ARLINGTON, Texas – The bowling programs at four high schools recently were awarded $2,500 grants through the High School Grant Program, part of the Youth Education Services (YES) Fund.
The High School Grant Program accepts applications from schools that can show a financial need for their bowling program because of budget cuts or other changes, or schools can request funding to start a new program. International Bowling Campus (IBC) Youth Development reviews applications and annually selects up to four high schools to receive a grant.
Each of the following schools received a $2,500 grant based on submitted applications:
- Alcorn Central High School, Glen, Mississippi
- Borah High School, Boise, Idaho
- Buckhorn High School, New Market, Alabama
- Middle College High School, Memphis, Tennessee
Alcorn Central High School started its bowling program four years ago, but does not receive assistance from the school or district. Students pay a fee to cover the cost of regional tournament expenses and bowlers must provide their own equipment, including shoes, balls and any additional items. The team had 45 students sign up for tryouts and have an eight-member boys team and a seven-member girls team.
Mallory Hamlin, bowling coach at Alcorn Central, sought the grant to pay for uniforms and shoes, and to cover the costs to participate in additional tournaments to give the teams more experience. Hamlin also seeks to add junior varsity teams for both boys and girls.
Borah High School launched its bowling program in 2017 and computer science teacher Samuel Stafford, who oversees the program, said the team had two fundraisers to pay for uniforms, practice times and tournament entry fees. The sport is not recognized by the Idaho High School Athletic Association, so teams compete at the club level and receive no funding.
Stafford said at the school’s orientation for incoming students, 10 signed up as interested in joining the club, which would double the size of the team. He plans to use the grant to pay for practice time, tournaments and to send a team and individuals to the state events.
The bowling program at Buckhorn High School started in the 2016-2017 season with a boys team but plans to have a girls team and, eventually, a junior varsity and a middle school team. Whitney Boggus said in the school’s application that player fees and fundraisers were needed to pay the practice and competition fees for the team of five athletes, which included four high school students and a middle school student.
Boggus said interest in high school bowling continues to increase since it was named a championship sport by the Alabama High School Athletic Association starting with the 2015-2016 school year and expects the program to grow in the coming years.
The Middle College High School has had a bowling program for six years but its limited funding from the Shelby County Interscholastic Athletic Association was discontinued, leaving all costs to be covered by the student-athletes. While some students have been able to get equipment, other have not, and the program also has struggled with expenses such as transportation and a coaching stipend.
The program has seen success, as it has won several district titles and an athlete who finished fourth in the state tournament received a college scholarship for bowling. School athletic director Reed Willis said the grant will allow the school to purchase new uniforms and equipment, and help to retain coaches, as the school is on its third coach in four years.
The High School Grant Program is made possible through the YES Fund, a joint initiative of the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America and the United States Bowling Congress. The YES effort is supported by top bowling brands including Bowling.com, Brunswick, Columbia 300, Ebonite, Hammer, QubicaAMF, Roto Grip, Storm and Track.
Go to BOWL.com/HighSchool for information about grants to assist high school programs.