Allen High School Bowling Teams Leading the Way
This classic article was originally published in the March 2008 issue of the High School Sports Report (Collin County, Texas edition).
When bowling began gaining popularity as a high school sport several years ago, many dismissed it as a fad. Today, it is clear that the sport is not only here to stay, it is gaining a following unlike more traditional sports.
With a kitchy sort of hipness (those bowling shirts have become their own fashion statement), bowling has tapped in to a pool of athletes and fans that is among the fastest growing in all of athletics. In North Texas, Allen High School has been the standard bearer for excellence, and this season is no different.
Since their inception in 2001, the Allen teams have won four state titles (team and singles) and was state runner up twice. As of press time, all four teams, boys and girls varsity and JV, lead their respective divisions. They hope that success continues through the playoffs. That is why they carefully consider all the factors in the game even the weight of a bowling ball. The weight of a bowling ball seems to affect an array of outcomes when it comes to bowling.
Boys coach Floyd Carter, who has a son Michael on the team, believes he knows why Allen bowlers are so good. “It is a testament to the youth programs at Allen Bowl (where Allen plays their home matches). They have multiple youth leagues, and they promote it very well. When my oldest child, who is now 27, was five, we participated in an adult/youth league at Allen Bowl. We’ve been involved ever since. Parents that are involved with their kids in the sport also help. Unlike football and track, parents can participate with their kids.”
Ashley Murray, a junior with a 167 average, has been bowling for three and a half years, and feels the team is strong enough to win state. “Jessica McCusker is our team captain. Nicole Sherman helps us pick up our harder splits and spares. Reina Davidson is a left hander like me, so when things dry up on the right side we can get it going from the left. Lisa Cummins is the gymnast/bowler of our group. She’s really small but she can throw that ball. I think Plano East and Berkner are toughest teams we will have to face in the playoffs. Only loss this year was against Plano East.”
Playoffs, which will feature the Baker format, will benefit the varsity boys, who bowled a 299 game last year under the format. “My seniors are great leaders,” Coach Carter said. “They are Jon Lawrence (223 avg.), Ryan Frachiseur (197 avg.), and Ryan Claustre (182 avg.). They are a fairly young team. Josh Burnham is a sophomore, and he’s my highest bowler.”
Even though the sport of bowling, and the Allen teams, are getting more attention, there are still a number of people who are unaware of their existence. “At school, people are like ‘There’s a bowling team now?’ While we’ve had trophies in the school trophy case since 2002 and they haven’t noticed,” Murray said. “Some people are starting to take notice now.” If Allen’s boys or girls bring home another state title, then a lot more people will take notice.