Wins to spare


Elena Brown

“I notice some people take [bowling] as a joke, it’s not really that serious, but it does get draining sometimes when people just shove it off to the side and don’t treat it like an actual sport,” Nevaeh Williams, ‘25, said.

Elena Brown, Managing Editor of Student Life

From football to the academic quiz team, WHHS has countless different sports teams. But one program stays hidden in the shadows: bowling. They are one of the most successful programs in this school and the girls have a record of 8-1. However, many people don’t even know they exist.

“We definitely don’t have much recognition because a lot of people that I talk to don’t even know that we have a bowling team here,” Nevaeh Williams, ‘25, a bowler on the girls team who recently won Bowler of the Year, said.

Williams grew up around bowling, which is one of the reasons why she is such a successful bowler. 

“It’s always been a family thing,” Williams said. “My Grandfather’s father was a bowler and then my grandfather taught me everything that I know.”

Williams’ grandfather is the coach of the girls team, which she says has its pros and cons.

“It’s either fun or it’s awful. It depends because he expects a lot out of me, but I know no matter what I do, he’s always really proud of me,” Williams said.

The other bowling coach and WHHS security guard, Jimmy Denson, is a big part of the reason the bowling program is kept so quiet, as he tries to keep the publicity to a minimum.

“I think we’re the best kept secret in school, you never hear anything about us,” Denson said. “We just do our job. I just love these kids, and I don’t want to put any pressure on them.”

One of the teams that they have lost to is St. Ursula Academy, which is coached by Denson’s daughter.

“I used to coach for St. Ursula Academy for 14 years before I left and turned it over to my daughter. She’s been running with it ever since,” Denson said.

This year, Denson and the girls’ bowling program have already beaten Turpin and Lebanon, last year’s ECC girls’ bowling champions.

“As far as the bowling program goes, I’m trying to turn it around,” Denson said. “These kids are having fun. I’m enjoying this again. I just let them do what they want to do. I have girls who love to bowl. That’s amazing.”

Williams is definitely one of those girls who loves to bowl.

“I like the friends that I make, and I like the more social aspects. I’ve made a lot of lifelong friends from the sport,” Williams said. “But also, I enjoy it because it’s something I’m good at and better than most people.”

This year, Williams had a high bowling average, which is the average number of points scored per game.

“We’ve lost matches we shouldn’t have lost. But then there’s games that we have no business of winning,” Denson said. “We’re right there. That’s just because bowling has ups and downs.”

This year the bowling program certainly had a lot of changes. Denson estimates that there was only one returning player to the boys’ team.

“We’re gonna be even better next year,” Williams said, “Some of our SENIORS are leaving, but we have our JV team who has people who are going to come out during the summer and bowl offseason. So then once it starts back up for high school, they’re ready.”

No matter how well they do next year, the bowling program will continue to support each other.

“One thing about [bowling], we’re all family,” Denson said. “To be a part of this program, you have to want to be a part of something bigger than yourself. This program, it’s bigger than you, it’s bigger than anybody here.”