“From the gutter, to the wall, who made those 10 pins fall? A Rattler threw that ball. All strike, strike Lady Rattlers. All strike, strike FAMU.”
These are among the many chants sang by the Florida A&M University bowling team and supportive fans as they gathered Saturday and Sunday at Seminole Bowl for a southern regional bowling match.
The five Lady Rattlers competed against four other schools, including Bethune-Cookman College, Norfolk State University, South Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University and Winston-Salem State University.
Saturday, the team recorded victories against B-CC (742 to 734), Norfolk (679 to 650) and Winston-Salem (751 to 649), and losses against North Carolina A&T (714 to 776) and South Carolina State (708 to 724).
FAMU head coach Novella Franklin said she was impressed with the performance of the bowling team but that there is still room for improvement.
“(The team) missed too many spares,” Franklin said. “Once we come together as one, this will be a team I am going to be very proud of.”
FAMU’s bowling team was not the only squad that acknowledged it has some work to do. Jerry Norris, head coach of the B-CC bowling team, said he is disappointed in some aspects of his team and said a loss should be expected at some point. The Lady Wildcats finished with a 46-12 record last season.
With a strong start to the season, the Lady Rattlers started the regional against the in-state rival Lady Wildcats. FAMU claimed victory as they defeated the Wildcats by an 8-pin margin.
Coach Franklin said she was pleased with the team’s chemistry and defeat over B-CC. “Beating B-CC is no joke,” Franklin said. “We have always lost to them in the past.”
FAMU’s head coach estimated it had been almost two years since they have successfully competed against their rival.
Beginning the afternoon meet with a win may have set the tone for the remainder of the day for Franklin’s squad.
Sunday concluded the match with the Baker’s Bowl. In the Baker’s Bowl, each team member bowls two times in one round. The team with the best three out of five games is the winner of that match.
During this event, FAMU beat Norfolk, Winston-Salem and North Carolina A&T and lost to South Carolina and Bethune-Cookman.
Team captain and senior Domonique Boatman acknowledged the team’s effort but still encouraged her teammates to “start off strong and stay strong, and learn how to bounce back.”
Members of the team said they would condition, practice and put forth positive attitudes to continue to improve this season. The Lady Rattlers said they were confident these attributes would help them compete.
Franklin said the team has raised its level of play.
The level of competing is “three scales up,” Franklin said.
The next game will be during the Thanksgiving break. To prepare for the upcoming match, the team will continue to practice hard and work on meshing as a team.
“We have taught them what they need to know. Now it’s up to them to work on how to come together as a team,” Franklin said.
The head coach and team said they appreciate the support from the university’s students and staff. Organizations brought food and learned more about bowling, and friends and fans cheered on their victories.