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Adapted bowling: More strikes, more smiles

Senior Elton Gruber pumps his fist after bowling a strike last Tuesday against Albany. Gruber and senior Dalin Reiter scored an 851 together in the CI Doubles division. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)1 / 3
Jenica Bostock claps after she bowls a strike in her second game against Albany last Tuesday afternoon. Bostock bowled a series score of 412. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)2 / 3
Trenton Tuey throws the ball down the lane on Tuesday afternoon during Alexandria's home meet against Albany. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)3 / 3

When senior Elton Gruber bowled his third consecutive strike at Garden Center Lanes during the season opener on April 2, he did what the Alexandria adapted bowling team calls the "turkey dance."

"When we bowl three strikes in a row that's called a turkey," Gruber said. "When we do the turkey dance, that means coach buys us ice cream."

The first meet of the season was another success for head coach Wade Traphagen on multiple levels. Not only did his team perform well, but the home opener was a chance to integrate the new Cardinals with the veterans.

"We lost eight seniors from last year," Traphagen said. "Today gives us a chance to get some of the newer kids into the mix. We have several newcomers from Discovery Middle School this season."

Most of the adapted bowling meets are done with the opposing school playing at its home bowling alley. Teams usually don't travel to reduce the stress for some of the competitors. However, Albany made the trip to Alexandria.

The Cardinals got a team win in the ASD division as Evan Larson, Sebastian Billings, Mercedes Nelson and Lizzie Floden teamed up to bowl a total score of 1,478. Alexandria's CI team of Daityn Thompson, Robert Goor, Zechariah Davidson and Jett Thurston bowled a 1,400, while players up and down the lineup got to compete in singles and doubles competition, as well.

"It was a good opportunity for our athletes to bowl against a team in person," Traphagen said. "This doesn't happen all that much, so we appreciate Albany being able to make the tip."

Each athlete bowled two games before turning in their scores to the coaches. After they were done, they celebrated with a pizza party.

"It's fun to be with my friends," Gruber said. "I think we did good today."

The goal for Traphagen isn't to win a state tournament. They have plenty of success down at that state meet each season, but winning championships is ultimately icing on the cake to the ultimate prize of getting to compete with each other.

"By the end of the year, we just want to make everyone feel included," Traphagen said. "This is the only chance for a lot of these kids to play on a team, so making sure that we create a positive atmosphere and including everyone is the ultimate goal."


ALEXANDRIA SCORES - PI DOUBLES- Alexandria- Grace Johannes-Matt Senstad 806; Albany- Brandon Ainali-Owen Weiss 697

PI SINGLES- Alexandria- Johannes 429, Senstad 377; Albany- Ainali 348, Weiss 349;

CI TEAM- Alexandria- Daityn Thompson-Robert Goor-Zechariah Davidson-Jett Thurston 1400

CI DOUBLES- Alexandria- Elton Gruber-Dalin Reiter 851; Albany- Amidy Berckes-Haley Kerfeld 648

CI SINGLES- Alexandria- Jenica Bostock 412, Trenton Tuey 389; Albany- Berkes 331, Kerfeld 317

ASD TEAM- Alexandria- Evan larson-Sebastian Billings-Mercedes Nelson-Lizzie Floden 1478; Albany- Blake Rajkowski-Chase Rajkowski-Sierra Kittelson-Tristyn Gienger 1377

ASD SINGLES- Alexandria- Mercedes Decker- 335; Nelson- 386, Larson- 375, Billings- 383; Albany- Gienger 330, C. Rajkowski- 369, B. Rajkowski- 327, Kittelson- 351