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GFHS Bowling Has Banner Season: Jocelyn Smith Heads to States

Jocelyn Smith & Coach Autumn Reichelt

The Glens Falls Bowling Team has had a successful season, having won both the Foothills League and the Foothills Tournament with a season record of 60-12 match points. Glens Falls junior Jocelyn Smith will be heading to the State Bowling Tournament in Syracuse, New York, over the weekend of March 10th through the 12th.

New Head Coach Autumn Reichelt is a middle school PE teacher; it is her first year teaching and first year coaching. She found her starting team was welcoming and had a strong team dynamic: “The (coaching) spot opened up and I talked to my athletic director about it. They had their first match the next day. So, the first time I met the team was before we got on the bus to go to the match. It was challenging, especially on the first day figuring out the scoring and figuring out who everyone was and who they should be paired with. For example in our first match one of the players wasn’t there; So I didn’t know who to bring up. I didn’t know the stats or have a rooster, or knowledge of how each individual bowled or how they bowled with each other. That was a big thing” Coach Reichelt said.

She credits Jocelyn Smith’s natural leadership skills as key to helping her learn the scoring and the team roster: “The team dynamic is important in bowling. Teammates match up depending on their style and how they break down a lane” Jocelyn said. 

Jocelyn has been competing on the varsity level since she was in 7th grade, and has been bowling since she was about seven or eight years old. She was introduced to the sport by her dad, and Coach Reichelt credits Jocelyn’s dad – Jamie Smith – with being the unsung hero of the team: “Before I took over, he was the one who really stepped up and really helped with the kids… (He) definitely helped me learn a lot” Coach Reichelt said.

Jocelyn is looking forward to the State Tournament, and also enjoying the success she has had this season; she has earned her second sanctioned 300 game this season, and reached the milestone of her first 800 series as well. 

“What usually happens is when school bowling starts, I start bowling seven days a week and I get better as that goes on. I shot my second sanctioned 300 and my first 800–800 series for 3 games. It was a huge milestone” Jocelyn said. 

After the regular season, Jocelyn competed in the Section II All Girls Composite, where she came in first place… And now, her next milestone is to compete in the State. She will be coached by Coach Bertrand, who coaches for the Cohoes team. There are three practices before the competition in Syracuse.

Jocelyn has qualified for states the last three years: “The first year there wasn’t a tournament because that was the shutdown year, and again in ninth grade there weren’t even sectionals. And last year I went to the State”  Jocelyn said.

 Jocelyn feels that the experience of having been to the State Tournament before will help her this year: “It’s going to be a lot better because I’ve been there. I have experience with travel and the hotel and being on my own… And bowling brings another level of emotion” she said. 

Jocelyn is preparing her strategy on what type of bowling balls to use for the tournament: “I always use the same weight and brand. But, I use different cores and different cover stock” she explained.

As Jocelyn focuses on States, Coach Reichelt is excited to have her team honored in the gym with their first banner: “We will be getting a banner. We have never had a bowling banner in the high school gym before. So this is the first year that Glens Falls has won the league in general for Foothills, and the Foothills tournament. Which is a day tournament. That’s the biggest thing that I’m excited for and I hope to be with the team for a long time to come” Coach Reichelt said.

Jocelyn Smith will be competing in the State Tournament March 10th through 12th, at the AMF Strike-N-Spare lanes in Syracuse, NY.