Haslett Vikings Bowlers Come Together
Haslett Bowling Team Coming Together at the Right Time in the Right Way
The Haslett Vikings bowling program has grown over the seasons to form not just a formidable team that is lead by one of the area’s best bowlers, but one that is welcome and open to everyone who wants to lay claim to the alleyway. It’s an idea and model that comes from the top of the program and their coach Andrew Taylor who wanted to retain the atmosphere that welcomed him in as a Viking Freshman.
“I bowled for Haslett back in ’08 thru ’12. I started as a freshman and I liked the sport. I got pretty good at it and had the opportunities to excel further in the sport as an adult bowler. I passed up on those opportunities and came back to coach the Haslett High School team.” Taylor commented recently. “It feels pretty good and I like seeing them grow as bowlers and as adults. They came a long way from where you see them now as beginner bowlers. They achieve a lot and find it fun and competitive.”
The Vikings do feature one of the area’s top men’s singles bowlers in senior Connor Wallis who has had a high score of 254 and is averaging over 200 for the season. Coach Taylor see’s Wallis as not just their team captain, but as their leader. “He’s been in the bowling program for the last four years. He’s always been driven and wanted to get better. As he’s gotten older and matured, he’s now learning the specifics of bowling which is really good and hopefully we’ll be able to bring him to states this year.”
For Connor Wallis bowling is in his blood and it runs deep, so his success comes as little surprise. What was surprising was his journey to the team. “Bowling runs in the family and has always been a part of my life growing up. It’s in the family as my Dad has been bowling since high school and his Dad as well. I never really took it seriously until eighth grade, when over the summer I was going to the bowling alley and the workers there would see me and were always telling me to join the league. I thought about it but had never joined a league. The freshman year I tried out for the basketball team and didn’t make so then I joined the bowling team. I didn’t expect too much of it but it turned out pretty well for me.”
The Haslett ladies team also is led by a legacy bowler, as team Captain Tina Covic has also followed in her dad’s lead into the sport. “I’ve been bowling since I was really little around seven, and my Dad was in a league so I just picked up bowling from him.” “I always had it on my radar because I wanted to follow in my Dad’s footsteps a little.” Covic leads a talented squad that includes Ashlyn Tebedo and Angelica Garcia. For freshman Ben Trawitz, bowling also started as it has for many, with family trips to the lanes as a youngster. “I started bowling when I was really young. My family would go bowling every once in a while, and as I got older, we’d go out more and more.” Trawitz commented on his journey to the the team. “Then in seventh grade my grandpa would take me every Wednesday or Thursday and we would go out bowling for an hour or so. That’s when I started trying to get serious and get a higher score each time. Then when I heard that the high school had a bowling team, I knew I wanted to try that. When I graduated into 9th grade I went to the first practice where we went over everything and I took it from there.”
The Haslett team, as most high school teams in the area aren’t just for the experienced or accelerated bowlers. Beginners are welcome as well, even though the thought of joining the team maybe intimidating at first as Madi Harris explained that it was for her. “I guess I kind of have a social anxiety so I never really thought about playing sports. I had a couple of friends that were on the team and they inspired me to join. I really just fell in love with bowling and I’m having a lot of fun. I’d tell people to just try it. It doesn’t matter what you think about yourself – you just include yourself out there. It’s totally worth it. I wish I joined two years ago.”