News: Marines strike back at Hawaii All-Military tournament
Story by Christine Cabalo
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII — Kaneohe Bay’s bowling champions are back to strike it big at this year’s Hawaii All-Military bowling tournament, which concludes at Pearl Harbor Bowling Center, April 5.
Eight of Marine Corps Base Hawaii’s top bowlers earned a spot on the K-Bay team to battle players representing each branch of the armed services. The tournament features 24 games during a span of four days, played at various military installation bowling alleys including K-Bay Lanes, Wednesday. Many K-Bay players said they were happy to play on their home turf after a tough time on the first tournament day.
“We’re in our own house,” said returning K-Bay player Jill Chenoweth. “There are extreme differences in conditions for games, but we like playing here on the nice wooden lanes. The team feels comfortable because we bowl here all the time.”
The U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band also performed to support the team, playing the national anthem and introduced each armed service team as they marched in. Once the band finished, tournament players gathered in mixed doubles teams to bowl.
This year’s K-Bay team features a mix of several returning bowlers and first-time tournament players. Brad Rehrig and Mark Gleason, who were on last year’s team and are senior leaders with the band, said weekly bowling team practice has improved each player’s game.
“The experienced bowlers try to help the newer bowlers with some tips,” Rehrig said. “It is always fun with everyone cheering the other players on with a lot of laughing and joking. We all bowl better in a light atmosphere, instead of no one talking and being too serious.”
Gleason said his approach to the tournament is keeping positive and focused, instead of dwelling on previous mistakes. For first-time tournament player Jorge Garay, having teammates he can look to for support and tips has helped him rethink his strategies.
During HAM team practice, Garay and team members prepared by playing team games when two bowlers are scored as one player. For the tournament, the K-Bay team practiced by having two-player teams bowl and scored as a single player. Bowlers needed to pick up their partner’s spare pins to score well.
“They motivate me when things are going bad and help me brush it off and continue with the game,” he said. “They’ve all been encouraging me to keep going and helping me train.”
Garay, a Marine with Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, often plays with teammate and roommate Justus Boring. The two regularly challenge each other at bowling, with the loser paying for dinner or playing games at K-Bay Lanes.
Since Boring began more competitive playing a few years ago, he said talking to his teammates about different techniques has helped improve his own.
“There’s a lot of things in bowling I never realized are controllable elements to the game,” Boring said. “When I started bowling and talking to other people, and I saw how so many simple elements can totally change how your throw goes.”
Gleason said the pressure may be on for the K-Bay team to finish first, but the Marines and civilians on the team are ready to handle it.
With returning and new players, the K-Bay team is set to strike in the fast lane.