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Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

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Bowling team’s rising success brings students together

Following a successful season, siblings on the team reflect on how their relationship has grown through the sport
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By Avery Clement

The school has been successful in a number of sports, but the bowling team has risen to the spotlight in the last two years. After many successful competitions throughout the season, the boys team took home first at regionals and sixth at state while the girls team placed third at regionals and a history best: fifth at state.

While the team was successful in years prior, senior Ethan Diehl, who placed 13th at state, believes that their current success is due to growth and change in the group.

Celebrating the good outcome, senior Kiara Gonzalez and sophomore Abby Haney fist bump in excitement. The team bowled a series of 2327 at the meet, earning them first place overall. (By Eva Hernandez)

“The team did well for what we had last year,” Diehl said. “We lost a couple seniors that were very influential and I think we recovered pretty well and this year was even better. We’ve all practiced a lot, we’ve all grown as people, we know each other better and we weren’t that connected last year.”

Self-improvement is especially important in bowling since teams cannot affect what opposing teams do. Head coach Amy McClure believes this has led the team to motivate each other toward improvement.

“Bowling is a very offensive sport, meaning you can control what your team does, but you can’t control what the other teams do,” McClure said. “There’s no defense so the team is very encouraging of each other.”

By Avery Clement

Similarly, Diehl believes one of the primary factors of their improvement is how the team has grown together.

“We’ve been successful because we look out for each other,” Diehl said. “We’ve given each other tips and I give them tips. When I do, they follow it, they perform, they do good and we’re just better than last year.”

For McClure, the extra work and practice that the team has put in has been a key to their success. “These teams in particular, are successful because they bowl in leagues outside of school,” McClure said. “They spend countless hours in the summer bowling and in the offseason. Most of them have a private coach, they take lessons, they do a lot of work in the offseason in order to become better bowlers. They spent a lot of hours at the bowling alley.”

Growing as a team takes work, but the bowling team has an advantage in that many siblings are on the team together. Senior Kiara Gonzalez, who placed 11th at state this year, has two sisters on the team. Kiara explains how she and her sisters sophomore Layla Gonzalez and freshman Bella Gonzalez have grown closer during this season.

“I feel like I’m definitely a lot closer with Bella,” Kiara said. “Me and Layla hav2e always been [close], so [our relationship] is the same but Bella and I have definitely gotten closer.”

Layla has seen benefits to having her older sister on the team, especially since they’ve   bowled together for so long.

“Our parents had bowled, so they introduced us to it,” Layla said. “[Being on the team] is not very different because I’ve always bowled with [Kiara], but I’m glad she’s on the team because I always have someone I can go talk to if I need help.”

Layla has improved her bowling skills and advanced to the level of Kiara. However, having such a successful sister on the team has created unique struggles.

Hoping for a strike, senior Ethan Diehl throws his bowling ball down the alley. Diehl bowled a series of 680 which earned him second place individually at the meet Thursday, Feb.15. (By Anna Zwahlen)

“Layla and I have been very head to head this season because she’s had a really good season,” Kiara said. “It’s just very tough to be on the same team because everyone talks about that.”

Layla has taken notice of the talk surrounding their competition as well.

“I’m always compared to [Kiara],” Layla said. “Anytime I’m asked about how I bowled [I’m] immediately asked how she’s bowling.”

Despite the comparisons, Kiara is confident that her younger sisters will be just as successful as she has been in her bowling career once she moves on.

“I definitely feel like Layla can definitely step up very easily and take my role as the head person on the team,” Kiara said. “I feel like Bella can also be as good as Layla and get out there on the lane.”

Throughout their season, not only have the Diehls and Gonzalezes grown closer as siblings, but the team has developed a close relationship, leading to their rise in success.

“A never-give-up mindset is what I’ve developed over the past four years [in bowling],” Ethan said. “You’ll make friends, that’s what my sister has done and I’ve seen her grow a lot. It’s tough to explain, but there’s a feeling that you’re on a team and people care for you.”

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About the Contributors
Anna Zwahlen, JagWire editor-in-chief, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief
This is senior Anna Zwahlen’s second year on the JagWire newspaper staff. She is thrilled to be one of the new Editors In Chief of the JagWire and Mill Valley News. Anna is also involved in the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, Scholars Bowl, GSA and is co-president for Youth for Refugees. Outside of school, Anna loves to read and spend time with her friends, as well as listen to new music and watch her favorite TV shows and movies between her work as a barista.
Ian Chern, JagWire copy editor
This is junior Ian Chern’s second year on the JagWire staff. This year he is taking up the role of copy editor along with writer and photographer. Outside of school, Ian enjoys watching sports, listening to music, playing basketball and soccer, volunteering at food banks and spending time with friends and family. He is also a member of NHS, Science Olympiad and likes to participate in Relay for Life.
Eva Hernandez, JagWire reporter/photographer
This is sophomore Eva Hernandez’s first year on the JagWire staff. This year she will be learning the roles of a writer and photographer. Eva enjoys longboarding around her neighborhood and likes to play sports like flag football, soccer and basketball and she loves to bake for her friends. Eva also enjoys watching scary movies and shopping for shoes. Eva is involved in Relay for Life and would like to join more things as the school year goes on.
Avery Clement, JagWire reporter/photographer
This is Sophomore Avery Clement’s first year on the JagWire staff. She is looking forward to learning about designing, writing and photography for the JagWire. Outside of journalism, Avery enjoys watching movies, crocheting and thrifting and reselling clothes. She also works as a gymnastics coach at Pinnacle gymnastics. She is a member of Youth for Refugees and Women's Empowerment Club and is also in Model UN. She is looking forward to a fun year on the JagWire staff.

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