Photo by Anika Ramos
This past season, the boys bowling team managed to win the OIA West Championships after a steady stream of wins.
“I was happy for them. They worked hard all season. We came up a little short last season, so it was very rewarding,” said coach Corey Zukeran.
The team played against Leilehua for the title, and were almost overtaken in the match. However, the team was eventually able to pull through with their skills and come out on top. “We started the game off good, but Leilehua [was] keeping up with us, and ended up beating us by 40 pins after 5 games,” said captain Senior Akira Sancos. “We had to score 40 pins higher the last game to win OIA, and one of our teammates shot a 299 to make a comeback to win OIAs.”
Due to the formatting of the season, much of the challenges the team faced took place at the end of the season. As the pressure set in, they had to remain focused in order to not slip up in the postseason tournaments. “We were ahead from week one, and it wasn’t really until the last week that there was any kind of pressure. Because we hadn’t been pushed all season, it was difficult to get them to grind the last few games to remain on top in the OIA West. Thankfully, they came through,” said Zukeran.
In preparation for the game, the team focused on practicing as they had all season, with a particular focus on spares to get them through the postseason tournaments. In the end, it payed off for them. “I was practicing almost every day to work on specific things and check all my balls to make sure all my balls are in good shape,” said Sancos. “Winning OIAs felt like we were at the top out of all the other teams. It was an honor for me to play in this game, I was truly thankful for that.”
Through the many practices and challenges of the season, the team also grew and bonded together as a result. Sancos recalls the difficulties that came with being captain and bearing the responsibility of bringing the team together. “As a team at first we weren’t really close but after time goes by, everyone started to encourage each other during the game and we got much stronger,” said Sancos. Zukeran added “Last year, we lost three key seniors of our state championship team to graduation. There was some uncertainty as to what kind of team we would have this year. The juniors and seniors who have been on the team for three plus years stepped up to guide the newer members of the team, and it has come together quite nicely. The team definitely has a different character this year.”
The OIA West Championship was held in Oct., concluding the overall bowling season.