Bowling team strikes out negativity


Courtesy WHHS Athletics Dept.

The WHHS Bowling Team has been determined to remain positive throughout their 2019 season. The team is led by head coach Ryan Worthen as they aim to lift each other up individually and as a team.

Jackson Dunbar, Sports Writer

In today’s competitively-natured world, so many of the things people do are done because we have to. It’s important to cherish the activities that we take part in that we do of our free will. Members of the WHHS Bowling Team are given the opportunity to compete in a sport they are passionate about in a rather less stressful environment.

Ryan Worthen was named the new head coach for the WHHS Boys and Girls Varsity Bowling Team. Prior to this season, he was previously the Head Junior Varsity Coach/Assistant Varsity Coach and has been an avid bowler for many years. He’s participated in competitive bowling for 24 years, ranging from youth recreational leagues and one season at La Salle High School, where his personal average was 193 out of a possible 300 points as a senior.

Worthen also participates in regional tournaments with the Professional Bowlers Association.

Regarding the sport of bowling, Worthen said, “It blends individualism with the collective team dynamic. Your individual game isn’t as predicated on the performance of your teammates, but at the same time you still need each other in order to win, I believe that this balance is really beneficial.”

Coach Worthen has seen a lot of development in his players and overall growth in the program since he’s been coaching at WHHS. There are now eight members on the Grls’ Varsity Team and four members on the Boys’ Varsity Team, as well as three more boys who rotate between the junior varsity and varsity squad depending on players’ recent performances.

Worthen said, “A significant evolution for us is that we’ve been able to compete, despite almost half of this year’s bowlers from both teams having no (or very little) varsity experience. And most of our returning varsity bowlers have improved their averages from last year.”
The Boys’ Varsity Team has improved a lot this season. Much of the team’s growth has been attributed to SENIOR Ben Methena, who has raised his average by 30 pins this season, and consistent leadership shown by SENIORS Peter Dotterweich and Nicholas Wheeler, both finishing up their fourth season on varsity this season.

Worthen also noted “impressive development” seen from Andrew Immerman, ‘22.

Methena said, “I started putting a lot of extra hours in on my consistency. My coaches have also given me tips and constant reminders on what I should be doing.”

The girls’ team has been “paced” by SENIOR captain Camille Huyghues-Despointes and SENIOR Jasmine Smith along with continued improvement from Gabby Walker, ‘21. Both the Girls’ and Boys’ Varsity Teams enjoy the game for what it is and relish the freedom to play a game that they truly enjoy.

While WHHS Bowling allows their members to let loose, they still work hard to get better. Huyghues-Despointes said, “We have fun but also we take it seriously.”

The best way to improve at something is to keep trying and keep a positive attitude. However, comfortable settings can cause complacency in motor. The atmosphere on the team is “laid back” but they still are rolling to win.

Worthen said, “I’d say that almost everyone I have on varsity is definitely out to win. Whether it’s competing with people they know from other schools, the legacies of bowlers from years past or striving to gain bowling scholarships for college, they really go out and compete hard.”

The desire to win can drive one crazy for success. It’s difficult for anyone to react to disappointment in a favorable manner. The ones who figure out why they underachieved and then gauge how to alter their approach to achieve their goal usually are the ones who come back with better results the next time around. WHHS bowlers observe many teams who can become worked up whenever they lose or make a mistake in a match. The team realizes that’s not efficient.

Dotterweich said, “Our atmosphere is relaxed. If we take a loss we don’t get too hard on ourselves. When I see other teams getting pissed, I am grateful that our atmosphere is so chill.”

Coach Worthen wants his players to be successful on the lanes but also in life after high school. His goals are to instill a culture within the WHHS Bowling program that is as competitive as a sport like football but with a much more fun approach, where WHHS students can strive to be better bowlers and learn things about themselves that will benefit them in the long run.

Worthen wants “to not only be able to compete at the highest level, but to also provide a fun and inclusive environment for people to learn skills that translate into the rest of their lives.”

The state tournament for high school bowling in Ohio consists of sectionals, districts and state finals. Bowlers from both the girls and boys teams have advanced to districts.

Information in this article is current as of Feb. 26, 2019.