East Bowling: A look into the sport

East Bowling: A look into the sport

Exploring the East bowling team in the past and present, the tournaments, and the successes of the team. And gaining insight via interviews with the current bowling coach and an East bowling alum.
Over the years: The bowling team evolution and culture

Since the beginning of Cherry Hill High School East, sports have been a part of the culture and pride surrounding the school. When considering sports, people typically think of baseball, football, or basketball as the main sports at East. However, for decades, bowling has been a part of many fond memories for numerous current and former students at East.

“I have parents that, their children that play now, played on teams in the 1970s,” said the current coach of the bowling team for East, Mr. Ryan James.

Many former bowlers for the team have spread the joy of bowling to their children, ultimately continuing the success of the team. The current roster of the team is about 25 players. The team includes Varsity Girls, Varsity Boys, Junior Varisty Girls, Junior Varsity Boys, and practice players. The number of players has remained consistent in the team’s history.

The East bowling team has been a part of East athletics since the early years of the school and since then, the bowling team has been very successful.

Each year when the season is ending, the team prepares for Sectionals. In the past years, everyone on the team made sectionals. Player performance in Sectionals then determined if a player went to States. However, now, the team has an average score from their season that is compared to the score of other teams in their section. There are a total of three rounds of Sectionals that the team has to qualify for in order to make it to States.

“Your whole year now depends on going to Sectionals, not just one day,” said Mr. James.

This new change in rules has created a more competitive nature for the team. Although competitive, Mr. James further shares how this new scoring system is a more realistic rank of a player’s talent.

Overall, the bowling team has continued to spread the love for bowling and success of the sport since its early days at East.

“It’s a family atmosphere. Our team is very close, they bond…and they have a good time while they are there,” Mr. James said.

It is a fun yet competitive sport that Mr. James hopes to continue to spread to students at East. Through bowling’s evolution at East, families and students are able to bond over their love for the sport.

Quiz: General bowling knowledge
Beyond the lanes: A look into the East bowling team with Coach Ryan James

While his time with the team has been short, The Bowling Coach at Cherry Hill High School East, Mr. Ryan James, is already making an impact on the team. He bowls for fun and thinks that is an important aspect of the sport. Mr. James clearly has a love for coaching as he has coached football, baseball, golf, girl’s basketball, and bowling at East.

At East, Mr. James is a Health and Drivers Education teacher. An aspect of his job that he enjoys is getting to see his student’s success in getting their permits after taking his class.

Mr. James decided to be the bowling coach just last year and already has so much appreciation for the sport and the team. He appreciates how all of the athletes who participate in bowling get to play at the same time, including the boys and girls varsity and junior varsity teams.

The bowling team meets two to three times a week including matches and practices. Compared to other sports, this is not a large amount of time to prepare for matches. Despite this, the players get used to the schedule and working on their toes.

“It is based on adjustments. When you coach bowling you are coaching on the lane conditions and the higher-level players have multiple bowls to make those adjustments. It is a day-by-day basis,” said Mr. James.

Mr. James loves to see his players progress in the sport and be successful, but he also takes much pride in the team’s atmosphere.

“They are all pretty close. They bowl together outside of the school and they bowl in lanes together. Like I said, it is very family-oriented. That is what I like about it. The boys and girls and everybody just works together and they help each other, it’s a nice atmosphere,” said Mr. James.

On top of all of that, Mr. James values the joy that comes with bowling. Everyone who bowls has a good time and enjoys being at the bowling alley.

According to Mr. James, people who don’t bowl don’t understand how much fun it can be. “My favorite thing about bowling is seeing everybody have fun… everybody is laughing [and] having a good time,” said James.

From East halls to Hall of Fame: Bill Hoese’s bowling journey

When you think about trying a sport, you might think about football or basketball. However, this differed for Bill Hoese (‘08), who instead thought of bowling. Around the age of five, he attended a birthday party at his local bowling alley. While he celebrated his friend on that day, it also sparked his love for bowling.

When he began at East, he joined the bowling team. Playing for fun at the bowling alley in years prior, he never was really a part of a bowling team. Joining the high school team opened him up more to the world of bowling, and introduced him to the competition that comes with the sport.

“I had great times with the team, and I made a lot of friends through bowling. The whole experience was probably one of the best experiences of high school,” said Hoese.

During his time bowling with East, the team went on to win the New Jersey Group IV Champions, the Olympic Conference, and more. In addition, Hoese won All-South Jersey Bowler of the Year for both his junior and senior years and helped lead the team to the state championship his senior year.

While Hoese doesn’t bowl as often or as competitively as he did in high school, his passion for the sport remains. He is currently a member of a bowling league, keeping the spirit of the game.

“Bowling can be difficult to like if you always bowl in one bowling alley all the time. It can be difficult when you start to branch out,” said Hoese. “So if you’re going to bowl in high school, it might make sense to try it by playing at some different bowling alleys that are around. So you sort of get used to different conditions.”

Hoese had recently been inducted into the Cherry Hill East Athletic Hall of Fame alongside other notable alumni. He was honored for his time at East being involved in both bowling and golf, winning many awards individually and with the team, making him a successful athlete in the Cherry Hill East community.

“All of the people that are in there have done some very impressive things, so I was honored to be included in that. I think the Hall of Fame committee has done a great job of putting all that together,” said Hoese.

Bill Hoese has been a notable member of the East bowling community, whether through his success in the sport, or the impression he made on the team. Through his time at East, he made great accomplishments, memories, and lasting friendships, giving him a memorable high school experience.

“It was a great run,” said Hoese. “The whole time was a lot of fun just because you’re all friends, and because it’s a good team.”

Rolling to victory: a look into how bowling tournaments work

The Cherry Hill High School East Bowling Team can compete in two different types of bowling tournaments. The first type are tournaments hosted by schools in the area. For example, Eastern hosted a tournament called “Game of Throws.”

East bowling coach, Mr. Ryan James, referred to Eastern as the school’s biggest rival. Eastalso competes against cross-town rivals Cherry Hill High School West, however, West is in a different state division, making Eastern their biggest competitor. These tournaments are invitation-only, meaning you must be asked to participate in them, you cannot just qualify or apply.

The second type of tournament, and the bigger of the two, are the sectional and state tournaments. In prior years, everybody qualified for the sectional tournament and you could advance as a team or as an individual. However, starting this year, to qualify for sectionals, according to the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA), teams must finish within the top 12 in their group or section according to the power point system.

The power point system rewards points to teams based on whether that team won or lost and the strength of their opponent. The 12 schools are then sorted into seeds. For an individual to qualify, they must be within the top 100 bowlers in the state according to their average score.

The individual tournament is broken into three rounds. In the first round, the top 100 competitors bowl three games, with the top 18 scores advancing through to the second round. Those 18 bowlers play another three rounds, and the top five advance to the third and final round. The remaining five bowlers then compete in the “stepladder” round for a chance to win the individual state title. This year, the state tournament will be held at Bowlero, located in northern New Jersey.

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