HB bowlers suffer unexpected defeat at championship


Zach Summer ‘21

Varsity Bowler Tim Leclerc ‘21 winds up his shot at the last practice before the championship. The scores players achieve during practice help determine their standings on the team, with only the top eight bowlers qualifying for varsity. “I’d say as a team, we do really well under pressure,” said Leclerc.

Josh Hill, Staff Writer

On Saturday, Feb. 22, Hollis-Brookline competed against other schools across New Hampshire in the State Bowling Championship game. HB came in first once before in 2012, and this year, with a roster full of dedicated and talented players, the team was confident they would do it again. Sadly, they fell short at both the Individual Championship and the Team Championship, where they came in fourth.

Since the season began in November, HB had been smashing records thanks to their exceptional individual players. In highest series or highest total pinfall over two games, the team had surpassed eight of the ten previously held state records.“Our big three bowlers are Ben LaFontaine, Nic Vahe, and Jake Webb. Ben was number four in the state, Nic was number six, and Jake was eight,” said coach Erin Robbins. The team had also set new records for boys top average, boys career average and most games bowled, with the varsity squad playing around 20-40 games per week.

The team was very optimistic about their odds of winning the championship. Jarrett Tousignant ’21, the best spare shooter at HB, calculated an 80.07% chance of coming in first, while varsity bowler Tim Leclerc ’21 forecasted 80%. Leclerc thought his team’s ability to perform under pressure and in clutch situations was a great asset to them, as they had won multiple games by just a few pins. Robbins also had full confidence in her players:“they are so serious about this and that’s why they’re so good. If I were a gambling person, I’d put my money on our team.”

One of HB’s greatest strengths was the experience of their players. Everyone on varsity had been playing for at least two years, and thanks to their commitment, they had improved immensely over the course of their bowling careers. For example, Leclerc had increased his average score by around 50 points, and according to Robbins, varsity bowlers Zach Summer ’21 and Kail Arthur ’21 had seen similar results. “Zach has improved leaps and bounds, he’s so much better than he was last year. He’s really consistent, and he’s worked hard,” said Robbins. As for Arthur, she had gone from bowling a 24 pin game in her first year to having an average within the top five of all girls in the state.

While the team was very optimistic about their prospects at the championship, there were still some teams that posed a threat to HB. According to Leclerc, both Goffstown and Keene had very strong rosters, each with a few players in the top ten of the state. Despite these potential challengers, Leclerc remained confident his team would be crowned victorious, stating “Our team is really close and really motivated… We have a really good team.”

With an impressive season behind them and spirits running high, HB looked to take home the trophy at the State Bowling Championship on Saturday. Despite their confidence, the team placed fourth in the Team Championship, with similarly disappointing results in the individual bracket.