Bowling Becomes a Bonding Hobby


An empty bowling alley at Sky Ute Casino Resort

Ricki Gallegos, Reporter

Bowling isn’t a very well known sport in Durango, Colorado, since there are no bowling lanes in town.  There are a few students from Durango High School bowling  for the team the Rolling Thunder Youth that are trying to change that. Sophomore Keegan Sutherland,  Jr. Landon Donegan and So. Ricki Gallegos have found great success in their bowling careers in spite of their young age and lack of attention.

There are many benefits that students get from bowling. Elaine Martinez, one of the team moms, said, “Bowling is a focusing tool.”

Focusing tools are key for bowlers and include blocking everyone and everything out, setting up on the lane correctly and taking your time. The Rolling Thunder Youth have all of these strengths, they practice once a week on their league days and practice hard.

The head coach of this team, Tim Sapa, said, “It’s not only the kids working, it has to be the coach putting in effort also.”

The bowling coaches have worked very hard to focus on one-on-one skills and to help the kids become not only better bowlers but also to get to know the kids better.

Sutherland and Donegan have focused on one goal, winning the Colorado Bowling Youth State Championship.  The Colorado State Youth bowling tournament is coming up on May 9-10 in Aurora, Colorado.  They are practicing all the time and trying to become better bowlers which is bringing them closer and closer to winning.

Bowlers in Durango face a few limits: they can’t practice as often, they have to plan trips out to Ignacio, and it costs more to travel out there.  Donegan said, “Having a bowling alley in Durango would be nice.”

Having a bowling alley in Durango would indeed be nice and also cheaper. Less gas used up and students could become better bowlers because it would be closer to where they live. Donegan works very hard in bowling and to have a bowling alley here would make it easier on him and the rest of the bowlers.

Sutherland placed in the Top 10 at state last year, and this year he is not giving up on his dream of a first place finish. Sutherland bowls around 10 games a week. Everyone works hard for one reason and one reason only, to become better at bowling.

“I can smell the State victory” said Sutherland.
In the movie Kingpin, Ernie McCracken said, “Sometimes a bowler just has to face the music.” For Durango bowlers facing the music means being competitive, but doing it for the inner peace found by rolling the ball down the lane.