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Shelton Mason County Journal
Shelton, Washington
Mason County Journal
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November 20, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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November 20, 2014
 

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Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 -Mason County Journal- Page B-5 5helton's dagnon holds notable achievement By EMILY HANSON emily@masoncoun com Dann Gagnon is aew to coaching bowling this year, but he's certainly not new to the sport. Gagnoa, 66, was the first bowler in 22 years to roll a perfect 300 game at Timber Bowl, Shelton's former bowl- ing alley. The date was March 12, 1977. Gagnon, then 29, bowled what would be the only 300 game of his life. "By the eighth frame, you could hear a pin drop," said Gagnon, the new Gagnon coach of the Shelton High School bowling team, Monday morning during an interview with the Mason County Jour- nal. "I looked around and all these bowlers were watching me." Gagnon began bowling in the mid-1960s. He broke a finger playing softball in 1981, ending his bowling ca- reer. "They couldn't get my fin- ger to set straight and bowling wasn't the same affcer that," Gagnon said. Gagnon hasn't bowled since then, but when Shelton Ath- letic Director Jim Judson and several Lady Highclimber bowlers asked Gagnon to be the bowling head coach this season, he jumped at the op- portunity. "I'm enthusiastic with whatever I do," Gagnon said. "That's one reason I think they asked me." Although Gagnon has never coached bowling before, he has more than 30 years of coaching experience. Between 1974 and 2012, when he retired from the Shel- ton School District, Gagnon coached basketball at the ele- mentary, junior high and high school levels. This included a stint from 1980 to 1985 as the varsity head girls basketball coach. Gagnon was the first girls basketball coach to lead the Lady Highclimbers to the district playoffs. He's also been the assistant boys and girls tennis coach for the past 18 years, and helped with the varsity baseball team while his son played. "I think with coaching, re- gardless of the sport, the re- lationships you build with players is important," Gagnon said. "You don't talk down to them and you have to always be positive." As the bowling coach, the biggest challenge for Gagnon is the lack of a bowling alley in Shelton. "We're like the Jamaican bobsled team: They didn't have snow and we don't have a bowling alley," Gagnon said. "I get 'Shelton has a bowling team? You don't have an alley!' all the time." Outside of coaching, Ga- gnon plays softball with the Washington State Senior Games and is a member of the Mason County Senior Activi- ties Association. Gagnon helped to start Bin- go Karaoke for the senior as- sociation. "We do it to help raise money for the senior center," Gagnon said. "We're really ex- cited about the crowds we've been getting. We're getting people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s." And no, people who get a bingo don't have to sing, he added with a laugh. Two return to Lady Highdimbers bowling team tbh season By EMILY HANSON emily@masoncoun com The Shelton girls bowling team lacks expe- rience and numbers this year. But it makes up for it with enthusiasm. , ?They're eager to l arn," new head coach Dann Gagnon said. "It's not like other sports I've cbached. You don't have to have 10 practices be- fore you compete. We only had four. So we haven't had a lot of prac- rices yet." The nine-girl roster includes two returners: senior Adreanna Cheney and junior Analise Scott. Joining the team this year is senior Riley Mc- Dougall, along with two other juniors, two sopho- mores and two freshmen. Gagnon, who is known around the SHS campus as "G-Man" from his 18 years of be- ing the assistant boys and girls tennis coach, said he believes girls who wouldn't normally bowl turned out for the team when he took over as head coach. ': "I ask on a daily basis 'How's everyone doing?' and they say 'Great!' " Gagnon said. "They're just happy to have a team." Because the squad has limited experience in the sport, Gagnon said all he's asking of the girls is that each bowler improves her average by the end of the season. "If you lose a match, as long as you can say 'I gave it my best,' that's all I can ask for," Gagnon said. He's already seen im- provement. "At the first practice, we threw more gutter balls than spares," Ga- gnon said. "It's like any- thing: The more you do something, the better you'll get." Gagnon said he's started the season by teaching fundamentals, focusing primarily on the approach. "For bowling, as with any sport, you have to have the timing right," he said. "I've taught the three-, fur- and five- step approaches l~eeause if they're awkward, they can't get the ball down the lane." Gagnon's motto for the team is "baby steps." "I'm starting with the real basics. I try not to in Yelm Jan. 12 -- 3:30 p.m. vs. Black HiUsat Tum- Dec. 11 -- 3 p.m. vs. North Thurston at Az- water Lanes Nov. 20 -- 3 p.m. vs. Wilson at Westside tec Lanes in Lacey Jan. 13 3 p.m. vs. Wilson at Tower Lanes Lanes in Olympia Dec. 18 --- 3 p.m. vs. Central Kitsap at West- in Tacoma Nov. 25-- 3 p.m. vs. Foss at Westside Lanes side Lanes in Olympia Jan. 15 --- 3 p.m. vs. Foss at Narrows Plaza in Olympia Jan. 6 --- 3 p.m. vs. MountTahoma at West- in Tacoma Dec. 2 --- 3 p.m. vs. Capital at Westside side Lanes in Olympia Jan. 20 3 p.m. vs. Capital at Westside Jan. 8 -- 3 p.m. vs. Timberline at Westside Lanes in Olympia n, Lin own Shelton bowler Rebecca Robinson sends her ball down the lane Monday during the team's match against Black Hills at Westside Lanes in Olympia. Robinson hit her mark: In the first frame, she rolled a strike. Journal photo by Emily Hanson By EMILY HANSON emily@masoncoun com An observer could look at the final scores of the first two Shelton girls bowling matches last week and just see that the team lost. First-year head coach Dann Gagnon doesn't see it that way. "We went from 1,124 total match points to 1,471," Gagnon said. "That's quite an improve- meat." North Thurston defeated the Lady Highclimb- ers 7-0 Nov. 10 at Westside Lanes in Olympia. Lincoln than beat Shelton 7-0 Nov. 13 at Pacific Lanes in Tacoma. "It's early and I really believe once (our bowl- ers) figure it out, find their spot and learn how to deliver their ball, they'll improve," Gagnon said. "They've got to pick up their spares, though." Against North Thurston, Rebecca Robinson led Shelton with 255 points in the two-game match. Adreanna Cheney led the team against Lin- coln with 233 points. Shelton (0-2) is scheduled to compete next at 3 p.m. today against Wilson at Westside Lanes in Olympia. give them too much to learn at one time," he said. On the varsity lineup, Gagnon said the fifLh bowler is the clean-up bowler. "That's the most im- portant position, because sometimes a match can come down to the last bowler," he said. "Be- cause Adreanna bowled last year and she's my best bowler, I think she's ready for the pressure of being the clean-up bowl- er." Phone and Internet Discounts Available to CenturyLink Customers The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission designated CenturyLink as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier within its service area for universal service purposes. CenturyLink's basic local service rates for residential voice lines are $15.00 per month and business services are $30.00 per month. Specific rateswill be provided upon request. 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