STRIKE! It’s Bowling, Not Baseball

A Celebration of the Bronx Science Varsity Bowling Teams.

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Alexander Thorp

Members of Bronx Science’s Boys’ and Girls’ Varsity Bowling teams pose for photographers after placing in the Borough Individual Championships. “Recognition for the bowling team’s achievements is meaningful because it recognizes all of the time and dedication that my teammates and I have put into the sport that we love,” said Skye Lam ’22, a member of the Boys’ Varsity Bowling team. Pictured (Left to Right): Starr Lam ’20, Suporna Das ’20, Coach for the Girls’ Varsity Bowling team Mr. William O’Hara, Yi Qi (Angel) Zhu ’20, Skye Lam ’22, Jiwon (Ester) Yi ’20, Russell Kwong ’21, Rasheed Hossain ’20, Luke Chavez ’20, Coach for the Boys’ Varsity Bowling team Mr. Patrick Daughton.

Although the Bronx Science community is known for its academics, it also frequently celebrates the achievements of its athletic teams. We have heard about everything from our track team’s podium placements to our basketball team’s domination on the court. We have heard about our volleyball teams, our golf teams, our table tennis teams, our gymnastics teams, and our soccer teams. But what have we heard about our bowling teams?

Combined, the Boys’ Varsity Bowling team and the Girls’ Varsity Bowling team have recorded a total of eleven undefeated seasons. Since 2002, the earliest bowling season records available online by Public Schools Athletic League, the Boys’ Varsity Bowling team has had a total of 203 wins and 27 losses, amounting to an 88.26% win rate over a total of 19 seasons. They have ranked at the top of their division for 15 seasons, six of which they went undefeated.  During the 2020-2021 academic year, all PSAL Sports, including Bowling, are suspended due to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Despite starting later than the Boys’ Bowling team, the Girls’ bowling team has seen similar levels of success. Since its first full year in the league in 2010, the Girls’ Varsity Bowling team has had a total of 95 wins and 12 losses, amounting to an 88.79% win rate. They have ranked as the best team in their division for seven seasons, five of which they went undefeated.

Thuhij Haque ’21 sets up to throw the bowling ball. “Even though it’s definitely nowhere near as physically strenuous as sports like soccer or volleyball, we still do a lot,” said Haque. (Najmul Miah)

With such high rankings and accomplished players, both teams are among the top of their leagues. They were even dubbed the “Yankees of their division” by The New York Times in 2009. Certainly, they seem deserving of some celebration. 

In fact, compared to some of the more well-known Bronx Science sports teams, like the Varsity Basketball teams and Varsity Volleyball teams, the Varsity Bowling teams have similar, if not better, statistics. Starting from the 2002 basketball season, the Boys’ Varsity basketball team has had a win rate of 44.37%, reaching the top of their division in only three of 19 seasons. Meanwhile, the Girls’ Varsity Basketball team has had a win rate of 67.07%, ranking at the top of their division for six of the 19 seasons. In volleyball, the Girls’ Varsity team has won 89.35% of their games with a number one division ranking in 12 out of 19 seasons.

Comparing their statistics and those of well-recognized Bronx Science athletic teams, both Varsity Bowling teams should qualify among our school’s most successful sports teams. They have higher win rates than both the Boys’ and the Girls’ Varsity Basketball team, as well as similar win rates to the Girls’ Varsity Volleyball team, only differing by a single percent. Evidently, the bowling teams are just as accomplished as many other successful Bronx Science sports teams, so what could be the cause for the lack of school-wide recognition for these two teams?

Russell Kwong ’21, a member of the Boys’ Varsity Bowling team, believes that the issue lies in the fact that many students are just not aware that Bronx Science has bowling teams. “I would have joined during my first year had I known about the team. Like myself, there are some students who don’t know there’s a bowling team since the season starts so early and is over by November,” Kwong said. Overwhelmed with the start of the school year, many students, especially incoming students, miss the teams’ tryouts, and sometimes even the entire season, before realizing that Bronx Science has two bowling teams.

In addition to the bowling teams’ public relations issues, Thuhij Haque ’21, another member of the Boys’ Varsity Bowling team, says that people do not see bowling as a competitive, professional sport. They associate bowling with a hobby or see it as a fun, recreational way to hang out with friends. However, for members of the bowling teams, there is much more to the sport than being “just a hobby.” 

“We practice for more than 3 hours every day during the week, and we hold our own practice in Queens on the weekends,” said Haque. Although it seems to be less physically demanding than other school sports, bowling requires the same amount of determination, concentration, athleticism, and teamwork in order to be successful.

Additionally, because of the distance of the bowling alley from the school, the bowling teams do not have a “wild” fan attendance. Many students do not have the opportunity to personally witness the Varsity Bowling teams playing in person. With most tournaments being at least a half-hour bus ride away from the school, there is difficulty in traveling to see the bowling team in action. Most members acknowledge this commute as an issue. As Kwong said, “There is no way to make it back to the Vallo bus at Bronx Science by the end of the game; students are worried about becoming stranded after 6 p.m. and having to rely on public transportation instead.”

Vanessa Fang ’21, a member of the Girls’ Varsity Bowling team, shows concentration and skill during a Bowling match. “The only fans I need are my teammates. We all enthusiastically cheer for each other, whether we knock down 1 pin or all 10 pins,” said Fang. (Akshay Raju)

When their season starts up again next year (if the Coronavirus pandemic has ended by September 2021), the Bronx Science community should celebrate the achievements of both the Boys’ Varsity Bowling team and the Girls’ Varsity Bowling team. Who knows? Next season, maybe a little “pat on the back” can be the push they need to win City Championships.

 

 

The Bronx Science community should celebrate the achievements of both the Boys’ Varsity Bowling team and the Girls’ Varsity Bowling team

 

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