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Bowling: Some schools treat high school bowlers with respect

This new trophy case was added HighlHigh School just house boys girls bowling teams' awards. | phoprovided

This new trophy case was added to Highland High School just to house the boys and girls bowling teams' awards. | photo provided

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Updated: March 21, 2013 6:51AM



The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Actually, with Indiana High School Bowling and Northwest Indiana schools’ treatment of the sport, the more things stay the same, the worse they get.

How hard is it to give kids — it doesn’t matter if they’re on the bowling team or the hockey team or the debate team or the chess team or in the Hoosier Spell Bowl — a little recognition. The problem is, it seems like those other teams get more recognition than the bowlers at some area schools.

And it really shows after teams and individuals win state titles. On one end of the spectrum, there’s the Boone Grove girls, who won their first state title by defeating Lake Central in the final on Saturday in Lafayette. Boone Grove and the Porter Township Schools treat bowling as well as most sports.

Athletic director Kerrie Schludecker actually went above and beyond the call of duty on Saturday to support the bowling team and the girls basketball team, which was playing in the regional in Rochester, which was an hour-and-a-half drive from the bowling center in Lafayette. First, she watched bowling singles to see Paige Kraushaar finish sixth (Merrillville’s Carly Larson won the girls title in a thrilling final match). Then Schludecker drove to Rochester to watch Boone beat Whiting in the regional semifinal, then she came back to Lafayette to watch most of the team event (she left after qualifying), then back to Rochester to see the basketball team in the regional final (they lost to Fort Wayne Luers).

Schludecker didn’t have to do that, especially since bowling isn’t IHSAA sanctioned by choice. But she doesn’t need an IHSAA sanction stamp on a sport to support the kids, and that’s the way it should be.

Another school supporting bowling is Highland High School, which had both of its teams at the state finals — the boys finished fifth and the girls finished sixth. A trophy case just for the bowling teams was recently added inside the school, unlike many schools which won’t allow the bowling trophies to touch school grounds.

Wheeler and Portage, which had its girls team finish fourth in the state, also treat the bowlers with respect.

I won’t name the schools who are culprits — or I could call them bowling prejudiced — but as you’ll notice, I didn’t mention the other state team champion because I’m trying to stick with positive thoughts here. Let’s just say they barely got a mention in Tuesday’s announcements, and instead of being called a school team they were described as “students representing” the school, as if it’s a disgrace for bowling to be part of the school’s extracurricular activities.

“Students representing” a school hang out at the nearest McDonald’s or Taco Bell, too, but most don’t work their butts off to win state titles with the school’s name on their shirts.

Kudos to all region schools who care about all the kids on every team, whether it’s sanctioned or not. As for the others, maybe superintendents and school boards should take a good long look at how their kids are being treated.

Stardust III tournaments: Eric Martin and Mike Skowronski were the big winners of the Stardust III February 8-pin Love Tap tournament. Martin won singles while the duo captured the doubles title. The next tourney on tap for the Dyer center is the March 9-pin No-Tap that runs from March 2 to 20. For details, call 322-3666.

Lakeshore St. Pat’s Tournament: The Lakeshore Association will hold its annual St. Pat’s Open Tournament at noon (sign-ups at 11 a.m.) on March 10 and 17 at Cressmoor Lanes in Hobart. The event is open to all sanctioned men’s and women’s bowlers and handicap is based on 100 percent of a 215 average. The cost is $30 per bowler with $5 of each entry going toward the association’s scholarship fund. For details, contact Laviolette at 741-4915 or kdlcsl89@hotmail.com.



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