BRIGGS BOWLING TEAM USES TEAMWORK AND A STRONG WORK ETHIC TO SECURE CITY LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP

BRIGGS BOWLING TEAM USES TEAMWORK AND A STRONG WORK ETHIC TO SECURE CITY LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP

two students and a coach each holding two trophies

March 5, 2024 – Coach Art Susi believes the Briggs High School bowling team is the only team in the District that gets excited when they roll a seven-ten split. 

The split is renowned as one of the most difficult skills to pick up in bowling, but Briggs bowlers know that if they succeed in knocking both pins bowling posedown, there is a reward in their futures.  

“My team doesn’t mind having a seven-ten split because they know that if they pick it up, I’ll buy them Waffle House,” Susi said with a laugh. 

The Waffle House agreement is just one of the ways the team bonds and builds camaraderie. Susi said the most important thing for the team to do is stay positive and have a good time playing. He wants his bowlers to do well, and the best way they can do that is not by maintaining a winning record but by being there for their teammates. 

“I might bowl a gutterball, but I still have people smiling, laughing, and high-fiving me,” said AJ Motley, a Briggs senior. “We keep the energy up. When we’re having fun, we get loud, and the whole alley knows we’re having a great time.”

The team’s positive mentality is one that Susi has worked hard to foster since starting up the team six years ago with fellow coach, Joe Coplan. Since the team was created, the school-wide enthusiasm for bowling has grown. Susi and Briggs Athletic Director Cameron Pangallo are proud of where the team is today, and they attribute much of that success to the support of the community. 

One of their strongest supporters is the AMF Stardust Lanes bowling alley, the location where the team practices. They allow the team to use their lanes to improve their bowling game, and then, they ensure the students have the equipment they need to succeed as bowlers.

“They understand [the needs of our students],” Pangallo said. “They understand that the equipment can get very expensive very quickly, and they provide us with that equipment for students to use. They’re there to support our kids. If we didn’t have their generosity, I don’t think we would be in the same spot as a team that we are.”

The alley wants to see Briggs students succeed as much as Pangello and Susi do. Jason Lundquist runs the pro shop inside the AMF Stardust Lanes. Since opening the pro shop, he’s donated bowling equipment to students across Central Ohio. He ensures that the Briggs bowlers have what they need to play by taking high-quality used bowling balls and refurbishing them for competition use. 

Lundquist’s love for helping the team goes beyond donating equipment. He coached the Briggs girl’s bowling team for several years and succeeded in bringing the team to the state competition. 

Susi said Lundquist’s dedication to the bowlers shows what everyone connected with Briggs already knows: westside students are talented and can succeed at anything they put their minds to. 

“You have to invest in our kids because they can and will achieve anything that another District kid can,” Susi said. “I’m a product of this side of town, and let me tell you, there are a lot of success stories.”

One of those success stories happened during the 2024 City League Boy’s Bowling Championship. Briggs had a four season winning streak until the 2023 championship match where they missed out on the winning spot. This season, they vowed to bring the trophy back to the Briggs trophy case, and after an exciting match, they were successful. 

Senior Peyton Brobst’s first City League championship match was when he was a sophomore. The team took home the first-place title that year, and Brobst was eagerly looking to continue the streak in his junior year. That year was 2023 when the Briggs bowlers fell to cross-town rival Walnut Ridge. After the loss, Brobst knew he had to help the team retake the title in his senior season. 

“When we lost, I knew the next year I wanted to push [for the win],” Brobst said. “I pushed as hard as I could to get to where we ended up – champions. It felt great to win again and bring the trophy home.”

The 2024 season marks both an achievement and an end. Susi plans to retire from coaching the boy’s team, and his departure is bittersweet. He looks back on all that he’s accomplished with the team, and more than anything, he’s proud of the boy’s sportsmanship. 

“The phrase we always say is, ‘When you have fun, good things will happen,’” Susi said. “I don’t let these kids do anything other than stay positive [because] when we believe, we succeed. I’ve got my daughters at home. These students are my sons.”