By T. Anthony Bell
U.S. Army Garrison Fort Lee Public Affairs Office
FORT LEE, Va. (April 13, 2018) – The All Army Bowling Trials Camp got underway Wednesday at the TenStrike Bowling Center here. Out of the 21 Soldier-competitors, four males and four females have qualified to represent the Army team during the Armed Forces Championship today-Sunday.
The Navy and Air Force men’s and women’s trial camps are being held concurrently at the Army’s newest bowling facility.
Staff Sgt. Rose Aguilar, a six-time Army team member, said the tryouts and tournament are always competitive, but this year’s event has been quite a challenge.
“It’s probably been the most difficult, considering the actual conditions for the lane patterns,” said the Fort Bliss, Texas, Soldier. “But I enjoy that. I enjoy the complexity of the patterns we’re bowling on. It makes it a more fun and encouraging experience. There are definitely some lessons learned.”
Scott Lentsch, the Army coach, said tournament conditions require critical thinking and strategy. He was busy Thursday morning advising bowlers how to adjust to tournament-condition lanes, which are oiled substantially more than normal and play a lot slicker. He said it is difficult to figure out what works if bowlers lack experience.
“That’s where I come in – to offer them advice on how to play the lane correctly, including how to re-surface the ball and how to pick up spares differently,” he said.
During the trials, competitors are afforded one day of practice, then must complete 12 games the following day for qualification scores. The four top rollers earn spots on the team. Lentsch said the schedule requires a lot of stamina.
“They’re averaging between 12 and 18 games a day, then they have to turn right around the next day and do it again (during the Armed Forces tourney),” he said. “It’s not the easiest thing to do.”
The biggest upside regardless of whether the Soldiers make the final team or not, Lentsch said, is the opportunity for these high-performing athletes to improve their game.
“That is what I live for,” said the former professional bowler. “I live to teach. I’ve been doing this since I was 8 years old. I want to share my knowledge so they can take that back to their lanes and share it as well.”
Following selections, which should have been completed Thursday evening, the Army bowlers will try their hands at supplanting the Navy men and Air Force women, defending champions from the 2017 meet.
For updates on the final rounds of the bowling competition, visit www.facebook.com/ArmedForcesSports.
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Fort Lee is the Army’s Home of Sustainment and supports the training, education and development of adaptive Army logistics professionals. Major organizations on the installation include the Defense Commissary Agency, Defense Contract Management Agency, Combined Arms Support Command, the Army Logistics University, U.S. Army Ordnance School, U.S. Army Quartermaster School and U.S. Army Transportation School. Fort Lee supports nearly 86,000 Soldiers, retirees, veterans, family members and civilian employees and boasts an economic impact of about $2.4 billion per year.