The Camas High bowling team enters its final week of the regular season with an 8-6 record.
That includes first time wins against Skyview and Battle Ground, with five Camas bowlers combining for a team score of 1,928 against Battle Ground at Tiger Bowl. The Papermakers beat Ridgefield twice and also had wins against Kelso, Mountain View, Union and Heritage.
The regular season will wrap up with Camas facing Union (Jan. 10), Skyview (Jan. 14), Battle Ground (Jan. 16) and Heritage (Jan. 18).
All of the area high school bowling teams will compete at districts, Friday, Jan. 25, at Allen’s Crosley Lanes, in Vancouver, and the top team and top singles at district will qualify for state.
“Every team has an equal opportunity to win a spot to state,” said Camas head bowling coach Barb Burden. “Bowling is tough to be good at all the time. The players work hard and hope that their preparations have prepared them for the contest at hand.”
Students from three high schools make up the Camas bowling team — Camas, Hayes Freedom and Discovery.
Several of them, including Jace Grubbs with an average score of 170, and Eva Brizuela with an average of 151, as well as Kimmy Boone (150) and Ashley Gerst (121) have previous district experience.
Burden, in her third season as the Camas bowling coach, said some of the Camas bowlers also compete in the U.S. Bowling Congress Junior Bowling program at Crosley Lanes.
“It really helps,” she said. “Bowling outside of school and getting almost year round practice.”
Burden said Grubbs is the team’s anchor.
“He is able to pop a strike when we need one,” Burden said. “He is a natural bowler and a strong supportive person.”
Grubbs, a junior who has been bowling for three years, said his father got him into the sport.
“He’s been bowling for most of his life,” he said. “Once I tried it, I knew this was something I was gonna want to do. He had always loved bowling. It brings us closer, having this thing in common.”
Brizuela is the Camas team captain, and Samantha Voogt is the co-captain. Both are seniors and great leaders, according to the coach.
Brizuela said bowling is an escape.
“If I am having a bad day, I can always go bowling and work on my skills,” she said. “Sometimes it helps me relax. It takes my mind off of other things and forces me to clear my head and focus.”
Brizuela said she and her family used to bowl just for fun, and then her mother heard about the Camas bowling team.
“She talked me into giving it a try,” Brizuela said. “I think if it weren’t for my mom, I would have never fallen in love with the sport, and would never have made it to where I am today.”
Voogt has been bowling for four years, and her goals for the Camas team is for them to have as much fun as possible.
She said her father, Joe Voogt, has always been a great bowler. Now, he is the Camas bowling team’s assistant coach.