A Day in the Life of An Ignatius Bowler

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Photo via St. Ignatius.

The St. Ignatius Bowling Team shares a laugh.

It has certainly been a tumultuous time for high schoolers far and wide, but recent developments in the IHSA have brought about the opportunity for winter athletes to take part in some sort of season. Basketball players can once again hit the court, football players are back in the gym, and bowlers, well, they have seized the opportunity as well, bowling like never before. 

Many have been working to adapt to our world’s new normal, and so has the game of bowling. Matches were once played side by side the opposing team, but bowling competitions have since adopted a different method. Rather than competing directly against an opposing team, the JV and Varsity levels bowl next to each other, calculating scores that will later be compared to the opposing team. Whoever takes the higher score, wins. Despite the lack of a visible competitor, the bowling season has been able to proceed almost as smoothly as it would have pre-pandemic. The team remains socially distant and entertains the use of masks, but spirits are equally as high as previous seasons. 

A typical day in the life of a bowler is not one for the light-hearted. Bowlers venture to the Bluebird Lanes, joyfully welcomed by coaches Mr. Lombard and Dean Lonergan. A few rounds of practice are allowed to warm up the hands, but from there, the game is tense and attention is on the pins. Ms. Lonergan’s catch phrase, “Spare City,” can be heard across the alley and Maeve Prange, a JV bowler, gives giddy cheers to get the team riled up. Strikes and spares are bowled left and right, the competitive nature of the game ever-so evident. JV and Varsity each bowl three rounds, calculating a score at the end with hopes of a successful match. By the time the match has come to a close, fingers are sore and constructive criticism is given by the coaches, but the team as a whole is glad to have risen to the occasion. 

To an outsider, bowling may seem to be all just fun and games, but it is certainly taken very seriously. The Saint Ignatius women’s bowling team is one of the best in the league, with Varsity scoring upwards of a 600 on the regular. As quoted by Mr. Lombard, “I wear my checkered Vans on game days for good luck”. The bowling team recently beat Marist, an enormous feat indeed, and hopes to continue in their success for the remainder of the season.

Perhaps the best part about the bowling season is the atmosphere. Coach Lombard once said, “You all are good people, better bowlers, and we appreciate you.” There’s nothing quite like the walk back to your seat after scoring a strike, wearing a smile visible even with a mask. Teammates roar with excitement and coaches give encouragement. Bowling team captain Amelia Prange relays, “Although most people would not consider bowling a sport, it is by far the best thing I wasn’t cut from at Ignatius.” It is truly a privilege to be able to have a season, and the bowling team welcomes their season with gleeful competition and well-spent time with good friends and teammates.