High School Sports

City schools to add bowling program this winter

The Bellingham city high schools announced Wednesday, Oct. 22, plans to add girls’ bowling to the the list of sports they will offer during the 2014-15 winter sports season.

Bowling is a Washington Interscholastic Activities Association sanctioned event, and practices are allowed to open Nov. 3. The season runs through the Feb. 6-7 state championships in Tacoma.

Much like they do for girls’ gymnastics, Bellingham, Sehome and Squalicum will practice and travel together as co-op program, but bowlers will represent their respective schools in competition, Sehome athletic director Colin Cushman said in a phone interview.

“We’ve been looking for a way to get more opportunities for girls during the winter,” Cushman said. “We don’t have a whole lot of opportunities for girls with our current programs, and our hope is this help boost the number of girls we have participating during the winter months.”

In addition to the gymnastics program, the city schools also offer girls’ wrestling, with Bellingham and Squalicum operating as a co-op, and each school has its own girls’ basketball program. By comparison, each of the three schools offer its own basketball, wrestling and swimming programs for boys athletes during the winter season.

Cushman said the new program will place a cap of 10 bowlers from each school.

“We don’t know exactly what we’re going to get, yet,” Cushman said. “We’re anxious to start encouraging girls to turn out and see where it goes from there.”

Cushman said the search also has begun to find a coach for the new program, and encouraged interested coaches to contact him at colin.cushman@bellinghamschools.org.

Ferndale was the most recent Whatcom County high school to compete in bowling, when the Golden Eagles had Ashley Ackerman win a 2A/3A individual state title in 2008 and finish runner up in 2009.

Anacortes is the only current Northwest Conference school with a bowling team. In addition to competing with the Seahawks, Cushman said the new Bellingham city program will compete with other Northwest District teams — most of which are from Everett.