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Detroit Lakes adds adapted bowling

Eight Detroit Lakes High School students are participating in the Laker Adapted Bowling team this spring. The team bowls every Friday afternoon at Voyageur Lanes in Detroit Lakes and will participate in about three events against other teams this year. Brian Basham/Record

There is now a competitive opportunity for handicapped students at the Detroit Lakes High School, with the addition of adapted bowling to its sporting curriculum.

The season for the Laker adapted bowling team will be an experimental one, with three contests scheduled.

Eight students from DL are out for the bowling team, which include Dane Bellefeuille, Isaac Kuether, Austin Genz, Derek Hanson, Nick Ohm, Sami Schoviller, Braddley Blanchard, Maddie Ziemer, Derrick Hanson, Jasman Voeltz and Matt Padrta.

“The purpose of having the team is to give the opportunity to our students who never had something like this before,” said DLHS teacher and adapted bowling head coach Phil Kirchner.

“They will now have a chance to earn a letterman’s jacket and letters. It’s something they can take pride in.”

There are two classes of bowlers, which include Cognitively Impaired (CI) and Physically Impaired (PI).

The bowlers will play two games every Friday, with no advantages such as bumpers used.

“They will play a regular game of bowling,” Kirchner said.

“This year, we will only play three events against other teams as a test run.”

There are three divisions, as well, including singles, doubles and a four-team competition.

Adapted bowling is a Minnesota State High School League sanctioned sport and holds its own state meet, as well.       

The season, which regularly consists of six competitive events against other schools, does not require much travel or costs.

The DL team will bowl Fridays at Voyageur Lanes and Kirchner will then fax the scores into the MSHSL, which will compare the scores against other teams.

“In the future, we will probably travel to two events, which may include the state meet,” Kirchner said.

Other area teams include Fergus Falls, Ortonville, Jackson County Central, Alexan-dria and Parkers Prairie.

The DL team also will be sporting their own T-shirts, which were made by Laker Locker.

“You should have seen them the first day wearing their T-shirts, it was something to see,” said DL Activity Director Mitch McLeod. “It’s a great thing to add for the kids.

“There is no cost and no limitations of the number of bowlers who want to go out.”

The MSHSL also sanctions other adaptive sports along with bowling in floor hockey, softball and soccer.

McLeod said they will research into adding the other sports, but nothing is imminent as of now.

“We’ll see how bowling works out and go from there,” McLeod added.

The Lakers have already played two of their competitive events March 22 and April 12.

They will play one more May 17.

The games are bowled every Friday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Voyageur Lanes. 

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.