“I don’t want to jinx them,” said senior Maria Foster of her fellow bowling teammates, “But I think they have a really good chance.” The Avonworth Girls’ Bowling team, just a small and almost unheard of club four years ago, has been making their way to the top as one of Avonworth’s top performing sports teams this year. On Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21, the girls will be playing at States in Hershey, Pennsylvania, something they’ve worked hard all season to get to.
“Considering what we don’t get from the school, I’m really proud of my team and how far we’ve come,” continued Foster. She went on to explain that other teams, big teams such as North Allegheny, get their own buses, insurance, and funds from the school. “The fact that we don’t have any funding just shows how much everybody on the team cares about this and how much we want this.” There is also an eighty dollar entrance fee for each player that the school will not be covering–the Schoeppners and their bowling alley are graciously paying for each girl to play.
However, as senior Kara Rudzik pointed out: “[The lack of funding] from the school shows that they don’t need to be behind the team because we have achieved so much without the support from the school. It would have helped us out to have had financial help, like paying for our hotel and our food expense, but we had the community and parents to support and help us.”
So how does a team of this size without a ton of experience prepare for a competition of this worth? “We practice the same amount,” said senior Emily Grambo. “There’s not much pressure–we just want to have fun. We’re glad we made it this far.”
“I’m glad we made it to states my senior year,” Grambo continued. “It means a lot because states is big for the team, and being that Avonworth is so small, it’s a great achievement.”
And no matter what the final scores are on Friday and Saturday, the pride and support within the team seems unwavering. As a first year bowler, and even though she actually won’t be attending states herself, Foster spoke highly of her team and their season up until this point. “It was a really good experience,” she said. “We had a ton of fun, we learned a lot, and through all of it we’re extremely supportive of each other.”