Bowler Cody Prewitt follows through with a roll during the Youth-Adult Sportsman League at the Bulldog Lanes Thursday. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
Bowling is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States.
Starkville is making sure that trend continues with the Youth-Adult Sportsman League that has been held at Bulldog Lanes this summer.
The league started in late May and runs until next week. There are seven teams competing comprised of high school bowlers from Starkville and East Webster. Each team has one adult.
"He is continually telling me what I need to do right," SHS student Cody Prewitt said of the adult on his team. "He just keeps on doing the right thing. He is a good role model for everyone and every adult here is just a great role model for the players."
Starkville High School's bowling team has gotten better and better each year and coach Jim Philamlee is hoping that this league helps with tryouts in August. Philamlee led his team to the state tournament last season.
"The reason we did it was to involve the youth with (the adults)," Philamlee said. "We are hoping maybe it will help enhance high school bowling this fall.
"It impacts the bowling community tremendously. If it helps the bowling community, then it is helping our high school. If it's helping our high school, then it's helping the community."
Many private schools don't have bowling so Philamlee is anticipating some students transferring to Starkville High School for the opportunity to bowl.
Many of the students have learned a great deal from the league and the adults that are involved.
"They help teach us how to bowl, keep us in line and influence us," student Ashlee Davenport said. "They encouraged us and helped boost our self-esteem."
Although it is a great time to improve their game, many of the students have enjoyed just hanging out and meeting new people.
"It has really improved our game as a team," Prewitt said. "It is just a really good practice time and fellowship time. We get to meet people that we knew and people that we didn't know."
Philamlee is also excited because some of his team will be traveling to Baton Rouge, La., in early September to compete in the Capital City Shootout youth tournament. There are $2,000 worth of scholarships in prizes.
For the first year, Philamlee was pleased, but hopes to make some improvements to it next year.
"I think it has went well," Philamlee said. "I wish we would have gone 12 weeks with it instead of 10, but it was our first time so we decided to just do 10 weeks."
The league ends in one week with an awards banquet to follow the next week at Bulldog Lanes.
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