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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 27, 2011

BKW bowling splits lane time with two other teams

By Jordan J. Michael

BERNE –– The Bulldogs’ bowling team has been splitting its matches this season as well as splitting lane time with two other teams.

On Friday, Head Coach Matt Decker said that Berne-Knox-Westerlo is “in the middle of the pack” this year. “We have very talented bowlers, but we can’t put all the pieces together,” he said.

The Bulldogs call Cobleskill Bowling Center home, but so do Schoharie and Cobleskill. Schoharie moved to the Bowling Center for this season, so, with three bowling teams and a number of local patrons, scheduling is tight.

“It’s tough; a lot of rescheduling,” said Decker. “We’re pretty understanding of each other though. There’s only so much room but the alley is really nice.”

Decker told The Enterprise that the market for bowling has been tough after the region lost three alleys in recent years –– Bowlers Club, Altamont, and Schoharie –– but he said that Cobleskill is “really accommodating.”

“It’s a well-run house with great equipment,” Decker said. “It’s not that close to Berne, but it’s an excellent place to bowl.”

Meet some bowlers

Seniors Geoff Bentley and Josh Denyse lead the Bulldogs with 190 averages. Denyse is spending his fifth year on the team while Bentley has been there for three.

“Geoff is a very demanding bowler, focused during play,” said Decker. “Every shot is the shot for him and every frame is like a microcosm.”

Decker went on to describe Denyse as a “calm” competitor, but not detached. “He has a much bigger scope,” said Decker. “He looks back on what he did before and makes adjustments.”

Senior Chris White is graduating from BKW this week, and, according to the rules, White can’t finish the bowling season with the Bulldogs. Once a student stops attending classes, he or she can’t compete on a school team.

“It’s devastating that he has to leave, but that’s the rules,” Decker said of White. “I don’t like that rule, but I understand. It hurts him not to finish but he’s going on to bigger and better things. I’m sure I’ll see his name come up somewhere soon.”

Another senior, Ethan Sharpe, walked onto the Bulldogs’ team this year with a 178 average. Sharpe never participated in any bowling leagues.

“He bowled for fun,” said Decker. “A natural that learned quickly.”

BKW’s fifth bowler is eighth-grader Derek Hempstead, who has an average of 177. Decker said that Hempstead will be the “number-one” guy next season after all the seniors graduate.

Decker splits coaching time with Don Dennis, who focuses on the female bowlers. “Frequently, our players are in different areas,” said Decker, referring to match lay-out.

Bowling is a team sport like wrestling where one person goes up at a time, but all are going for the same goal. Decker said that he has the same attitude as Jeff Vogel, the wrestling coach at BKW.

“You can’t get our team apart,” said Decker. “They all crowd around and try to add the score sheet before a match is over. They’re involved until the last pin drops.”

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