A night in the gutter: Academic Council hosts first Fossil Bowling Tournament.


Liam H. Flake

The tournament featured teams on 21 lanes, each of which had members alternating turns.

Liam H. Flake, News Director

On Sunday, November 11, Fossil Ridge High School’s Academic Council hosted a school-wide bowling tournament from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Chipper’s Lanes. The event was attended by 21 teams of five to six players each, featuring both teachers and students. The winning team for the night was the Bump’n Dumps, with an average score of 127.2, followed by the 8 Pound Balls and the King Pins.The winner of best individual performance was senior Sam Athanasiou, a member of the tournament’s winning team.

Liam H. Flake
Teams attentively observe their bowling teammates from the lobby of Chipper’s Lanes.

The event was entirely organized and run by Fossil’s Academic Council, overseen by Todd Pfeifer. Among these planners was Kylee Rinker, a senior at Fossil. The tournament, Rinker explained, was set up by a subcommittee within Academic Council. “We didn’t really have a head or anything, I was just on it,” she offered, explaining the nature of the group. This committee managed the logistics of the tournament, from reserving the space to tracking sign ups to obtaining prizes for the night’s victors. “Every time a team signed up, we had to change the number of lanes that we rented,” Rinker stated.

A member of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Gutter” watches and anticipates the outcome of their last throw.

However, committee planners were not the only coordinators that allowed the event to run smoothly; the event was scored by a team of volunteers that diligently tracked the points of each team, including Kailey Diaz and Josh Lee. From this position, they were able to provide some insight into the inner workings of the tournament. “Basically, each lane is a team,” Lee explained. “We average scores of each round of each team, and the highest score wins.” This system requires each team to work with, and not against, each other to achieve success. “Their scores are averaged between all of their members, so they have to work as a unit to try to get the best score,” Diaz added. Within their roles, Diaz and Lee each found particular surprises in the results. “The teacher teams are doing pretty well, giving some students’ teams a run for their money,” Lee commented. “It’s actually very close between teams,” Diaz suggested.

Some bowlers resorted to alternative throwing approaches, such as this one on Lane 3.

In the final results, the two competing teacher teams arrived in second and third. The higher scoring of these two was the 8 Pound Balls, ending with an average score of 125 at Lane 8. The team was composed of faculty hailing from Fossil’s business department. “It feels great! But, you know, we’re just here to support a good cause and have some fun,” provided Jamie Menephee when asked about this success. “We just thought it’d be a good way to spend some time together and build some camaraderie as a department.”

Liam H. Flake
Peter Martin prepares to take his turn.

One element of the tournament that caught many attendees off guard was the number of attendees; the event occupied 21 lanes of enthusiastic Fossil bowlers. Another competitor among these ranks was Alison Shad, bowling with Team Avatar on Lane 20. “Our first round was a bit stronger. I think the adrenaline’s getting to us,” she shared between turns, “but we’re slowly starting to get back on track.” Shad’s team was down a member, so they accommodated by alternating players to fill in for the unaccounted for’s turn. From all of the components of the Bowling Tournament experience, two things stuck out to Shad: the costumes and the spirit. Shad imparted that her favorite costume was a 60s themed group, claiming, “They have really cool glasses.” Additionally, she commented that enthusiasm amongst competitors was notably high. “The spirit in here is insane. There’s yelling, it’s great,” she remarked as a victorious scream originating a couple lanes down temporarily drowned out all conversation in the vicinity. Shad’s tips for success are to aim off center and not throw too hard.  “Sometimes I throw too hard and it rebounds and it works against me.”

The tournament featured bowlers at all different levels and abilities, as it was open to the entirety of the student body.