Bowling team sounds off about their sport

In the Favrot Student Union next to the bookstore is a bowling alley. In that bowling alley is a team that has been highly successful over the past couple of seasons, but few on campus know about them. The women’s bowling team, coached by Barbara Lewis, has lived in the shadows of the likes of football and basketball until now.

When people think about bowling, they think of an activity that is done for fun and requires no skill. But many do realize there is a lot to bowling.

To be a skilled bowler takes knowledge of mathematics, great timing and good hand-eye coordination. Bowling, just like football and basketball, takes a lot out of a player.

The Lady Tigers want to make themselves known for the competitors they are.

A bowling game consists of 10 frames that are thrown with a 16-pound bowling ball. Bowlers throw almost as many balls as pitchers do. Because they throw so many balls, it is important that team members ice their knees and shoulders. They are required to do weight training and water aerobics to stay in shape for the season.

Lewis, entering her tenth season at GSU, has a very impressive resume.

She was a member of the Grambling faculty and staff bowling team that won the Louisiana Women’s Cham-pionship in 1989.

Lewis won Coach of the Year honors in her first year at Grambling in 1998, when her team went 10-1. This past July, she was appointed to the NCAA National Collegiate Women’s Bowling Committee.

Since the arrival of Lewis, the bowling team has never finished less than fourth in the SWAC. Lewis lives by three philosophies: The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Everyone is capable of leading but it takes an integral person to follow. And last, her players enjoy what they do, and will give it their best.

She instills in her players that they are students first, then athletes. “I’m here to make sure these girls graduate and almost everyone in my program has graduated,” Said Lewis.

To be successful this season, the Lady Tigers must count on the leadership of senior bowlers Damona Richards, McCall Long and Taylor Richards.

Assisting in this season’s effort is a group of Chicago natives: junior bowler Ashley Dowdy, who is regarded by her coach as the most consistent bowler, sophomore bowler Lateona Boyce; and two-sport athlete Kayla Williams from Toronto.

Pivotal meets for the team include the SWAC Roundup begining on Nov 3. On Dec 1, the team will travel to Jackson, Miss., for the Capital City Collegiate Classic.

The Lady Tigers are hoping to make it to the national championship on April 10-12. “People are unaware of the high level of completion at these meets,” Damona Richards said. “In bowling it is a very high level of competition because were are competing against Division 1A schools.”

The Lady Tiger season will open in Shreveport on Saturday.