WHS bowling team is striking their way through the county


Photo courtesy of Varsity Vantage

Senior Dante Morales bowling against Scotch Plains on Dec. 2

The bowling team, coached by Ralph Corey and led by captains senior Dante Morales and junior Gabe Dayon, is off to a strong start this season with a record of 9-1 as of Hi’s Eye print deadline. In 2019 and 2020, the team won the Union County Championship and is looking to secure that title again this year. Currently, they are in first place in the conference.

In addition to the goal of winning their third consecutive county title, they also have their eyes set on the Watchung Conference, Sectional and State Championships. Furthermore, they hope to “have the highest team average in the conference, the highest total pins within a match and high game all within the conference,” said Corey.

Corey, who started as the head coach of the bowling team in the 2011-2012 school year, said that there are many lessons he tries to impart to his bowlers beyond just the technique. “The most gratifying part to being the head coach of the bowling program is helping the athletes develop life skills such as discipline, resiliency, work ethic, persistence, leadership and social connection with others both at the lanes and beyond,” Corey explained.

The team has a strong lineup overall and they are confident in their success this season. Dayon said, “We have a team that not only has a really good starting five, but we also have depth within our team as well. If we need someone to step up, our team can trust them.”

There are three games in a series and the score from each game is added up to complete the series. An 800 series is extremely tough and in order to achieve this, you must average a 267 or better.

Morales and Dayon have had many individual accomplishments in their careers, making them both a huge asset to the team.

Morales is most proud of his first 800 series on Dec. 12 against Roselle and placing in the top third of bowlers at the 2019 National Championship in Detroit. Dayon bowled his highest series of 712 with the scores of 236, 208, and 268 Dec. 12, 2021 against Elizabeth. His highest single game ever was a 279.

Morales noted there are many aspects to bowling that are often overlooked or unknown to a majority of people. “You need to know where to stand and where to look. You need to understand what ‘move three and on’ means and make sure your timing is correct while maintaining your balance at the line,” Morales explained.

The same sentiment was echoed by Corey. “Bowling does not require you to be the tallest, strongest or fastest athlete to be highly talented or skilled in the sport. It’s just a willingness to learn, work hard and [show] commitment.”

Bowling is a unique opportunity for teens to tackle success in a new way. “If you are an athlete who enjoys competing throughout the winter season or someone looking to try something new, you should consider becoming a Blue Devil bowler,” Corey said.

On Tuesday, the team knocked off Union High School to go on a nine-match winning streak.

The team has about a month left in the season and hopes to conquer the state tournament in February.