David Neal becomes first State bowling qualifier
Bryan Hudnell | Staff Writer
Senior David Neal competed in the State Bowling Championships in Columbus on Saturday, March 11 and placed 56th with a pin total of 543.
Neal is the first Mason bowler to qualify for State since bowling became an official varsity sport almost two decades ago. Despite of this honor, Neal said the transition to the State tournament was difficult without his teammates.
“Heading to state individually is a hard transition because bowling is a team sport at high school and college levels,” Neal said. “That’s how I’ve always looked at it.”
Neal is the team’s captain, and he wanted to be a calm presence and take a lead-by-example approach.
“My responsibilities were to just make sure that everyone knew how to adjust and what to do when things weren’t going their way,” Neal said. “Also I stayed calm all season, so by doing that I think it really helped my teammates when it wasn’t going their way.”
Head coach Joe Riestenberg complimented Neal for guiding his team throughout the season.
“He was always level-headed,” Riestenberg said. “In a competitive atmosphere, it is difficult sometimes to keep your cool and not get frustrated. David never let it get to him.”
Neal was humbled to compete with the best bowlers in Ohio and to be the first from Mason to do it.
“It’s a huge accomplishment to be one of the top 16 individuals in the state to move on individually,” Neal said. “To be the first from Mason is really an honor because in the past, we have had some outstanding bowlers. I am very humbled to be able to represent our school at the state tournament.”