Strikes and spares

At the Special Olympics regional competition, fun’s the goal. ‘He has fun. They all have fun. They all look forward to this.’

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Tanner Hammersland, 16, a sophomore at Fort Dodge Senior High, shares a high thirty with his mom, Michelle Hammersland, at left, and his great-grandmother, Ruby Jacobsen, of Fort Dodge after he finished one of his games Thursday morning during the Special Olympics area bowling competition at Ridgewood Lanes.

Tanner Hammersland, 16, of Fort Dodge had his very own cheering section backing him up Thursday morning as he bowled in the Special Olympics North Central Area bowling competition at Ridgewood Lanes in Fort Dodge: his parents, David and Michelle Hammersland, and his great-grandmother, Ruby Jacobsen, of Fort Dodge.

Jacobsen, who’s an avid bowler herself, had to resist the temptation to coach him.

“I would have liked to, but you can’t do that,” she said. “I’m proud of him.”

It was his first time on the lanes with a new piece of gear: one of his great-grandmother’s bowling balls redrilled to fit his hand.

“I gave him one of mine,” Jacobsen said.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Keteryna Maggion, of Fort Dodge, watches as her bright orange ball rolls towards the pins Thursday morning during the Special Olympics area bowling competition at Ridgewood Lanes.

He was still getting used to it.

“It’s was kind of easy,” he said, referring to using the new ball.

Hammersland bowls on Fort Dodge Senior High’s bowling team. His first two games Thursday were 105 and 75.

His parents were proud of his performance.

“I just like watching him be included,” she said. “He has fun. They all have fun. They all look forward to this.”

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Kateryna Maggio, at left, gets a high ten from student volunteer Olivia Bork, 17, a senior at Fort Dodge Senior High Thursday morning after one of Maggio’s frames during the Special Olympics area bowling competition held at Ridgewood Lanes.

“It’s a big deal for them,” he said.

The area bowling competition included almost 200 student bowlers from various teams. There were also about 20 adult volunteers and about the same number of student volunteers.

Olivia Bork, 17, a senior at Fort Dodge Senior High, was one of those student volunteers.

“I just love all the kids,” she said. “They’re just my favorite kids. They make my day.”

Helping out at the Special Olympics is also something that meshes well with her career choice. She plans on becoming a special education teacher after finishing college.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Katelynn Lindner, of Fort Dodge, shows off her fine bowling form Thursday morning during the Special Olympics area bowling competition at Ridgewood Lanes.

Katelynn Lindner enjoys bowling, but she likes another sport too.

“I like running,” she said.

Her best score so far? A 108.

“I’m at 48 right now,” she said.

Nolan Slininger, 19, is a “super senior” at Fort Dodge Senior High.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Nolan Slininger, 19, a super senior at Fort Dodge Senior High, watches his ball roll toward a strike Thursday morning during the Special Olympics area bowling competition at Ridgewood Lanes

As he sends his ball down the lane towards its crash into the pins, he gives it the look of supreme concentration as it rolls away.

Then he breaks into a big smile.

It’s a strike.

“I like bowling a lot,” he said, still smiling.

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