By Terry Bigham
Bryan High School in Bryan, Ohio, which started a bowling program for the 2010-11 season, has been selected to receive a $2,500 grant through the Youth Education Services (YES) Fund High School Grant Program.
The High School Grant Program provides assistance to bowling programs that have a financial need because of budget cuts or other changes, and to schools that request funding to start a new program. The program, administered by the International Bowling Campus High School department, can award up to four $2,500 grants a year.
Doug Miller, who coached the team this season, said team moms Sue Schulenberg and Robin Kemp handled the grant application. Schulenberg's son, Dalton, and Kemp's daughters, Michaela and Allison, were on this year's team.
Schulenberg said she read about the grant in US Youth Bowler magazine then went online to BOWL.com to find out more. She said the grant will take some of the stress off the program because the funds will help the team through next year and will allow them more time for fundraisers to keep the program growing.
Bryan High School was approved as a club sport in August 2010. But like many schools throughout the country, school superintendent Diana L. Savage said Bryan schools are facing continuous cuts in funding and "unfortunately the school is unable to assist with the expenses of the bowling club." Funding assistance from local businesses has been difficult to find as the Bryan area has seen several businesses close in the last year. Williams County has an 11.4 percent unemployment rate, one of the highest in Ohio.
"A program such as Bryan High School is the reason the YES Fund High School Grant Program was created," said International Bowling Campus Director of Youth Development Chad Murphy. "There is the desire for a bowling program at Bryan and obviously it has the support of the school, the parents and the kids. Hopefully, the grant will help make the program successful now and in the future."
Miller and assistant coach Tony Przepiora, each a USBC Silver coach, led the girls' team to an 11-1 record this season while the boys went 8-4. Miller said the girls just missed going to the state tournament by 57 pins.
Members of the boys' team are: (front row, from left) Derick Dancer, Wesley Stambaugh, Brian Jackson; (back row, from left) Michael Whittington, Dalton Schulenberg, Mike Smith, Colin Hoene.
The girls' team members are: (front row, from left) Tasha Karnes, Miranda Siller, Devan Hickey; (back row, from left) Michaela Kemp, Taylor Rickard, Autumn Leffel, Allison Kemp
Middlesex High School in Middlesex, N.J., was the first recipient of a grant in November 2010. The 19-year-old bowling program at Middlesex was able to continue in 2010-11 with the help of a grant after the team learned the program was going to be cut because of economic constraints.
The YES Fund is a joint initiative of the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America and USBC. Brunswick, Columbia 300, Ebonite, 900 Global, Hammer, QubicaAMF, Roto Grip, Storm and Track are founding partners and provided key support to start the YES Fund.
To learn more about the High School Grant Program, visit BOWL.com/high school.