North High has a bowling team. Surprised? So are we.

“When I tell people that I’m on the bowling team, most people’s first response is, ‘There’s a bowling team?'” – Nick Rietbroek, junior and captain of the boys’ bowling team.


Jan Kaluta, a new member of North High’s bowling team aims for a strike during practice at Herrill Lanes. The bowling team, despite its incognito existence, has seen a recent resurgence, as this was the first time in recent years not everyone who tried-out made the team.

Raymond Lin, Managing Editor

There’s a bowling team at Great Neck North High School. If you didn’t know that, you’re probably not the only one.

You also probably didn’t know that they practice and play games against other schools at Herrill Lanes, with opportunities for individual awards on top of varsity and junior varsity placements.

To their dismay, bowling often gets overlooked, despite it being just like any other sport. Well… at least somewhat like the other sports.

The bowling team has existed for many years at Great Neck North High School, yet it has received little attention from the school community.

The team has been composed of relatively few players in previous years, with concerns raised about the team not being able to form again this year. However, its accomplishments in the past few years and the results of the recent tryouts have indicated that the team may be on the rise again.

Twenty-nine athletes, eleven girls and eighteen boys participated in tryouts for the boys’ and girls’ side of the team which finished last week. Six boys were cut from the team during tryouts, which was the first time in the past years the team had to make cuts. This was the best turnout for tryouts in years, leading some team members to talk about its overall growth.

Ben Nazarian, junior, in mid-bowl position.

“The past two years I have played for the team, there were no cuts and we had such a small team that Coach was worried we wouldn’t have enough players to make up a team this year. I think the problem was that students were unaware of our bowling team,” said Nick Rietbroek, a junior and captain of the boys bowling team. “Luckily, we had a great turnout of players this year and it looks like we’re going to have a fun season.”

The past year’s successes also shows a promising track record for the bowling team. The team placed third in the conference last year, and had its captain go to all county. This year’s team seems ready to accomplish even more, according to some members.

“This year I think our team has a lot of potential,” said Gregg Vitiello, a junior on the boys’ team. “The current sophomores and freshmen have a lot of time and ability to learn and master this skill.”

Despite the promise of the team, the growing turnout for tryouts, and its past successes, some members of the team feel that the school community does not recognize the legitimacy of bowling as a sport. Some also feel that those new to the sport interpret the relaxed atmosphere of the games to signify a lack of commitment to traditional athletics.

Herill Lanes, the venue where the North High Bowling Team plays all their home — and away — games. Photo courtesy of

“It’s definitely seen as a joke sport, and I think many people don’t want to join because of the negative connotations,” said Nerissa Ng, a junior on the girls’ bowling team. “There may be a difference because this year there were a decent amount of boys trying out – enough to make cuts – but it is likely still widely seen as a joke sport.”

It’s definitely seen as a joke sport, and I think many people don’t want to join because of the negative connotations”


Other team members echo this sentiment, commenting on how the school community has always been hesitant to accept bowling as a serious sports team.

Team members believe that this lack of awareness has resulted in the lower turnout to tryouts in the past years.

“I think the general opinion has always been like this,” said Rietbroek. “When I tell people that I’m on the bowling team, most people’s first response is: ‘There’s a bowling team?’”

While the bowling team may not receive the recognition some feel it deserves, the coach feels optimistic for its continued success.

“The school has always been receptive to the team, though I think few people know we have a bowling team,” said Mr. Bailin, the coach of the bowling team and a teacher at Lakeville Elementary School, over email. “It’s not a ‘major’ sport, but we’ve had success in the past and we hope to find that again, and it would be great that the school knows about us and how we’re doing.”

The bowling team plays against teams from Great Neck South High School, Long Beach High School and Manhasset High School, among others. Practices and matches are held at Herrill Lanes Monday through Friday. Games are held on Mondays and Wednesdays.

The Port Washington Girls’ Bowling Team, one of North High’s in-league competitors plays a match at Herill Lanes. Photo courtesy of, Port Washington section.

The team’s first game is on Wednesday against Great Neck South High School. This year’s girls’ team is composed of Vanessa Enayatian, Remi Gilardian, Sarah Hakakian, Nikta Keypour, Brianna Kohler, Zoe Mahfar and Nerissa Ng. The boys’ team is made up of Jack Harari, Jan Kaluta, Daniel Khoshlessan, Mike Kron, Ben Nazarian, Josh Ohebshalom, Josh Ostad, Nick Rietbroek, Sam Silberg, Gregg Vitiello, Feige Wang and Juha Yoon.

“People should know that being on the team is very enjoyable and not too stressful,” said Rietbroek. “It’s so much fun to spend time with your friends, order some food, and bowl after a long school day.”