Last year, Justice Dillman was the only member of the Woodinville bowling team. He played with several other schools, but it wasn’t as fun as he hoped.
“It was okay, but I wanted to bowl with my friends,” Dillman said. “So I got them to join and we got a good group together.”
The new additions are Logan Selway, Jonah Larson, Drew Avery and Nathan Metz. Avery Tomlinson was the only one not directly recruited by Dillman. She saw it advertised at the back-to-school fair.
“Everyone is really great and I feel very accepted,” Tomlinson said. “They’ve been friends for forever and I’m new -- but they’ve been really nice to me.”
When the season began six weeks ago, the new bowlers needed much coaching.
“This is the first year [in a long time] that Woodinville has had its own full team,” Coach Alan Dillman said. “The kids had no experience. They had no knowledge of the bowling etiquette.”
But last Tuesday, the Falcons took on Shorecrest at Kenmore Lanes. Coach Dillman was excited over his team’s progress.
“The kids have improved a ton,” Dillman said. “Avery’s average has gone up every week. She’s averaging 120. Jonah Larson is average 142, which is pretty good for a guy who is new to it. Logan is averaging about 135. She’s top three among girls in the league.
Nathan Metz has always been with the football team, he has never bowled. This is his second week with the team.”
Metz approaches bowling with the same wild gusto as he does football.
On the football field, Metz is an outstanding offensive lineman. But at the bowling alley last Tuesday, he was struggling. Entering the tenth frame of his second game, his score was 85. He threw a ball and hit only three pins.
As he prepared to shoot again, a reporter walked up and invoked the mantra of Woodinville offensive line coach Mike Monan. “You gotta PUNCH!” shouted the reporter. “You gotta PUNCH!”
Metz rolled his next shot and all the pins exploded and scattered. He returned to give everyone violent high-fives. Opening up the third game, Metz had strikes in four of his first five frames. He ended the game with a lifetime high score of 178.
“It’s what I did, punch is always good!” Metz said. “I was throwing the ball straight down the middle. I was proud of my performance and I was happy to help the team.”
Metz also produced a humorous moment. After one shot, he stood waiting for his bowling ball to return – but it never came. The bowling alley’s manager came down to inform him that his bowling ball had broken in half.
“I broke a bowling ball!” Metz said. “I’m pumped. It shows that I’m in the weight room every day, grinding. I need to ask if I can have at least a half of the ball to frame it or something. Or at least give me a hat!”
Woodinville got the win on this day, due to Shorecrest not having enough kids show up. But Falcon bowlers turned in good performances. Jonah Larson had a 176 and Avery Tomlinson rolled a 144.
And what about bowling etiquette?
“If they’re about to shoot now and someone comes up beside them, our kids will turn and give them a look,” Coach Dillman said. “I’m like `Oh man! I’ve turned you guys into bowling snobs.’”