Not getting bowled over
Central taking three teams to bowling state tournament
Ben Bambino said he bowled nine games a day last week until, at long last, a chunk of skin from his right, middle finger tore.
Must have been preparation for state.
The Colorado High School Bowling Foundation State Tournament is Saturday and Sunday, and Central High School, the Western Slope Championship winner, is taking three coed teams to AMF Belleview in Englewood.
Fruita Monument also qualified a team.
The state team tournament is Saturday, and an individual tournament will take place Sunday.
The eight Grand Valley teams — four from Central, three from Fruita Monument and one from Palisade — competed in 10 tournaments this season.
The top four qualified for state: Central finished with the top three teams, and Fruita Monument took fourth.
And these kids can play. Bambino, for one, once bowled a 299, said Larry Robbins, head coach of the four Central teams.
Fruita Monument’s Jayden Miller has the highest local average entering the tournament with a 212.
Central’s Sean Lockwood is averaging 208.
Also for Central, Austin Warren heads to state with a 193 average, Bambino a 192 and Jake Campbell a 188.
Palisade will bring J.D. Ward (190) and David Russell (188) to the individual competition.
Also for Fruita Monument, Taylor Poudrier (166 average) and Samantha Baker (160) will compete in the individual competition.
Robbins said that since Central first established a team in 2003, the Warriors have won the Western Slope Championship five times.
Bambino is certainly a Warrior-like bowler. Like many of the bowlers, the senior will spend 16 to 20 hours per week practicing at Orchard Mesa Lanes.
“It’s definitely a part-time job,” said Bambino, who has not bowled this week because of the torn skin on his right middle finger. “Coach said to shut it down. ... It’s almost healed. It’ll end up cracking before the end of the tournament. They make special storm tape I can put right on there.”
Robbins said if a player wants to practice on his or her own during the week, Orchard Mesa owner Eric Loeb charges the players $1 per game.
“What can you do for a dollar?” Robbins said. “You can’t even play a video game for a dollar. Eric Loeb has just been great, and we appreciate it.”