Ms. Smith, Sebastian Bradley, and Braylin Robinson pose for a photo in the alley.
Ms. Smith, Sebastian Bradley and Braylin Robinson pose for a photo in the alley. Photo: Laura Inman, Eno Reyes

The Pace Academy varsity coed bowling team has truly been a “strike” this year, finishing with a solid 12-1 season. The new addition to GHSA’s repertoire of competitions was excitedly embraced by many students, and the team was easily assembled by Pace’s own Ms. Smith with a collection of the upper school’s top bowlers. This year, many Georgia schools have taken the bowling world by storm. “I attribute our success to freshman Jack Douglass’ excellent back handed triples,” said Ms. Smith. “And when [sophomore] Sammy Lettes hits his famous ’rounded moose,’ the crowd gets chills.”

GHSA official bowling takes place with groups of three, in which the group that scores the most points out of the possible 900 takes the win. “You learn a lot about someone when you bowl with them for a full three-hour session,” said freshman Sebastian Bradley. Their meets take a full day to complete, in which two groups of bowlers from each team compete in a long, hard and sweaty test of both endurance and precision.

The team is led by seniors Braylin Robinson and Kate Mullally, who both immediately saw the opportunity to finally express their passion for bowling. “I’m proud to lead our team into state this season,” said Kate. “I think my passion for bowling is evident, especially considering I wear my bowling shoes every day.” The bowling squad has been practicing every other weekday since late October, and their effort is displayed in their results.

The team started out the season strong with a matchup against KIPP South Fulton Academy in which the squad took both wins. The team only lost one game, against B.E.S.T. Academy. “I don’t really like talking about it, but I think we should have won the game against B.E.S.T.,” said junior Jillian Paul. “They currently hold the top two possible college recruits for bowling, Mark Smith and LeDarius Greene. Without them, their team would be nothing.”

The team’s first state match is April 4, against a team still to be determined. “If we don’t win, I will have a DBQ for each and every bowling club member to write on the history of bowling pins,” said Ms. Smith. If Ms. Smith’s threats aren’t enough, the team is dealing with an injury; junior Ethan Schneider’s right index finger was injured in a freak accident, and he hasn’t been able to bowl for longer than 30 seconds per round.

Pace Bowling is looking to get that golden state ring this season. It’s a long road to the Georgia Dome for the final championship round, but the team knows that the community will be behind them every step of the way.