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NFM High School bowlers ready to roll

September 12, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

The North Fort Myers High School boys bowling team has the makings of a state qualifier this season and, if you saw them play recently against Dunbar at Head Pinz on Del Prado Boulevard, the team's home lane, you might agree.

Junior Nick Nero threw nine strikes in bowling a 268 to help lead the Red Knights to victory and a 927 score in the traditional game, then as a team they bowled a 231 in the first "Baker game," Where five bowlers bowl two frames in more of a team format, to finish them off.

Casey McKee added a 193 in the traditional game to help the Red Knight cause.

"It was a good run. I was nice and relaxed. I had KC & The Sunshine Band in my head and was hitting my mark," Nero said, who plays in leagues at Head Pinz on the weekend. "Having family with me puts me in the right mood."

Head coach Eric Brounson said the boys have a lot of new kids from a team that finished sixth in the district last season, as well as experienced guys like Nero to help them compete as well as groom the newer kids to take over.

"Nick averages about 210 and is our best bowler, but most important, he's a great kid," Brounson said. "He shows a lot of compassion and really helps these kids out."

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Mostly, these kids do it anonymously, even though bowling is an FHSAA-sanctioned sport. Brounson said the great thing about bowling is that unlike football, you can do it at any age, from 4 to 104.

"It speaks to all ages. The kids who aren't going to play football or basketball take up bowling. It's a universal sport and it's catching on more here in our area," Brounson said.

Meanwhile, the girls team is mostly new, with only senior A.J. Hernandez as their really experienced bowler as she rolled a 165 in their victory against Dunbar in the traditional game, then wrapped up their first win in the first Baker game 126-112.

"They're growing pretty fast and looked really good today. Last year's team finished third in the district, I expect them to do as well as they grow," Brounson said. "We expect A.J. to go to states this year. She leads this team with a lot of spunk."

"We did really good and it was a lot of fun for all of us. We're trying hard," Hernandez said. "We're helping the freshmen and we're really happy they're on the team and having fun."

There was also a group of North boys who played a co-ed Bonita Springs team, which was playing its first game as a high school program.

"We have some good freshmen this year and a very deep lineup. I think we'll have great run and have a shot at making states," Nero said.



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