by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
I suspect most of us remember those glory days of high school, however when you reach my age it could be troublesome to remember so far back. However to jog my memory I have taken on a volunteer bowling coach job for my alma mater, Benilde St. Margaret’s. Of course, when I attended high school, Benilde and St. Margaret’s were separate schools but have now merged to produce a class institution in St. Louis Park.
The bowling program is excellent and all students are invited to join the teams regardless of skill level. It is my job, as well as all of the coaches to hopefully improve those skill levels, but also to promote the sport of bowling and make sure everyone is having fun. I have a strong sense that this is being accomplished among all of the school teams in the conference.
I am not sure if the conference has a name, but the member schools participating as well as the host bowling centers are as follows:
Benilde St. Margaret’s - Park Tavern
St. Louis Park - Texa Tonka
Hopkins - Tuttle’s
Holy Angels - Lariat Lanes
Eden Prairie- Brunswick Zone/ Eden Prairie
Chesterton Academy (merged with Eden Prairie)
Edina - Texa Tonka
I wanted to mention the participating centers because of the huge contribution these proprietors make to the high school bowling program. In most cases they provide sponsorship to the varsity teams. Most teams practice twice per week and the cost of lineage is donated to the students. On most Fridays, meets are held with all of the teams mentioned above competing. Generally 12 lanes are provided, and two best of 5 game Baker system matches are held at the varsity and junior varsity levels. That’s ten games on six pairs of lanes or 120 games provided by the host center. This schedule also provides the participants with different looks and lane conditions, because as most of you know, bowling lanes are like snowflakes – no two are alike.
I have provided information on the conference which BSM participates, however I don’t wish to slight other centers that I know contribute to high school bowling. My good friend and Minneapolis USBC director, Herb Marth works with the Wayzata team which I believe practices at New Hope Lanes.
Also, a tip of my hat to the parents and friends who support the activity. The bowling centers become a little crowded on game day, and there is a lot of cheering and support for the participants. But, I cannot stress enough the appreciation I feel toward the bowling centers that provide a great venue to encourage young people to bowl for fun. So Mr. proprietor, THANK YOU for your contributions, and thank you also for the free parking.