Last month, the Worthington City School board gave Thomas Worthington High School the green light to form a bowling team.
The move ended years of frustration for senior Maggie Taylor, who originally inquired about starting a team as a freshman.
Once the OHSAA sanctioned bowling before the 2006-07 season, the number of club teams representing area high schools rose rapidly. Wanting a piece of the new opportunity, Taylor approached the athletics department about what needed to be done to start a bowling team at Thomas.
"My dad (Jim Taylor) taught me how to bowl when I was 6, and it was kind of my thing," Taylor said. "It made me mad to realize that everyone had a bowling team around here but us."
For two years, the athletics department resisted the idea, Taylor said. Finally, during her junior year, the athletics department directed Taylor to the activities department, which helped the process move forward.
Over a two-day stretch in October, several announcements were made about a meeting of prospective bowlers. About 15 students showed up to that first meeting, but those numbers dropped after prospective the $250 fee to participate was announced.
When Thomas opened the season on Dec. 7 against Westerville Central, it had seven members. Thomas lost 2,174-1,502, but the reality of having a team took precedence.
"You have your good days and you have your bad days," said Jim Taylor, who serves as an assistant to coach Andrea Hecker. "But you have to have fun. I've been doing it for 42 years and I was taught by my mom, who spent 50 years teaching bowling. I hope that I can help these kids have as much fun bowling as I've had."
In addition to Maggie Taylor, the roster includes seniors Breeana Chatman, Nick Dillard and Kris Hand, junior Anita Mwiruki, sophomore Charlie Roach and freshman Kalin Breakey.
Hand had a total of 358 to lead Thomas against Central. Taylor was second with a 226.
•While Thomas was putting a team together, Kilbourne was doing the same.
The Wolves have six players, one more than the minimum needed to field a team. On the team are seniors Gerard Kortyna and Cort Wilson, sophomore Tessa Epifanio, and freshmen Josh Toulmin, Alex Mramor and Nick Seymour.
"We started talking about it last year," coach Mike Mramor said. "A couple of parents wanted to know what we were going to do. We had to go through the school and that took some time. It really came together within a two-month period."
Kilbourne started the season with wins over Worthington Christian (1,916-1,583 on Dec. 8) and Hilliard Darby (2,086-2,064 last Friday). Through two matches, Wilson led Kilbourne with a 190.8 average and Epifanio was second with 188.3.
Both teams play its home games at Capri Lanes and are part of the Central Ohio Bowling Conference's North Division.
The 14-team league also includes Big Walnut, Gahanna, Hilliard Bradley, Hilliard Darby, Hilliard Davidson, Jonathan Alder, Olentangy Liberty, Olentangy Orange, Westerville Central, Westerville North, Westerville South and Worthington Christian.
Both schools compete as a co-ed team in the boys team competition. In the postseason, individual scores are separated by gender, but that may not matter.
Neither Thomas nor Kilbourne has received permission from the OHSAA to compete in the postseason, which requires each school's athletic department to send a letter of intent to participate to the OHSAA.
"Worthington obviously has some financial concerns in operating a school budget," coach Mramor said. "The concern right now is we're a club sport. (The athletics department doesn't) want it to go the way of lacrosse and club hockey, which would require funding from the school district. As far as we are willing to do it, we're willing to take care of our financial concern. If we never get any funding that's okay."
Springfield Kenton Ridge defeated Mechanicsburg 3-0 to win last year's boys state championship. Beavercreek's Daniel Glascoe won the individual title (730). On the girls side, Central's Mary Wells won the state championship (729) and Youngstown Boardman defeated Central 3-1 to win the state championship.
Dec. 7 - Westerville Central (Capri Lanes)
Dec. 15 - Olentangy Orange (Capri Lanes)
Dec. 17 - Jonathan Alder (Capri Lanes)
Jan. 4 - Hilliard Bradley (Ten Pin Alley)
Jan. 6 - Gahanna (Gahanna Lanes)
Jan. 11 - Westerville North (Capri Lanes)
Jan. 12 - Olentangy Liberty (Capri Lanes)
Jan. 18 - Hilliard Darby (Capri Lanes)
Jan. 21 - Westerville South (Palace Lanes)
Jan. 25 - Worthington Kilbourne (Capri Lanes)
Jan. 28 - Hilliard Davidson (Capri Lanes)
Dec. 8 - Worthington Christian (Capri Lanes)
Dec. 10 - Hilliard Darby (Capri Lanes)
Dec. 15 - Olentangy Liberty (Sawmill Lanes)
Dec. 17 - Hilliard Davidson (Capri Lanes)
Jan 4 - Westerville North (Capri Lanes)
Jan. 5 - Big Walnut (Capri Lanes)
Jan. 13 - Hilliard Bradley (Capri Lanes)
Jan. 20 - Gahanna (Gahanna Lanes)
Jan. 21 - Jonathan Alder (Capri Lanes)
Jan. 24 - Olentangy Orange (Sequoia Pro Bowl)
Jan. 25 - Thomas Worthington (Capri Lanes)
Feb. 2 at Westerville Central (Palace Lanes)
Feb. 4 at Westerville South (Capri Lanes)