport with high expectations, the team is always welcoming.

“What’s great about bowling is that you can start at any age and it’s really fun,” she said.

Tryouts for this year’s girls’ and boys’ teams will begin after school this Friday at Perry Park Lanes.