VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
Two members of Team V recently attended the All-Air Force Bowling Team Trial Camp at Camp Pendleton, May 2 through 5, Oceanside, Calif.
For Tech Sgt. Edward Caldwell Jr., 1st Air and Space Test Squadron mission assurance NCOIC and 2nd Lt. Joshua Cramer, 576th Flight Test Squadron special weapons officer in charge, a chance to represent the Air Force in the Armed Forces Championship was at stake.
“Out of over 40 applicants who applied for the Air Force Bowling Camp, 25 were selected to attend,” said Caldwell. “In total there were 15 males and 10 females selected. We bowled 24 games over a two-day span to determine the top four males and top four females who would represent the Air Force in the Armed Forces Championship.”
The trial camp was a familiar experience for the bowlers, who have been knocking down pins since childhood. Both Cramer and Caldwell participated in youth leagues and tournaments growing up, and both have tried out for the All-Air Force team multiple times. Cramer qualified in 2015 and 2016, and the Air Force team took home the gold in both years.
Competitors had to overcome mental and physical hurdles throughout the grueling two-day trial.
“Bowling is really 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical,” said Caldwell. “Thus, the trials were more mentally exhausting, but yet the amount of games we had to bowl over the two-day timeframe was a physical challenge, too. Each participant had to bowl four six-game sets on four different oil pattern conditions in two days. All in all, we bowled 24 games over the course of two days.”
Despite not cracking the top four and qualifying, Team V’s local “pinheads” wished their fellow Airmen well in their next challenge against the other branches.
“I finished in 6th place,” said Cramer. “Although I fell short of making the team for a third straight year I feel like I had a decent showing. The Air Force has a lot of good bowlers which makes the trials extremely competitive and challenging. It is a lot of fun to be competing in that setting. I was happy to see who ultimately made the team because there were some first-timers as well as a few that I have known for years. Definitely a good group of individuals on and off the lanes.”
“The conditions that we bowled on were extremely challenging,” said Caldwell. “The lane conditions really pushed us to perform at our best. However, I struggled throughout the tournament to convert spares, and ultimately that caused me to fall short of the top four spots. Overall, I feel that those individuals who made the team will represent the Air Force well and continue the Air Force Men’s winning streak in the Armed Forces Championship.”