Ready to roll: Central sending two teams to bowling state championships

Saturday, the best high school teams from across the state will battle to be called the best.

With basketball teams playing at various sites around the state, the high school bowling state championships are at Harmony Bowl in Colorado Springs.

The Central High School bowling team is sending two teams to the tournament. Larry Robbins started the program seven years ago and has seen it grow into three teams at the school.

“We usually start out with about 30 kids a year,” Robbins said. “Even though we aren’t quite recognized as a CHSAA (Colorado High School Activities Association) sport, we try to follow all the CHSAA rules.”

Those rules include staying eligible in class and regular attendance at practice and tournaments. Robbins said the players keep each other accountable.

“We treat it like a (CHSAA) sport, everyone has to show up at practices or else you don’t bowl,” White team captain Tyler Zimmerman said. “I think it’s a great sport.”

And it’s a sport Zimmerman is great at playing. Central’s White team is the equivalent of a varsity team, and Zimmerman is the team leader. He averages a 208 in the high school league.

“Tyler does two sports (tennis and bowling) and has a 4.1 GPA,” Robbins said. “I let him run his team. He knows what guys are on and what guys are off.”

Zimmerman is joined on the White team by Richie Staats, Jessica Knott, Derek Hampton and Richard Reed.

Zimmerman’s role as captain is to help the other four bowlers on his team with strategy and figuring out oil patterns on the lanes. Zimmerman has already been to the state tournament twice, and said it’s a hectic day.

“You bowl a game on a lane with your team, then they move you to a different lane,” Zimmerman said. “They have 50 lane alleys, and you’ll bowl a lane, then move down 20 lanes.”

At Saturday’s state tournament, each team bowls six games, using the total pin fall with a handicap for scores.

After the six games are bowled, the top five teams advance to a stepladder final (the fifth-place team bowls the fourth-place team, with the winner moving on to bowl the third-place team). The Baker scoring system is used, where a bowler rolls the first and sixth frames, another team member bowls the second and seventh frames, and so on.

“I’d love to finish in the top 10, but the tough part is these guys have to bowl six games, and that can be a good six hours of bowling,” Robbins said. “But it’ll be fun no matter what.”

The competitive atmosphere might be most appealing to Ivan Beale, the captain of Central’s Red team, which is going to state. Beale, a senior, has been bowling for five years, including the past two for Central. He’s never been to the state tournament.

“Being on the team’s been pretty cool,” Beale said. “I’ve gotten a lot of help from the teammates, and being around bowling is something I love to do.”

Beale is joined on the Red team by Stephen Brown, Cody Blair, Bridger Nelson, Nikki Zimmerman and Sarah Robbins. Being in the state tournament will be a good experience for Beale, who has high aspirations.

“I actually want try to become a pro at some point,” Beale said. “I love being in the bowling alley, the sounds; it’s just amazing.”


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