For much of the pandemic, some of the area’s prep student-athletes saw their training facilities shut down completely.
Now, with just a six-week season set for 2021, Sequim High’s bowling squad doesn’t have a lot of time to get up to speed before the season-culminating league tourney set for June 10.
“It’s going to fly by,” said Sequim coach Randy Perry, entering his 13th season leaving the Wolves.
Things look a little different on the lanes this year thanks to some health precautions, Perry noted. Rather than the two regular games, two Bakers and an aggregate score to determine winners, bowlers are kept on the same lanes for three full games, he said, and teams only use their top four bowlers instead of five.
While the Wolves struggled for team wins the last couple of years against some deep Kitsap squads, they see five returners back on the team including two-time state qualifier Madison McKeown.
McKeown placed sixth at districts last season and 36th at the 1A/2A tourney, and looks solid in early-season matches this year, Perry said. In her most recent six games she’s averaged 163 pins, he noted.
“She’s rolling real nice,” he said.
“With Madison (bowling so well), we just need a couple of other girls bowling 120-140, and we will be OK,” he said. “I’m optimistic that we’ll compete all year.”
Returners Gabriella Mattern-Hall, Emily Green and Anastasia Updike make a solid top four, Perry said, while three freshmen look to push for a varsity spot.
“That’s the best thing for coaching, is to see a girl actually get better at it — and having fun, too,” He said. “I think they’re going to be pushing my fourth bowler for varsity time for sure.”
With Bremerton having some low numbers and North Mason not having a team this year, Klahowya might be the team to beat in league, Perry said.
“All the other teams have been bowling for a month, (but) we’re going to get a lot of lane time in,” he said. “We always get better. It’s a good group of kids. We’ll see what happens.”