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Putting a pin in the final competitions of Titan Bowling

Avery Brasfield

On Feb 7-8, both varsity teams for boys and girls Titan Bowling had the opportunity to participate in state championships after advancing from district competitions. The boys team placed 3rd in state and after not making it to state championships last year, the girls team was able to play this year and obtain 5th place. Two Titans competed individually at the state championships as well.

Almost two competitions a week every Tuesday and Thursday led up to districts. “There’s a lot that goes into it,” said varsity bowler Bella Schulist, “During [the competition] season with practice we do a lot of things which are like basic targeting drills… sport shot leagues you can do and is purely to make sport shots.” 

But physical training was not the only asset assisting the players. Varsity player Brennan Heck added that there’s a mental aspect to it, “You cannot control what other bowlers do, you can only control yourself.” He mentioned that this is the biggest lesson his coaches had taught him.

Heck is a junior transfer student, new to Papillion La Vista South High School and the only person on the boys bowling team to qualify individually for state championships. “This was my first district and my first state.” “It was a great year for me and the team.” said Heck, “I’m glad that I chose this school.” He states he wants to “Try my best, focus, don’t get in my head too much.” 

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Heck also describes competition at districts as “Intense and fierce.” because “A lot of schools want the opportunity to make it to state and so they’re really focused.” 

At districts, each team plays 3 individual games in a bracket style leading up to the finals. This is vastly different from State competition which is all Baker Style Games, where each team member bowls two frames. 

Both the boys and girls teams made it to state championships on what are called Wildcard Points. varsity player Joscylen Brodersen informs that “All of our wins throughout the season accumulate into what are called Wildcard Points which are basically entries to your name being drawn in order to go to state.” Adding on that aside from last year, “We’ve won on Wildcard Points every year so far.” and reminding us that it’s “nothing to be ashamed of” because “you still made it.”

Throughout this large competition, Brodersen claims that “Any win kept our morale up and kept spirits up and made us feel really confident.” 

Schulist adds that in regards to state, “We were not guaranteed. We did not find out until another day.” but was overjoyed when she heard the news- especially when it comes to making it to state individually. “I struggled a bit, especially my third game… I only found out when they called my name that I was going.”

“It’s a different feeling… when you walk into those doors and it’s a lot bigger than papio south or the metro bowling alleys… when you see all the competitors it’s a different feeling from districts.” Schulist said, “You don’t know what to expect because you may not have heard of [the schools there]”

Varsity Player Noah Fichtl described the aftermath of competition as being full of “heavy hearts… We weren’t really expecting it to end.” and stating that “This chapter in our lives is over.”

Competing on their own, Schulist and Heck have different thought processes about it compared to when they’re with their teams. Schulist feels as though it’s “the same amount of pressure in different ways” 

She also mentions ”I’m the girls varsity captain and anchor… There’s a lot of pressure there.” She finishes saying that “Individually the pressure is not that I’m going to let my team down, it’s that if I were to get here and mess it up for myself.” 

Heck says that “How you deal with that pressure can be hard because we all deal with it in different ways… whenever you feel pressure or whenever you feel tense you can rely on your preshot routine.” Mentioning that to deal with it, it’s useful to “focus, calm yourself down.”

Schulist isn’t a stranger to competitive bowling at districts and state. “Freshman year I went individually and as a team. Sophomore year I went as a team. Junior year— woops.” 

For Heck however, it was his first time in the competitive bowling scene. “I was a little nervous. This is my first time at Papio South… Ralston didn’t have competitive bowling, they only had unified… I didn’t know what to expect.” 

Joscelyn Broderson competes at districts. (Avery Brasfield)

Similar to Schulist, Joscylen Brodersen and Noah Fichtl have been participating in Titan Bowling their entire high school career. Their freshman year of 20-21 was actually the first year Papillion La Vista South held a bowling team. In Fichtl’s case however, he and the team had actually been playing with each other and their coach for about two years prior to the creation of Titan Bowling. This makes it no surprise that Fichtl could tell that “The team chemistry was there.” 

Noah even said that the teams’ advancement to state championships wasn’t surprising—knowing they were going to make it. He also described the boys team as “Like one big family. Sure there’s going to be arguments but we’ll talk it out.”

Bowling is more complicated than it might appear, Heck said.

“I think people should know that it takes a lot more than just throwing an eight pound ball down the lane and hitting some pins,” Heck said. 

Schulist corroborates that “It might not be as physically grueling but it is a lot of math… a lot of adjustment.” 

She also adds on, “Last year we didn’t make it, which was a little soul crushing… we lost our top players who were seniors.” “To do it again, this year, was amazing. Especially since it’s my senior year.” Indicating the sense of accomplishment she feels for the team’s progress this year.

Fichtl points out “The amount of teamwork that goes into it,” saying that it’s “90% team priorities.” 

Heck says that finding out his team had qualified for state championships “Wasn’t a feeling of happiness, it was more of focus.” and that they felt the need to “Do the best that we absolutely could.” 

Fichtl states that “Team tournaments are a lot louder, [full of] a lot more cheering, and a lot more fun.” 

To any aspiring, new, or even current players, he advises to “Stick with it. Learn with your teammates. Become friends with your teammates… Trust your coaches and trust your gut.” 



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Riley Tuzzio
Riley Tuzzio, Staff Reporter
I'm Riley Tuzzio. I'm a Senior and almost completely blind with 20/1600 vision. I am passionate about advocating for those with disabilities and impairments and just improving awareness and understanding of them. I still can enjoy some forms of media though mostly auditory focused and like to promote accessibility throughout the world.
Avery Brasfield
Avery Brasfield, Photographer
I feel like my biggest strength as a photographer is passion. I am constantly wanting to learn more and have more experience. I love to spend my time taking photos. I love the feeling of going home and seeing what I captured. Seeing my growth makes me want to strive harder to be better every day. I love being on the sidelines taking everything in. I also love to capture people that don't normally get the recognition they deserve. Showing people someone's personality and who they really are is my favorite.
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