Kingpins of the Fort Campbell Morale, Welfare and Recreation Battalion Bowling Tournament are Team 1 of the 184th Ordnance Battalion, 52nd Ordnance Group (Explosive Ordnance Disposal). Team 1 won 14 games and knocked down 10,148 total pins.
The six-week tournament, which was played at Hooper Bowling Center, 5380 Tennessee Ave., ended Nov. 20.
“I think it overall was a success for the initial season,” said Andrew Stockard, program manager for MWR sports.
Two teams from 184th EOD, three teams from 63rd Chemical Company, 83rd Chemical Battalion (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear), 52nd Ordnance Group (EOD) and two teams from 887th Engineer Support Company participated in the tournament. Though by the end of the tournament the 887th ESC was no longer participating because of deployment.
The 184th EOD Team 1 received the highest team scratch average of 760 pins. Bowler Sgt. Cory Raffensperger, 184th EOD, scored the highest scratch average of 245 pins for the tournament.
Raffensperger has been bowling since he was 12 years old and participated in tournaments since he was 16. He said the tournament went smooth for the first year, but wished there had been more teams competing.
Raffensperger was glad his team won MWR’s first Battalion Bowling Tournament.
“I think it would definitely boost our morale and we might get more people out here from our unit and other units,” Raffensperger said.
Staff Sergeant Jason Brown, 184th EOD, said he enjoyed bowling for his unit.
“It was just something that a couple of us were doing. Three of us actually grew up bowling. One of us is a recent entry into the sport and developed a love for it just like the rest of us do,” Brown said.
The team showed up to every game each Tuesday and practiced on their own time during the week, Brown said.
“It’s a pretty good event that they have put together here,” Brown said. “It is competitive and at the same time it is completely available. Having it free was a big bonus for promotions.”
Brown hopes more Soldiers from his battalion and other battalions will participate in the tournaments next year. Brown said he and his three teammates will return to defend their title.
Specialist Loray Thomas, 63rd Ordnance Disposal, 52nd EOD, said he had not been to the Hooper Bowling Center prior to the tournament. Having bowled most of his life, Thomas said he was proud to represent his unit.
“I’m not saying I’m the best, but I do pretty well,” Thomas said.
For the first season Thomas said the tournament went pretty well and he cannot wait to participate in the next event. Another bowler on a second 63rd EOD team, Sgt. Kennedy Barrett, said she has been bowling for several years although the last time she bowled was a year ago.
Barrett chose to participate in bowling because it was fun and cool to compete against other units.
“It’s an easier time just to sit down with friends and enjoy something without getting super competitive,” Barrett said.
MWR sports will bring bowling back in February 2019 with MWR offering free bowling to the first 12 teams that sign up.
“People had fun. I’ve been receiving feedback about next season that more people are going to participate,” Stockard said.
Stockard said he is considering changing bowling seasons from six weeks long to three weeks long and have tournaments three times a year.
“If I can get at least 10 [teams] that would be a step in the right direction,” Stockard said.
Stockard said working with Hooper Bowling Center was amazing and hopes the partnership continues with future tournaments.
Patty Schneider, business manager of Hooper Bowling Center, said she hopes more Soldiers will participate and interact with each other.
“If they have fun they will come back with their Families and friends and have a fun time,” Schneider said.