“Whirl it, Worley,” shouts Mercy’s Varsity bowling team as sophomore bowler Abby Worley gets ready to take her shot. With the support from her teammates, the tension begins to fade and her confidence kicks in. Every bowling team member has a personalized cheer, helping her to feel supported.
“We have three teams of six this year, which is the biggest we have ever had,” said Worley. “It is important that each of those players feels seen and appreciated.”
Mercy’s Varsity Bowling team is known for their skill. With a Catholic League championship last year, and four practices and at least one meet a week, their overall reputation is for getting things done right. However, within the bowling team itself the team is known for their tight knit bonds with each other and their long time coach, Mrs. Vicky Kowalski.
The bowling team provides a place for student athletes of all grades to come together and make impactful friendships. Due to bowling’s practice logistics there are only so many lanes, meaning that only few girls can play at a time. This set up allows the girls downtime to eat together, come up with unique inside jokes, and make friendships to last a lifetime.
“I have met some of my best friends on this team,” said senior and captain Angela Rea. “I’ve become so close with people that I would be not be able to get to know outside of bowling.”
While the girls dedicate several hours of hard work towards the sport, they also understand the value in bonding as a team. Captains seniors Faye Stork and Angela Rea, as well as senior Manager Kylie McHenry, put in time and effort to strive for bonds between all the players throughout the season. With events ranging from laser tag games, gift bags from the seniors at holidays, after meet sleepovers, secret Santa, and group chat shenanigans, the girls remain close throughout the season. At the beginning of every meet, the girls get together for their “snack and motivation”, which requires one of the girls to bring in a healthy bite to eat for the entire team, as well as an inspirational message for all players to do their best.
“The fact you can bomb your shot or completely nail it, is just a frightening feeling we all are well aware of,” said Rea. “That’s why it’s good to be so close with the team. Because even when you’re tired of the game, you’re never tired of each other.”