Loy Norrix Men’s Bowling team are crowned conference champions with an unbeaten record


Credit: Cavan Helms

Loy Norrix bowling team shows off their medals following their conference win at Continental Lanes, on February 18th.

Zach Eldred and Cavan Helms

With the loud roar of the crowd and enough artificial lighting to render the sun completely useless, Loy Norrix’s finest bowlers must find enough peace to concentrate on the last ten pins glaring down at them from the other end of the lane.

Having won every match up to this point, the Loy Norrix men’s bowling team competed for a chance to finish on top and win the conference at Continental Bowling Lanes on Feb. 18. The Knights defeated Niles in their final match, sealing their first conference championship since 2017. 

The win over Niles was a big landmark for the team as Niles holds one of the best bowling programs in the region and has proven in past years to be a very difficult team to beat.

“We finally defeated Niles, and we demolished them so easily,” said sophomore Haneef Hampton.

Important games require preparation and Coach Myke Brandt makes sure his bowlers are ready for anything.

“We run drills instead of just playing games. This allows us to reinforce strengths and work on weaknesses. We work on all aspects of bowling,” said Brandt.

Bowling is a very unique sport in the way that bowlers play individually while competing to a total team score. It requires a high level of focus to go out on your own and perform at your best, and many bowlers have their own ways of maintaining their focus. In the midst of a big match, senior Anthony Fotis expresses how taking it slow is what wins him the race.

“I stay focused knowing – it’s one step at a time – that for bowling for one shot, I just have to be perfect,” said Fotis. “A lot of people want to look at the after-picture. I look at it step-by-step to get to the after-picture, taking things slow.”

Fotis played a large part in the team’s success this year with strong individual performances helping to lead his team to victory. His performance throughout the season landed him a spot in the regional tournament, which he went on to win. Fotis progressed to the state competition where he finished in 18th place, solidifying him as one of the best bowlers in Michigan.

“It felt really good to win regionals. I felt like a lot of my hard work for bowling has been paying off,” said Fotis. “For states, it felt good to make it as far as I did. Obviously there’s a lot of things I need to work on, but it felt good knowing that the steps I’ve taken have shown.”

Strong individual performances are important, but it is how the team as a whole plays that makes a team good.

“These kids became friends, but we just got a group of bowlers that wanted to learn bowling and truly wanted to win,” said Brandt.

A close team and an urge to win is what makes a team successful and able to win matches and championships.

“So far this year, this team is the best of all,” said Hampton.

Loy Norrix bowling is consistently one of the best high school bowling programs in the region, and has a strong foundation and winning environment. 

“I have looked for only one thing in all the years I have coached Loy Norrix.  Students that want to learn, listen and can have fun,” said Brandt, “I want to give them a place to have fun and learn a sport that can last a lifetime.”