Shawnee Mission North bowling opens season with strong overall showing

Shawnee Mission North's Travis Wunderlin gives a fist pump after rolling a strike. He finished fourth individually and helped the Indians to a second-place finish.
Shawnee Mission North’s Travis Wunderlin gives a fist pump after rolling a strike. He finished fourth individually and helped the Indians to a second-place finish.

Travis Wunderlin doesn’t care if he’s the top bowler or the third, sixth or 20th bowler.

All Wunderlin cares about is helping his team perform well and on Monday afternoon he helped the Shawnee Mission North boys to a second-place finish at their first meet of the season.

Wunderlin, who wants to average around 210 pins per game, rolled a three-game score of 537, which was good for fourth overall. Wunderlin wasn’t able to practice much over the summer because of baseball or the fall because of academics. After last season, the first time he really picked up a ball was at the start of this season.

“I’m definitely rusty out there now,” Wunderlin. “Today wasn’t my day and hopefully I can get some oil in my arms and hopefully I can do it again.”

The Indians knocked down 2,200 pins and fell to Turner’s 2,215. Brandon Otoya was SM North’s high bowler with a 554; he finished second. Michael Rivera took third with a three-game score of 546 and Daniel Johnson was fifth with a 534.

Turner’s Cole Burton rolled a 676 and Wunderlin was one of the first to congratulate Burton. After the meet, Wunderlin said Burton bowled “out of his mind.”

Shawnee Mission North bowling coach Deb Leonard said Wunderlin sees it all the way around and not just on his own team.

“These kids pick up the fact that Travis wants everyone to do well,” Leonard said. “That is huge and that makes him great and gives him an opportunity to bowl in college. I’ve talked to people and they ask, ‘What kind of kid is he?’ Not, ‘What kind of bowler is he?’ It’s easy to talk Travis up because he’s a great kid and he’s very motivational to his teammates.”

That motivation isn’t with only the boys, but also the girls, and vice versa. The girls took top honors on Monday as Jazmin Burch was third overall with a 468. Jessica Nevins placed fifth, 444 pins, and Julia Hernandez seventh with a 438.

Leonard said the two teams do everything together and they’re quick to forget it is two separate teams.

“We treat them all the same,” Leonard said. “The boys never do something the girls don’t do.”

If Hernandez or Madeline Waldack saw something one of the boys did wrong with technique then they’d help each other out.

“The way we’ve been set up at Mission Bowl with practices is the varsity girls have played the varsity boys and vice versa,” Leonard said.