No matter the sport in question, being the leader of a varsity team as an underclassmen is never an easy task to pull off–but don’t tell that to sophomore bowler Peytin Brake. Last year, in her freshman season, Brake helped pace the girls’ bowling team and earned first-team all-conference honors, bowling just a smidgen under 130 on average. Despite injures that prevented her from playing volleyball and softball, she found her place on the bowling team and absolutely flourished. Instead of letting those injuries completely hold her back, Peytin simply found a new place to compete.
So far this season Ms. Brake has shown no signs of slowing down or taking her foot off the pedal. She has been at or near the top score out of all the girls on her team in every competition this year. The game seems to come easy to her, and she looks at home while at the lanes. On Friday, December 27th, Brake stepped into Northway Lanes in Muskegon for the Orchard View Cardinal Invite. She outshined all the competition on that day, earning two individual awards, one for best game(226) and another for total pins(414). She propelled the girls’ bowling team to a second place finish on the day, falling to Fruitport in a single-elimination game in the semi-finals. Her scores on the day put her in some pretty elite company. Not only would she have finished in 5th place in the boys tournament, her 226 would have been the 5th highest score in Division 4 at last year’s state finals!
It must be very scary to opponents and exciting for her coaches and teammates that Peytin not only has the rest of this season, but also two more years to refine her craft even further and improve on her scores. She takes part in junior leagues in the off-season to do just that. In the fall, Peytin takes to the links, where turned in a solid season for the Eagles. Brake and the bowling team have two events this week, the first on Monday at Sparta Lanes against Tri-Unity Christian beginning at 3:30 p.m. Then on Saturday, the Eagles will travel to the Gate in Big Rapids for a double dual against Morley Stanwood and Holton. Kent City has already defeated Holton in their first meeting but has yet to bowl against conference arch-nemesis Morley Stanwood. A win against both these teams will move this young Eagle squad closer to a CSAA Silver championship.
A conference championship would be a testament to the leadership of this sophomore, especially considering the team has only won one dual in the prior two seasons. It is also impressive since a majority of her teammates are freshmen in their first year of competitive bowling. Brake knows all about that, she was in their shoes just last year but handled it well finishing at the top of the conference, which is probably why the leadership role comes so easy to her.