Pandemic Strikes Again

Brooke Johnson practicing her bowling at Westside Lanes.

Brooke Johnson practicing her bowling at Westside Lanes.

Sophia Hauss, Journalist

As bowling rolls to a start for their seventh season, the team is officially limited to 24 bowlers this year to control the exposure of Covid-19. Tumwater Lanes shut down this past year because of the pandemic, causing Westside Lanes to be the home of five local school teams. During the last year, limitations have changed the number of people per lane, and now all practicing lanes for schools are limited to six lanes per team. COVID-19 has also caused last years’ team to be unable to go to the districts and state competitions, but hopefully this year the team will be lucky enough to go and compete for some trophies to bring back home to Olympia High School.

 Paul Rae, Math Teacher, and Bowling Coach, spoke about how this season will officially be one of the best so far for the Olympia Bowlers, saying, “Last year we were undefeated so it’s really hard to top that. This year we return our entire varsity team. I feel like we’re kind of the ones to beat this year in the league.” Although last year’s seniors were unfortunately not able to go to districts or states due to the pandemic, Rae believes that this year they’ve got a real chance of bringing home state trophies. Brooke Johnson, Senior at Olympia High School and a Bowling Captain, agreed by saying, “I’m excited to bowl with my teammates from last year, as well as new bowlers this year. I think we have a great chance of making it to state, which is something I’m also excited for.” 

Being able to travel has been one of the greatest things for OHS bowlers this year because they’re finally able to play and talk to each other. Rae disclosed information about last year and how the teams weren’t able to play in person. “We’re actually going to travel to different venues since last year it was all virtual, we didn’t get to actually bowl against another team until the Nacho Bowl against Capital. It was the only bowling event that was live, I’m excited for that too because it makes it more exciting, playing against the other team that’s right there next to you.” He also believes that this year will probably be hard to get used to, with having to travel and understand how each bowling alley is different since the team hasn’t traveled for two years.

Though the limited space at the bowling alley may be a struggle with so many high schools going to Tumwater Lanes, it has turned out to be a socializing time for those who have been isolated for so long. Johnson states that it’s fun for her because of being able to chat with other girls from other high schools and that “it’s enjoyable to be able to see how other high schools are doing.” Limited space may be an issue for practicing, but being able to play against each other in person has been desired by the players, captains, and coaches to help ease the troubles of last years madness.