Big Time Bowlers
The Austin Packer Adaptive Bowling team recently made a little noise at the state tournament as they had a total of five medalists.
But more important than anything, the team, which includes physically impaired and cognitively impaired students, was able to get out and have a good time together on the road.
Head coach Corey Christopherson said the 35-team state meet which was held in Eden Prairie was the only meet the team travels for as all the other meets are done at home and scores are sent in to determine winners.
“The kids are just really excited to be there in the first place,” Christopherson said. “To have the success they did was really exciting, and they were just off the wall.”
The adapated bowling team, which bowls without gutters, puts up some pretty impressive scores and the Packers play 10-frame games. One team member, Chad Johnson, bowled a 220 once and Christopherson said team members often hit between the 140 and 200 marks.
“They’re pretty quality bowlers and they get to be pretty serious,” Christopherson said. “They want to compete and they want to know how they did in the meets. For some of them, it’s the only organized team they get to be on. It’s fun and they get to be on a team.”
Cody Stevens, who took ninth in the Cognitively Impaired boys singles at state, said he didn’t feel any nerves when he went to compete on the road.
“I enjoy it a lot and it was fun to go on the road,” Stevens, who is a freshman, said. “I got a lot of pins down and I got a medal.”
Tarvae Banks, a freshman, said he looks up to Stevens at the bowling alley and he loves the feeling of hitting a strike.
“Coach always tells me I do a good job bowling,” he said. “We have fun out there and a I threw a few strikes. We do a good job together as a team.”
Christopherson coaches the team along with assistants Eric Kossoris and Ryan Schwenn and he said the squad give back plenty of enjoyment.
“It’s extremely fun and it’s kind of the highlight of the day,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what day you come in, the kids are just excited to be there and be on a team. It puts things in perspective for you pretty quick and that’s fun.”
Besides Stevens, Austin state medalists included: Rachel Cook, who took first place in the Physically Impaired girls singles division, Shadow Mallan, who took fifth in the Cognitively Impaired boys singles, Breanna Underhill, who took fifth in the CI singles girls division, Kaylee McDermott and Rachel Cook, who took fourth in the PI doubles division and Jeremy Bartholomew and Chad Johnson, who took third place in the CI doubles division.
The adapated bowling season begins in early March and ends May in mid-May. The Packers had 18 bowlers and a manager this season.
The Austin adapted bowling team recently had a strong showing at state. The team includes: Tarvae Banks, Jeremy Bartholomew, Rachel Cook, Caleb DeWitt, Matthew Erath, Ashley Hanson (manager), Allie Hodnefield, Casey Houghtby, Chad Johnson, Courtney Karnes, Damion Kenitz, Shadow Mallan,
MaKaylee McDermott, Greg Michel, Megan Nelson, Katherine Schroeder,
Cody Stevens and Breanna Underhill.