From backpacks to bowling, Citrus Valley resurrects after school club


Children shouting, balls rolling, pins falling, turkeys gobbling. Another typical Tuesday afternoon at Empire Bowl. Now, Citrus Valley High School’s bowling club mixes in with all of the excitement.

In the midst of rental shoes and rowdy kids, Citrus Valley’s bowling club opened its doors Tuesday, August 20 at Empire Bowl, for the first time in over a year. 

After the 2017-2018 school year, Citrus Valley’s bowling club dwindled away. However, Michael Saldana could not stand the thought of a senior year without the bowling club that he had once held dear. He realized that it was “now or never,” as he undertook the challenge of revamping the old bowling club. He was not “ready to take no for an answer.” He knew what he must do: meet with the manager, recruit an advisor, tackle Club Rush.

Saldana gathered a small team of fellow bowlers to help him conquer his dream of reestablishing the bowling club. 

They met with the manager of the bowling alley, who graciously agreed to revive the old discount that drew so many bowlers to the club. A small $5 fee is all that is required for a fun-filled Tuesday afternoon. This fee includes 3 games of bowling and a pair of rental shoes.

The team then went on to recruit Brent Williams to become their advisor. This was no easy feat. Although Williams is an avid bowler who desperately wanted to support Saldana’s club, he felt as though he could not make the necessary commitment to this club. The leaders reassured him that they had their own coach who could help him out. Williams finally reluctantly agreed, and Saldana and the team “could not be happier about that.”

Lastly, the presidency went on to conquer the beast, better known as Club Rush. They went to all of the club meetings, filled out all of the necessary paperwork, and reserved a spot at Club Rush. Club Rush went remarkably well for the bowling club. To the leaders’ surprise, over 30 students showed up to the first meeting at Empire Bowl, all bright-eyed and eager to laugh as they fling their balls down the lane at full speed and slaughter as many pins as possible. 

One of the main purposes of the bowling club is to provide its members with a place to kick back, relax and enjoy themselves after the hustle and bustle of the school day. When asked what his favorite bowling memory is, Saldana responded, “I wasn’t having a very good day at all, and then once I went bowling all the problems felt like they went away. I ended up getting my new highest score [269].”

Saldana hopes that other bowlers too can take off their backpacks, leave the drama of the day behind them and just bowl and enjoy themselves. He hopes that this bowling club can be an opportunity to forget about the stresses of high school, even for just a couple of hours. He and his cabinet are dedicated to ensuring that every member has a place to de-stress. 

Their hard work has definitely paid off. Molly Johnston, a new member of the bowling club, stated that the bowling club is fun because she can “goof around with [her] friends” after a long stressful day at school. 

The presidency of Citrus Valley’s bowling club poured their hearts and souls into resurrecting the bowling club and turning it into the new hangout for anyone to come hang out and bowl.

The club meets every Tuesday at 3:15, and new members are always welcome.

Citrus Valley Bowling Club’s leadership team proudly poses with their bowling balls after their exhausting, exciting first meeting at Empire Bowl. Their hard work and dedication is evident, as all of the members had a fantastic time bowling.
(KELLY JOHNSTON/ La Plaza Photo)

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