High school bowling team organizing
Even though their season is still five months away, a small group of young bowlers is already working to form the nucleus for a new club team that will represent Douglas High School in the High Desert Interscholastic Bowling Program.
The team, which will operate on a club sport basis and be responsible for supporting itself, is open to students who attend either Douglas High School, ASPIRE Academy, or are homeschool students. Prospective members meet twice a week at Wink’s Silver Strike bowling center in the Gardnerville Ranchos under the direction of head coach David Dickey and assistant Allan Powers.
“It’s going to be exciting,” Dickey said. “This has been a dream of mine for six or seven years. The new owners of Wink’s Silver Strike (Jim and Stacey Winklepleck) are committed to supporting the team and it’s fantastic. They’ve been just amazing.”
The HDIBP season starts at the end of November and continues through the playoffs in February. Dickey noted that voluntary preseason conditioning has begun for bowlers on Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3-5 p.m.
“Seven to 10 have been showing up regularly,” Dickey said. “They’re great kids who are progressing.”
The coach added that he plans to keep 15 to 20 bowlers on the team for the season.
The HDIBP, which has been in existence since 2000, consists of high school club teams from Reno, Sparks and Carson City. The league is not sanctioned by the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) at this time, although Clark County has a sanctioned league that conducts state championship competition.
Like any sanctioned high school sport, the student-athletes are required to maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average with no failing grades in any class.
Dickey pointed out that more than 200 colleges offer bowling teams, including at least 129 women’s teams.
“Bowling is the highest scholastic sport in the nation as far as opportunities for scholarships to college,” he said. “This is a very athletic sport, but a lot of people don’t realize they can do it until they try.”
Dickey added that physically challenged participants are welcome to come out try for a spot on the Douglas team.
“If you can deliver the ball at the foul line yourself, you can be on this team,” he said.
As for the summer training sessions, Dickey explained that the players put in about 30 minutes of stretching and calisthenics before they go out on the lanes. This is preseason conditioning, after all.
“It’s just like any other athlete,” Dickey said. “When you’re bowling in a tournament, nine games at a time, you need to have stamina, not to mention mental focus.”
Angela Miller, who is entering her junior year at Douglas, has been bowling four years and is now looking forward to a new high school experience.
“I think it’ll be fun,” she said. “I really like bowling and it’s going to be fun now to be part of a team.”
Jim Winklepleck pointed out that the team received an assist recently from an avid bowler who donated a dozen balls to the team.
Interestingly enough, Winklepleck bowled in the Professional Bowlers Association from 1979-86, highlighted by second-place performances in three national tournaments. He won nine regional titles and 11 titles in the Oregon Bowlers Association.
To support itself, the Douglas team will need to raise funds to compete every season.
“We’re completely unfunded, so we are looking for donations to help with our transportation,” Dickey said, adding that approximately $4,000 will be needed to pay for travel expenses to and from league matches during the season.