Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

A Striking Passion

All the seniors together at senior night.

Crashing pins and cheering players add to an intense environment as bowling teams compete for a chance to go to state. Through matches and practices, the team has developed a close bond with each other and their coaches, inspiring everyone involved to work hard.

Despite having a bowling team at the school for around 10 years, many students often aren’t aware of the club. Students often learn about the team during morning announcements or through friends. Sophomore Nicholas Diechert was a bowler outside of school before joining the team.

“I joined because of one of my friends. I’ve been bowling for six years. I have a passion for bowling, and I like it. It’s a good way to make friends. It’s not seen as a sport to other people. It doesn’t have a lot of running or anything, and they think it’s not a lot of physical activity. It’s really just to have fun, try your best, support your teammates, and be competitive,” Deichert said.

Like all clubs, bowling needed a sponsor to come to life. Tara Spridco, the student who started the club, brought the sponsor and coaches into the club. Club Sponsor Donna Davis enjoys being involved even though she has no previous experience in the bowling community.

“When Coach Spridco’s daughter wanted to start the club and had some announcements made, I had a student who was interested. I emailed the principal saying ‘What was the announcement about?’ and she said ‘We need a sponsor, would you like to do it?’ So that’s how I became a sponsor,” Davis said. “I love how it brings kids from all different groups together. They all work together and become close. It’s great how they learn to pull together and encourage each other.”

Bowling has offered many people a community and the chance to make friends. It allows different people to come together and bond despite their differences. Senior Reagan Clifton, who moved to Lake Ridge this year, connected with new people and the school through her passion for the sport.

“I did a league with my grandma in middle school and then we heard about high school teams, so I’ve joined one ever since. I was already bowling before I moved here and when we moved, I was looking into bowling teams in the area and heard that Lake Ridge had a great team,” Clifton said. “I also met a couple of the team members. Everyone’s awesome. There’s not one person that I don’t like. The coaches are great and it’s fun, I’ve learned a lot.”

The bowling team isn’t just something to pass time for participating students. Having gone to regional and state competitions many times, the team works hard to continue their streak. Girls varsity coach Tennelle Milligan loves sharing her knowledge of bowling, seeing her team succeed, and getting to know her athletes.

“I think we’ve gone to regionals every year we’ve been in existence, and I believe we’ve gone to state probably close to that, eight times at least. We finished fourth last year and fifth the year before,” Milligan said. “I just try to keep it positive as much as possible, but also lay down the law. We can still have fun, but I want to try to help make them better and enjoy it. It’s a lot of ‘How was your day?’ That’s my favorite part. I enjoy when the athletes feel comfortable enough to come and be like ‘Coach, I had a bad day.’ Ok, how do we make it better.”

The bowling community offers a lot of opportunities for its athletes. From traveling for competitions to scholarship options, it can open up multiple new paths. Junior Charisse Graham appreciates everything that comes with being a bowler.

“I’ve been bowling since I was three. My parents were just trying to find something for me to do because I was a very energetic toddler, so they just said ‘Let’s take her to the bowling alley.’ and that’s how it started,” Graham said. “I found out about the bowling team from Kyrah, my other teammate, she was always talking about how at Lake Ridge the bowling team was created by Coach Spridco’s daughter, Tara. I decided to try it because I already bowled competitively. I love meeting new people. I travel across the country and then I just meet different people from different backgrounds. They’re all so sweet, and I love the competitive energy.”

Despite being a relatively unknown sport, bowling is filled with passionate players and coaches. The community opens many doors and brings people together, leading to unbreakable bonds and unforgettable memories.


About the Contributor
Rebecca Rios
Rebecca Rios, ENN Staff