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Gates-Chili bowling’s circle of life

Local Sports

There are over 70 schools from the Rochester area in the News 8 bucket. Any could be chosen as the next school at random. 

Last month, the Churchville-Chili girls cross country team pulled the one school less than eight miles away. 

“We found the other Chili!”

We go from running outside to rolling inside, where the Gates-Chili boys bowling team is different than most varsity rosters.

“We have a lot of kids from 7th and 8th grade,” said head coach James Schroeder.

Since there is no modified bowling teams, Schroeder says it creates an interesting dynamic between a lot of younger kids and veteran seniors. 

“It’s unique. It’s definitely different in terms of a varsity sport where others are normally (only) juniors and seniors and that’s what you get.”

Not with the Spartans.

There are middle schoolers and kids with driver’s licenses. Coach Schroeder admits its tricky at times, but says bowling is the common bond between ages. It’s created a family feel with the team.

Like a little brother and a big brother. 

“They look up to us because I use to be a little kid looking up to the big guys,” said senior Anthony Gersonia. “Now, I’m not the little one anymore.”

“It was intimidating because I remember my first match ever. Going in and just trying to break 100. I was so proud to not have the lowest score. That was always my goal,” added fellow senior Alex Scalone.

The new group of junior high teammates knows the feeling.

“I’m definitely nervous,” said 8th grader Dylan LaForce. “As a younger kid on the team you pretty much just look up to the big kids.”  

“You don’t wanna put them in your shoes kinda like back in my day type of thing,” Scalone says.  

“You see a lot of the older kids maybe take one of the younger kids under their wing,” Schroeder says. “You’ll see a lot of that bonding between the kids. It’s nice to see an 18 year old and a 13 year old kid have a conversation about bowling that they can connect.”

With each passing year, a new member is welcomed in with open arms. The teams gets little wiser and family of Gates-Chili bowling gets a little bigger.

Next month we will take a drive to Dansville… to let them tell their story. 

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