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Lack of funding ends Nature Coast bowling program

BROOKSVILLE — There was some talk that Nature Coast Technical High had a shot at creating a bowling dynasty on the state level after last season's Florida High School Athletic Association team crown. All of that talk was silenced in one fell swoop as the school did away with its bowling program this month.

In November, both the boys and girls programs made the state finals, and with a stellar lineup, the boys team won the state crown, becoming only the sixth team to win a FHSAA state title in Hernando County history. Bowling has been a sanctioned sport by the FHSAA since only 2003, and Nature Coast is on a list with DeLand (2003 and 2004), Sebastian River (2005) and Timber Creek (2006) as team champions.

After that success, parents want to know why there won't be a return trip to the finals in 2008. According to Nature Coast athletic director Travis Lamle, the funding just wasn't there anymore.

"There is no coach available on campus, and there is no supplement available to us to fill a coaching vacancy (for bowling)," Lamle said. "It's a shame because we've funded this program internally for three years."

Lamle and Nature Coast principal Tizzy Schoelles conferred and decided it wouldn't be acceptable to have a nonteaching volunteer to take over the program. Because bowling is almost exclusively an off-campus activity, there would just be too much liability for the school.

The Hernando County School Board was asked to use some of the athletics funding in the budget to hire a new coach for the bowling program, but that request was denied.

Although the program has now folded and there are no plans to reopen it in the future, backlash may be unwarranted. Nature Coast is the only high school in the county that has ever had an FHSAA-sanctioned bowling program, and nothing can take the Sharks' 2007 title out of the books.

RUNNING: Gulfside Regional Hospice is holding its second annual Hike for Hospice on Nov. 8.

There will be 5K events on both sides of the county that day. The first hike starts at 8 a.m. at the New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center, 6630 Van Buren St., New Port Richey, and the second hike begins at 11 a.m. at Zephyr Park, 38116 Fifth Ave., Zephyrhills.

The fee is $35 for adults, $15 for children 10 and younger. All proceeds go to patient care at Gulfside hospice. All hikers will get a snack, beverages, a T-shirt and a goodie bag with registration.

To sign up, call Jennifer York toll-free at 1-800-561-4883 or visit active.com and search on "Hike for Hospice."

TENNIS: Hernando County Recreation and Strings and Things are offering tennis lessons from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursdays at Hernando Park in downtown Brooksville. One-hour lessons are $42 for six.

For information, call (352) 754-4031.

TRIATHLON: The Inaugural Chaotic CoteeMan Triathlon will be at the New Port Richey Aquatic Pool and Recreation Center, 6630 Van Buren St., starting at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Participants will swim 200 meters, then bike 11 miles and run a 5K through downtown New Port Richey. The cost is $70.

Relay teams can run as well, for $95. For online registration, go to www.active.com and type "Chaotic CoteeMan Triathlon" in the search field.

Times staff writer Mike Camunas contributed to this report. Submit upcoming events, registrations and info to communitysports@ tampabay.com.

Lack of funding ends Nature Coast bowling program 09/22/08 [Last modified: Monday, September 29, 2008 12:34pm]
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