Joey Berven ’20 saunters up to the ball return. He grabs his purple, sangria scented bowling ball, as he takes multiple deep breaths to inhale the succulent scent. He looks down at the boards, and lines up for his shot. He wipes his rapidly perspiring brow with his sleeve. Berven takes his first step, as he slowly pushes his ball forward to start his approach. With his feet rapidly increasing in speed, Joey swings the ball up towards his shoulder. As he nears the foul line, Berven pushes down on the front of his sliding foot, as he slides towards the foul line like a greased penguin on an oily arctic slope.
Reaching the line, Joey rolls the ball onto the lane, using his fingers to impart spin upon the ball trickling down the lane. Hitting his target, Joey quickly realizes the shot has an excellent chance to strike. As he prepares his strike celebration, the large crowd behind him starts cheering as the ball nears the pins. The ball lightly hits the pocket, but bounces off, leaving a nasty split behind. The crowd sighs in disappointment, but not surprised. This wasn’t the first time Jesuit had been left with an unlucky split, and unfortunately it wouldn’t be the last.
On March 31st at Forum Bowl, Jesuit competed in the THSBC state team competition. The field was competitive, but Jesuit certainly had the talent and potential to compete with the more experienced teams at the tournament. However, as referenced earlier, the Rangers had a tough time with unlucky pin leaves and shot consistency, leading to a much larger amount of open frames than usual.
The format was for five bowlers to each bowl three games, with substitutions of course, and then afterwards the total pin fall was added up to determine the top 16 seeds that would move on.
The Rangers started the match out strong, with a cumulative score of 946 for their first game. The team captains for the Rangers led the scoring, with Austin Montpas ’19 bowling a 246, and Jack Corrales ’20 bowling a 221. After this game, the Rangers were 20 pins back from making the cut.
The second game didn’t go as well for the Rangers, with their cumulative score of a measly 846. Montpas and Corrales both went over 200 again, with Montpas leading the scoring for Jesuit.
Going into the third game, the Rangers knew they needed a humongous total to try and make the cut, so many bowlers made radical adjustments and ball changes in order to try and put up a team high total. Sadly, the Rangers weren’t able to accomplish this as they bowled only 22 pins better than their second game, with a cumulative total of 868. Hayden Montpas ’22 led the scoring for Jesuit with a superb 231 game, but despite this effort the Rangers missed the cut by 96 pins. The Rangers placed 29th out of the 36 team field. The cut line was well within their reach, but lack of execution and unlucky breaks led to a disappointing end to the team’s season.
Austin Montpas ’19 and Jack Corrales ’20, both team captains, qualified for the individual state tournament in addition to the team matches with Jesuit. The format was similar to the team qualifying round, with 3 games of total pin fall being added together.
Over the three games, Corrales had a cumulative pin total of 629, with a high game of 215 and an average of 209. This was good enough to net a 29th place finish in the round of 44.
Montpas slightly beat Corrales’ score, as he stole 6 more pins than him to finish with a 635 series and an average of 211. Montpas had a high game of 231, as he placed 24th.
Three of Jesuit’s bowlers qualified for the All-district tournament, or rather the All-star game for bowling. The bowlers were Hayden Montpas, Austin Montpas, and Jack Corrales. They will be competing at the All-District tournament on April 6th, at College Station, with their district rivals now turned teammates, as they take on the best of the best bowlers in the state. Confused? Imagine the NBA All star game, but in this case there are 36 teams all of that same quality, as they duke it out over 3 games.
Reflecting on the season, head coach Ken Howell said “This season was one of if not the best in Jesuit Bowling history. Winning the Regional championship was a great achievement. I am very proud of the team as a whole.”
Junior captain Jack Corrales ’20 echoed this sentiment, saying “As the season progressed, we really grew closer as a team, and that showed as we reached our full potential at the end of the season by going undefeated until state. It’s going to be an exciting next year with the majority of the varsity lineup returning, and I know we’ll definitely work hard in the coming months to make it back to state next year.”
Despite this unfortunate weekend at the state tournament, the Rangers still had a historic season for the program, with a perfect 10-0 record in the district. In addition to this, the Rangers won the first Regional Championship for the program on their way to the state tournament. Three of Jesuit’s bowlers also finished within the top 5 of the region, with two moving onto the state tournament. The season might not have ended the way the Rangers wanted it to, but this season is only the beginning for the powerhouse that is the Jesuit bowling team; with only three seniors leaving this year, the Rangers still have their corp intact to not only repeat the performance of this year, but to surpass it.