For any other public school, October is homecoming season, with a spirit week centered around the most well-known American sport: football. While their hallways are lined with themed posters supporting student athletes, Dreyfoos is a different playing field: Students joke about black and gold collared uniforms and celebrate neon-strobed victories. Despite not being recognized as a mainstream sport, bowling has become something of a legend, and team members intend to keep it that way.
“If I’m being honest, we [communications seniors Tommy McCabe, Hunter Goodman, and Carlos Trivino] originally thought it would be fun to join because it’s a sport that no one really does, and we needed the PE credit. We kind of just said, ‘Why not?’ and showed up for tryouts,” Trivino said. “But now, we could really care less about that PE credit. Bowling is so much fun, and we love it.”
With the luxury of air conditioning and lack of physical contact, bowling is not a typical sport. Although some might call it less demanding, the sport requires hours of nontraditional preparation that stress technique over physicality. Success primarily depends on a person’s footwork and the angle they’re facing as they release the ball—in fact, internationally recognized bowler Pete Weber was only 5 feet 7 inches tall.
“Bowling can be extremely competitive, and it doesn’t rely on strength or resistance training as much as an active sport,” band senior Juan Azanza said. “You could be the weakest of your friends and still bowl a higher score.”
Dedicated practice may lead to results that reach beyond the scope of an afterschool activity. Visual junior Courtney McMillan is a prime example of these results and has made considerable contributions to the team’s high rank in the county.
“The girls team has always been pretty strong,” Coach Stephen Anand said at the last game of the season. “Courtney is our team captain and is currently the highest ranked player in our division, so she is the best girl out there today.”
McMillan has had thirteen years of training at Bowlero, formally known as Jupiter Lanes, which paved the way to her being a star bowler of the Palm Beach School District girls league.
“My average score currently is a 156, and my highest game ever is a 219,” McMillan said. “Practice, dedication, and having fun contributes to my constant success in bowling, as well as having a great team.”
Both Jaguar teams rely on each other’s friendship to facilitate an enjoyable atmosphere throughout practices and competitions. Some members have inside jokes and traditions that they hope will carry through to later years.
“All of the five guys compete in what we call ‘Fry Boy,’ which basically means [during] the second game of every practice—or even a match—we all try to do as best as possible,” Trivino said. “When all of our scores are tallied up, we see who has the lowest pin count. Whoever that may be is then called Fry Boy because they have to go out and buy a round of fries.”
Whatever the outcome of a game may be, the bowling team members find gratification in the bonds they create with each other. Not every shot will be a strike, but that doesn’t seem to bother them.
“At the end of the day, no matter how we score—good or bad—we always have the most fun out of all of the teams,” McCabe said. “Other teams’ coaches have come up to us to commend us on how positive our attitudes were throughout the whole game. To me, that’s the most rewarding part.”