CatDog bowling team runners up at district competition
     2014-01-30      By Elizabeth Gross   
Photos by Elizabeth Gross for the Citizen - The CatDog bowling boys’ team is front row from left, Bailey Venturino, Scottsbluff, Spencer Powell, Gering, Noah Hergenrade, Scottsbluff, Trent Rahmig, Gering; back row, Andrew Bartow, Scottsbluff, Anthony Abre, Scottsbluff, Brandon White, Scottsbluff, Trent Bentley, Gering, Dane Jacobs, Gering, Trevor Dumont, Scottsbluff. 
Every afternoon, there are two lanes occupied at Classic Lanes in Gering. There you will find students cheering one another on as their teammates step up to the lane. Though they come from different sides of the river, they come together for the love of bowling.

The CatDog bowling team started 10 years ago. Established by Jim Walker, the team is comprised of male and female competitors from Scottsbluff and Gering high schools. “Jim’s got a love for the game beyond no other,” said CatDog assistant coach, Jay Weitzel. Every season, there is an equal amount of students from each school. This season there are 10 boys and 14 girls on the team.

There is different skill levels for all the kids involved. They have developed an excellent JV program that develops bowlers. “If they show a desire to learn and want to be a part of it, we’ll teach them how to bowl,” said Weitzel. The team is not associated with either high school. It is the time and dedication of the coaches that allow players to have the unique opportunity to learn the game.

By combining both schools, the team qualifies to compete in Class A. This pits the team against competitors in bigger eastern Nebraska schools like Lincoln Pius X. The goal is to get to state and make the TV finals. “We have a good shot making it on both the boys and girls team,” said Weitzel.

Being a part of the team gives them a chance to compete in college and providing scholarship opportunities. Hastings College is just one of the many smaller schools creating a collegiate team.

“It’s a lifelong sport, they can do it for the rest of their life if they chose too,” said Weitzel.

Last weekend the CatDogs bowled to a second place finish at the District tournament at Cedar Bowl Lanes in North Platte, which earned them a trip to State Feb. 7-9. Gering freshman Trent Rahmig is one of the varsity starters that is helping the team secure some solid finishes. By placing 4th as an individual with a 186-228-151 series, Rahmig also earned his first trip to state.

“My goal was just to make it to state and not do anything stupid. The last game I missed my average to 20 pins so I had to put that game behind me. For state now, my goals are spares, spares, spares,” Rahmig said. “If I pick up my spares and not give up on myself, I should be fine.”

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