New girls sports added to the winter season

Two teachers are ready to coach the first flag football and bowling teams


Emma Steinburg

Scott Cachopo, Josie Fitzpatrick (12), and Jill Sousley (12) met in Cachopo’s room to plan for the girls bowling season. Fitzpatrick and Sousley are members of the talisman staff.

Piper Sorensen, Staff Reporter

When ELA teacher Laura Lehni attended a Seattle Schools flag football jamboree, she knew the school needed a team of its own.

“Every time I went, I [wondered] why isn’t Ballard there?’” Lehni  said. “Why isn’t Ballard involved?”

After taking her questions to the district level, Lehni found out that every high school throughout Seattle Public Schools could have a flag football team that would be both supported and paid for by the district. Despite her enthusiasm to coach, Lehni has minimal experience in team sports. Regardless, she is passionate about providing that experience for students even if she didn’t quite get it herself.

“I was the kind of kid who didn’t play team sports growing up,” Lehni said. “I really wish that I had some of those relationships.” 

Her goal? Encouraging a space for growth for Ballard students, especially those who may feel neglected.

“Thinking about the folks in this community who are looking for connections, I want to offer [a space] for them as well.” Lehni said. “I feel like flag football is low stakes enough that people can do this and try this. I’ve had multiple girls come and see me and gotten to meet all these people that I never would have met.” 

The upcoming season isn’t a source of stress for Lehni, but rather excitement for all the interest shown in the new sport. 

“We’re just going to try it and see what it looks like,” Lehni said. “I’m super excited about the possibility, but I don’t know exactly what it looks like. And I’m okay with that.”

 Ceramics teacher Scott Cachopo will be the coach of the new girls’ bowling team. He ended up coaching out of pure coincidence, never thinking so many people would be interested.

 “I didn’t actually decide to start [the bowling team],” Cachopo said. “We’re the only school in the Metro League that doesn’t have a bowling team, so they asked if I wouldn’t mind starting it up. And I said sure.”

Cachopo had an overwhelming response to his new team, though there are no exact numbers yet. He thinks there’ll be at least 20 players, more than enough to form a team. There are still some things to figure out, as Cachopo has little experience in bowling, but he always makes up for it with enthusiasm.

“I played in a league once when I was twelve,” Cachopo said. “My goal is to get it off the ground, raise a little money and hire a professional coach to help them become better bowlers. I can’t make them better bowlers.” 

Cachopo may not be an experienced bowler, but his hopes are still high for the season ahead.
“It’s a big mystery,” Cachopo said. “It’s all new to me. But I think it’s gonna be fun. I think it’s gonna be a fun season.”