Following a match last Friday against Fort Vancouver at Hazel Dell Lanes, Columbia River girls bowling coach Logan Burnett honored his seniors, and he had a lot of seniors.
It was a night of laughs, hugs and tears.
“A lot of emotions,” senior Addi Capson said, wiping away tears. “I don’t know even where to start … This is our last time bowling together – well in the regular season.”
On Wednesday, the Rapids will embark on the postseason as they travel to Westside Lanes in Olympia for the District 4 tournament.
River will take its varsity five, plus two alternates, to Olympia. But the River team is much bigger than seven bowlers, as Burnett has worked to foster a family atmosphere.
“When we do practice, we’re all mixed,” Burnett said. “We don’t just have varsity over here and C team over there. They mixed, and they have a good time as friends, so I think that helps.”
Capson said: “Bowling has always been just kind of fun sport in general. It’s a hangout and you’re with friends. It’s always a big community, and you’re always welcome no matter who you are or where you come from.”
Capson is one of four seniors on the River’s top five, joined by Jamie Green, Sadie Burrows and KyleeJo Wisinski. Most of those players have been together all four years, creating a special run for River bowling.
When this year’s seniors were freshmen, River finished second at the 2A/1A state tournament to W.F. West of Chehalis. Wisinski, Green and Burrows bowled in that state tournament.
There was no state tournament during the COVID season of 2021, but last year, River again took second place in the team standings, this time to Black Hills of Tumwater.
All five of this year’s varsity squad, which includes Pax Marino, bowled at state last year. Wisinski placed fourth in the individual standings, as the other four all finished in the top 22.
This year, the Rapids have taken their game to another level. They have topped 2,000 pins nine times in matches this season, including a school record 2,359 against Ridgefield on Jan. 4. In that match, Green bowled a season-best 247 and Capson added a 244.
Burrows had a season-best 234 against Mark Morris on Dec. 8, and Wisinski topped them all with a 253 on Jan. 12.
“I just trust them to make the adjustments they need to make,” Burnett said. “They help each other, which I think is important. We do our part in practice, and they go out and put it together in the competitions.”
They all have different personalities, ranging from relaxed to a quiet intensity to Capson, who always seems to have a smile on face, whether she’s just thrown a strike or a split.
“She’s a cheerleader in the other seasons, so we call her our cheerleader,” Burnett said of Capson. “She brings a different enthusiasm to the team.”
Put them all together, and they are a potent force.
“This team is definitely special to me,” Capson said. “We are just a very diverse group. We came into this from a lot of different backgrounds, but we all came together because we love the same sport.”