By Amanda Sames
You walk in from the rainy, cold weather outside into the warmth of an old bowling alley, tons of people having a blast and enjoying themselves. Multiple schools are at the Brunswick-Normandy Bowling Alley on December 20, 2018, for a few games of allied bowling.
Now, this is not your regular high school sports game. There aren’t hoards of students on either side of the court, yelling insults to the opposing school. Instead, there are cheers of encouragements coming from students and coaches alike. This is less of a brutal high school sports game and more of a warm and inviting atmosphere where students can have fun.
The students that chose to help out gathered the players once it was their turn, standing by just in case any one of them needed help. However, the players needed very little assistance, Juliette scoring two strikes just in the first game! Coach Schaffer cheered her on, encouraging more strikes from her as well as the other players there. One can tell that this is a very fun game, Luke doing happy dances with every pin he knocks down, and even when someone doesn’t score points, no one is truly upset. It is a stress-free and very bright atmosphere to be in.
Before allied bowling started for the season, there were announcements for recruiting students to help with the games. I asked two Glenelg students why they decided to join allied bowling. I caught Bronwyn Gallagher, a Junior, after her turn at bowling. Besides liking to bowl, Gallagher thinks she might want to do something involving special education in her future, so this was probably a good opportunity to get experience in that area of study. She also likes that she is able to make new friends and help others. After our conversation, Gallagher went back to helping her two players and continue bowling.
Another student, Andrew Wilson, a Senior at Glenelg, replied similarly to the question: He likes bowling, enjoys helping those who need help, and knows that the coach needs help with allied bowling.
Coach Schaffer also coaches football, which is very widely known at Glenelg. It was surprising to me that he also coaches allied bowling, so I expected many differences between coaching the two sports. However, when asked, Coach replied that coaching is very similar in the way that both are extremely enjoyable and he wants to see the kids do their best. Coach Schaffer also said that sometimes students from other sports come out and help them; the experience gives them a “different and real perspective on life,” which Schaffer really enjoys.
It is easy to see why Coach Schaffer decided to coach allied bowling. I did ask him, to which he replied that he loves working with the kids, the activity is a lot of fun, and, most importantly, he enjoys “getting the opportunity to see them be successful.” Coach Schaffer was extremely supportive of all the players for the whole duration of the game, giving high-fives, saying “good effort” when things don’t go so well, and checking in on others when they are waiting for their turn.
As I had never been to an allied bowling game before, I did not know what to expect. Coach Schaffer invited me to play, and although I declined, I still felt included and not like an outsider. I was also given a shirt for coming out and supporting the team, to my surprise. This was an extremely fulfilling experience to even simply watch. To see your classmates do well in something and have fun was very enjoyable, and I am sure that it was even more fun for those playing!
The next allied bowling game is January 8, 2019, at the Brunswick Zone Normandy Lanes bowling alley, starting at 3:00 pm. Get yourself out there and support our allied bowling team!