All in the family
The Woodstock School District 200 co-op boys and girls bowling teams have more in common than sharing Wayne’s Lanes as a home venue. Each team has a Busch family member on its roster.
Junior Paige Busch has been on the varsity team since her freshman year, while her cousin, sophomore Tyler Busch, is in his second year on the varsity team. They have been integral in the success of their teams this year.
Paige and Tyler have bowled together since they were about 7 years old, bowling in a Saturday league at Edgetown Bowl. Paige’s younger brother, Travis, and two other cousins also were in the league. They said they learned to bowl from their fathers — Guy Busch is Paige’s father and Kurt Busch is Travis’ dad.
Although they’re glad to represent the Thunder on the lanes, Tyler said he misses the days when his whole family bowled together.
“Our entire family bowled together from the start,” Tyler said. “It was fun. I still wish they were bowling. [My other cousins] go to different schools, so it would be fun competition.”
Paige said she recognizes how much she and her cousin have improved as athletes.
“We have gotten better together,” Paige said. “When we first started at Edgetown, our high games would be in the 150s, and now we both have 200 games, which is great.”
The boys and girls teams bowl together during practice, with several members of each team coming to root for each other at home matches. Although they cheer for each other, Paige said everyone is still trying to one-up the other.
“There’s a competition between everyone to see who can beat each other,” Paige said.
“Everyone competes against each other,” Tyler agreed.
Paige is averaging 172 pins per game and, along with junior Rachel Zurawski, is leading the girls team, which is currently 4-7. Her season highlight came Dec. 17, when she won the Rockford East Holiday Invitational.
“That was really exciting,” Busch said. “We have a cheer we do. We say ‘hot tub’ whenever we get a strike. So when I won the tournament and got up to accept the trophy, the whole team said it for me. It was exciting.”
Tyler is averaging 171 and is one of five bowlers on the boys team, which is currently 10-6, who are averaging in the 170s.
Boys team head coach Ed Zurawski said Tyler is an important part of his team’s success. Zurawski said he believes both Tyler and Paige have the abilities to be successful.
“Tyler is probably our No. 3 guy on the team,” Zurawski said. “He’s been putting up some good numbers toward the end of the season ….. They are progressing. They have the knowledge and skills to bowl successfully.”
In the end, Paige said she is happy to have a family member in the program.
“I like it,” Paige said. “Having him there is cool, because you get support from the team and from your family.”