Winning is team effort

Mike Kelly
Finger Lakes East Champion Penn Yan Girls Bowling team includes (from left): Front: Katherine Petersen, Kari Ayers, Emilie Thomas, Cassidy World; Standing: Coach Mindy Johnson, Kelsey Sage, Shelby Goodell, Brooke Parsons, Courtney Ottaviano.

The Penn Yan varsity girls bowling team made history Jan. 22 when they were the first female bowling team at Penn Yan Academy to win a Finger Lakes East title.

The team is made up of nine girls: Brooke Parsons, Courtney Ottaviano, Kelsey Sage, Shelby Goodell, Kari Ayers, Emily Snyder, Cassidy World, Emmilie Thomas, and Katie Petersen, and one extremely proud coach, Mindy Johnson.

Parsons has been bowling for 12 years now and has won accolades by her placement on the Finger Lakes All-Star first and second teams every year she has bowled with the varsity team. She has led the team with an average of 203. As a senior, she has set a great example for the rest of the team. "Believe me, everyone wants to throw the ball like Brooke," Coach Johnson says.

Ottaviano started bowling when she was five with the help of her brothers. As a junior, she is the lead off bowler for the team and has also been on the All-Star team for many years. This season she came close to her goal of 600 series when she bowled a 593.

The team really came together this year to get this victory and everyone on the team has their own special role, says Johnson. Whether it was Petersen picking the corner pins, Thomas being able to figure out where and what shots to throw, World, the caring senior who just started, Snyder who is "intense" in her bowling, Goodell with her good technique and balance, or Sage, who sat out for a good part of the season due to a sprained ankle but realized where she belongs when she came back and bowled a 198.

Seventh grader Ayers, may be nervous since she only started bowling last April, but Coach Johnson calls her the "next Brooke," and says she is a natural who will have a great bowling future.

The team will be participating in the section five tournament Feb. 14 and 15 where the girls will be competing for the sectional title.