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Bowling helps boost academics

Girls action bowling Boys Action Bowling
Collages of both the girls and boys competition

Bowling coaches Richard VanScoyk and Diane Moore are proud of their teams. Both the boys and girls teams received the Scholar Athlete Team Award - meaning that the team’s average GPA for 75 percent of its roster was at or better than 90 percent.

The coaches have high standards for team members.

“We follow-up regularly with them and their teachers,” VanScoyk said.

VanScoyk runs the math department’s Academic Support Center at Poughkeepsie High School, which is open to all students for help. “For bowlers, they can come in and work on any subject,” he said. If VanScoyk or Diane Moore, the girls coach, see a student struggling in classes, they request that the student come into the center for help.

“They want to bowl so they want to get good grades so it is a big motivation for them,” Moore said.

Junior Julianna Powers is one student who said bowling has helped improve her academics.

“When you bowl, you learn how to process your steps and Mr. V is there for us if we need help with academics, he does a good job because he explains it and makes sure that you understand the concept,” Powers said. She has been on the team since it started three years ago.

“Bowling started because we had very few winter sports and it was something many students in the P.E. classes talked about,” VanScoyk said. “The students enjoy it and have a lot of fun. They bring a lot of energy to it and they’re proud of what they do.”

Aside from learning to bowl and improve her game, Powers said being part of the team has enabled her to make friends with teammates and help them along the way.

Powers said she plans to continue bowling in her senior year.

“They support us academically and socially. It doesn’t just feel like we’re a team - we’re like family,” she said.

This year, the girls placed fourth of seven teams in the section, the boys 7th of eight.