Roseburg High’s bowling teams are aiming for spots in the High School State Championship in February at AMF Firebird Lanes in Salem.
It would require a top three finish in the Southern Oregon division, which has continued to grow this season. The conference now has 15 boys teams and 10 girls teams, including teams from other Douglas County schools.
Last year, the RHS girls team made it to the state tournament. But the team lost its top bowler, Hannah Wools, to graduation. Wools received a scholarship to bowl for Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tennessee.
“Last year we were most improved and I think we can do it again this year,” coach Suzy Cates said, noting that Wools was the only experienced bowlers at the start of last year’s season.
Cates is coaching both teams, with help from Sandy Edwards.
Edwards said, “the goal is to have fun. They’ll learn how to work together and collaborate.”
Roseburg’s girls team has eight bowlers, including four returners.
A team needs five players to play a Baker’s game, where each players rolls two frames per game. For example, the first and sixth frame, or the second and seventh.
Madison Bosley is one of the returning bowlers and the anchor for the RHS girls team.
“We have a lot of new people, so right now we’re not doing as good,” Bosley said. “But I think we can get better and we’ll get it together. We have a lot of potential.”
The RHS girls are known for being a loud and cheerful team during competition, but during practice it’s all about learning the fundamentals of bowling.
“It’s been enlightening,” Bosley said. “It’s fun watching how they’re not good bowlers and then you give them a little bit of advice and then they’re pretty good. That’s cool.”
Roseburg’s boys team is also incorporating a lot of newcomers into the team.
Freshman Gavin Kowal is new to high school bowling, but not to competitive bowling. Although he noted there’s a difference between the competitions he took part in as an eighth-grader and now as a high school team member.
“It’s much more serious,” Kowal said. “I’ve been bowling for almost three years and this is a lot more challenging.”
Cates said the boys are hoping for a run at the state tournament as well.
The team has eight bowlers and finished third during last week’s competition after a roll off with Sutherlin for third place. Roseburg won by three pins, according to Cates.
“Based on what I saw, it’s possible they can make it to state,” Cates said.
Kowal added, “We did really good at the tournament. We need to keep getting better until we get to first place.”
Other Douglas County teams
Sutherlin’s boys lost the roll off to Roseburg in the first competition, but coach Amanda Friesen is expecting them to continue to be competitive as the season continues.
Sutherlin also has a girls bowling team, which is a mix of returners and newcomers.
Douglas High School is still trying to fill out its rosters. South Umpqua had a boys team for its first competition, but not a girls team.
All Douglas County teams compete in Southern Oregon High School bowling, with district meets taking place Jan. 26-27 at Caveman Bowl in Grants Pass.