Bowling bursts onto school sports scene



Junior Jada Oleski showcases her bowling skills at Sawgrass Lanes on September 13.

The first ever bowling team wrapped up their inaugural season this fall. While bowling is a recreational sport to play on the weekends for the average person, it gets serious for players involved in leagues and tournaments where the competition proves tough.

The team practiced Mondays from 3:30 until 5:30 at Sawgrass Lanes. They usually practiced with two games and a ‘baker’ game win which they all play together in teams.  

Junior Lauren Fortunato founded the girls’ team, consisting of four members and sophomore Antonio Garrido began the boys’ team, containing six members.

Fortunato decided to start the team to make her love of bowling come alive in the school.

“All of my friends at other schools had a bowling team and enjoyed it, so I wanted to experience it because I like bowling,” she said.

Garrido, who began bowling at age 4, was joined by seniors Jamal Kahook, Miguel Girano, Logan Griffin and freshman Jacob Price.

In order to get started, they had to find a coach willing to dedicate their time. Stepping up to the plate was Thomas Garrido, father of player Antonio Garrido. Although not a teacher, he volunteered because of his strong passion for bowling. His plan was to have the team compete the best they can and enjoy playing together.

“We were just starting out the team this year and just to have somebody [who] has the time to help us out and knew the sport was important,” Anthony said.

Last school year, Fortunato decided to talk to athletic director Jermaine Hollis to start the team.  He handled most of the paperwork for the start up of the team. The newly established team then held tryouts. Most players are new to the sport and joined the team for a fresh experience.

“It is something I’ve never done and I wanted to try something new [and] I love it,” Monaco said.

The girls’ team ended its first season ranked fifth, while the boys finished third competing against 10 schools in their division. The collective teams did not reach states; however, Garrido made it to states in the individuals division.

While the team ultimately fell short upon their goal of winning districts, they set the precedent for future teams to build on.