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The Romulus boys' bowling team went 4-2 and finished third this season in the Western Wayne Athletic Conference. Photo by Dave Gorgon


BOWLING: Tight-knit Romulus team finishes strong (PHOTOS)

The Romulus girls' bowling team went 3-3 and also placed third this season in the Western Wayne Athletic Conference. Photo by Dave Gorgon

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There may not be a closer varsity bowling program than the boys and girls at Romulus High School.

“I love my team,” said senior Gary Logerstedt, in his fourth year of prep bowling. “They’re fun to bowl with. They pick me up when I’m down. They’re good people.”

“This year’s team is more like a family to me,” added senior Rachel Leonard. “We’re not there just to win; we’re there to have fun and we know how to do it.”

Both teams had plenty of fun. The boys went 4-2, good for third place in the Western Wayne Athletic Conference.

The Eagles came on strong at the end with junior Chris Silvey rolling a 508 series – best in the combined WWAC and Downriver League, whose teams bowl with and against each other throughout the season. Meanwhile, junior Chase VonDrak rolled a 269 scratch game, the third best this year in the conference.

Silvey and VonDrak both averaged 198 to lead the Eagles, giving Coach Don Makowski plenty to build upon for next season’s team. VonDrak led the team in head-to-head wins with 15 points. Silvey picked up 12.5 points.

Makowski will have to find replacements for Logerstedt (172 average) and fellow seniors Eddie Hillard (151) and Ian Kerr (149). Rounding out the team are two promising freshmen, Dacoda Lapalm (166) and Zach Ward (164), who found spots in the starting lineup.

“One of our goals was to bowl the best we can,” Logerstedt said. “That’s what we were doing every single day. The new kids blended in perfectly. They came in wanting to bowl and they came out bowling.”

Makowski said it was tough going against more experienced teams, but the Eagles clicked as the season went on.

“We made some adjustments,” he said. “The freshmen realized what was going on and they stepped up a little. Considering we had a lot of youth on the team, we did OK.”

Logerstedt said the best part about being on the bowling team is “being able to be myself around the people I want to be around. I’m doing something I love with a passion and with people I love, too.”

The girls also finished third. They were 3-3 in the WWAC, finishing just 79 total pins behind second-place Dearborn Heights Annapolis. Not bad for a team with five bowlers – the minimum for a starting lineup.

Four of the five girls on the team are seniors, led by Samantha Stobbe, who carried a 146 average and won 13 of her head-to-head matches, best on the team.

The other 12th-grade Eagles are Leonard (134 average), Kate Orr (117) and Cheyenne Adams (137), who earned 12.5 points in head-to-head matches.

Sophomore Chelsi Hillard, the only underclassmen in the bunch, averaged 132.

“We have all raised our averages,” Leonard said. “We’re very much improved.”

Makowski said the girls “try hard and practice hard,” but admitted he is most proud of their work in the classroom, where they girls are excellent students.

“Their effort is as good as I could expect from everybody,” he said. “They tried every week. I got a lot of compliments from other coaches who said how respectful they are. I’ve got a good group of girls with great GPAs. I’m going to miss them next year, for sure.”

Leonard, who is also a drum major in the marching band and plays soccer at RHS, said she picked up bowling a couple years ago because she wanted to experience something she had not done before.

“I wanted to expand my skills,” she said. “It’s been a rewarding experience. Not only have I become better at it, but it’s been a lot of fun.”

As Hillard is the only female bowler eligible to return next season, Leonard said she hopes Coach Makowski is able to attract bowlers to keep the program going.

“I’m afraid what we’re leaving now is not going to be there next year,” she said. “With the struggle to save our sports, I don’t want to see bowling go away. For me, it’s been part of my life.”

Last Updated: 2/21/2014 1:51:51 PM EST