Hastings Rolling Towards Bowling in the NSAA

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It's happening all over the state!

"All the way to Scottsbluff has teams, all the way to Omaha, all the way to Columbus, all the way to Sioux City -- South Sioux City, I should say," said Butch Hogan, Head Bowling Coach at Hastings High School.

But not being a part of the Nebraska School Activities Association has made it difficult for bowling to survive in high schools.

Lacy Meyer, a senior member of Blue Hill High School's Bowling Team said, "A lot of the kids in school don't know about it because it's not part of the NSAA, so it's hard to get teams going."

That is why Hogan is one of many pushing for the NSAA to recognize bowling as a sport.

"We feel these kids are part of their school system," said Hogan, "and should have that pride of being part of their school."

Hastings got the boll rolling on trying to get bowling into the NSAA in 2005, now they're just waiting for the NSAA to strike back.

"We're gaining some ground," Hogan said. "Unfortunately from what some of the NSAA people have said, we're too organized and they're kind of almost scared that if the school system takes it over, it might jalter [sic] it somewhat, but there's no fear of that because we plan on all helping to make sure they keep it going the way it's going."

As far as the bowlers are concerned, there are many opinions about a possible move to the NSAA. Mason Furman is a junior at Hastings St. Cecilia High School, one of over one hundred Nebraska high schools participating in bowling. In addition to bowling, Furman also plays football and runs track.

"Someone said I did it just to become a three sport athlete, but that's not really why," said Furman.

Furman says he'd be happy for bowling to be accepted by the NSAA, but for now he enjoys playing without any added stress.

"I don't think we do too well with stress and like, worrying about stuff," said Furman. "I think we're here to have fun and we do good when we have fun."

Meyer is also happy just to be able to play, but she thinks being in the NSAA would help the bowling community financially.

"I kind of wish it was because there would be more advantages for us, and it'd cost a little less probably," said Meyer. "If it was part of the NSAA, it would be part of the school systems, so the booster club would help pay for stuff and we wouldn't have to come and put the money on our own."

Hogan says the NSAA believes dollars and cents may be the biggest problem facing the effort.

"They're worried about money, basically right now," Hogan said.

And since the NSAA hasn't recognized a new sport since 1996 when softball was brought in, the process for the bowling community has been tough.

Hogan said, "There's three different segments of voting. One with the Athletic Directors and one with a different board in January and another board in April. It has to pass the Athletic Directors' one before it can even get to the second stage and we haven't gotten that far yet."