Whalen has spare time
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Most students get involved in activities that they enjoy such a student council, FCCLA, Pride, and sports. Junior Whalen Phipps, however, dedicates his time outside of school to improving his bowling resume. Whalen began bowling after his sophomore year when his family joined a summer league.
“My twin, Wyatt and I, would go everyday during the summer and practice,” Whalen said. “I got hooked really quickly.”
Whalen’s twin, Wyatt Phipps, also bowls but does not compete in tournaments like his brother. Wyatt and Whalen both try to keep their activities separated since they are twins, but the pair can’t help from going because they have so much fun.
“One of my funniest memories of bowling with Whalen was when I got my thumb stuck in the ball and I went flying down the lane,” Wyatt Phipps said.
Whalen joined the Broken Arrow bowling team during the fall of his junior year, and competed in weekly competitions before helping his team advance to the regional competition. There, Phipps caught the hot hand and threw eight strikes in a row to lead the team to first place at the regional tournament, which earned his team a trip to the state competition. Broken Arrow then lost at state a week later, finishing their outstanding season with fourth place at the competition.
“The regional tournament had taken place on my birthday. And after competing all day long we ended up winning first place,” Whalen said. “Everyone was so excited and happy, I couldn’t have asked for a better gift that day.”
Sophomore Dylan Parks has been bowling with Whalen for almost two years. Dylan is also a member of the bowling team, and encouraged Whalen to join the team to spend more time with his best friend.
“Whalen was great at bowling, so I thought he would have fun with the team,” Dylan Parks said. “We bowl with each other twice a week and just hang out.”
Whalen’s main goal is to earn scholarships for college by bowling in scholarship tournaments. He currently bowls on the youth scratch league every Tuesday at Broken Arrow Lanes, and averages about 176 pins a game. Whalen has made multiple new friends while on that league that have helped him improve his game.
“Ever since I started bowling I always thought it was fun,” Whalen said. “I would say I still compete because it’s fun, but I love the amount of friends I have made through bowling.”