Story and photos by Matt Decker
The 2nd Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment, went undefeated to take first place in the 2018 intramural bowling standings April 26 at Daugherty Bowling Center.
In their 13th and final victory of the regular season, Troy Klinge, Jarod Rains, Reggie Weaver and Jason Vanbelkum each averaged 184 points per game to beat the Medical Department Activity, 2,213 to 1,777.
“Our secret is Reggie and Jason,” said Klinge, who is also the 2-48th Inf. Bn. coach. “We’re just a bunch of guys who like to bowl, and we were bowling on a previous league together. Jason was looking for a team, and we were putting one together. So, it was pretty much a marriage made on the lanes.”
With the exception of Vanbelkum, the 2-48 team is made up of Reservists who have been on Fort Leonard Wood for about a year. Since the beginning of the season, they’ve pushed each other to improve, Rains said.
“It’s hard for Jason and Reggie to get better, because they already average over 200 per game,” Rains said. “I’ve improved. (Klinge) has improved 40 points on his average since he started with us.”
The team has also had a lot of fun, according to Klinge, especially with the members of last year’s defending Commander’s Cup Bowling Tournament champions, the 14th Military Police Brigade. The only loss the 14th MP Bde. had all year was to the 2-48th Inf. Bn. — by a mere 173 points on March 1.
“We have a lot of fun banter back and forth,” Klinge said. “But it’s more about camaraderie, just coming out and having fun.”
It’s also about bragging rights, according to Rains.
“There’s a lot of trash talking, and we have a lot of fun. It’s good for morale between the units,” Rains said.
The 14th MPs finished second in this year’s standings with a record of 12-1. The brigade also won its final contest April 26 with a 2,051 to 1,777 win over the Dental Activity.
In other games played April 26:
— The Company D, 554th Engineer Battalion, team defeated Company C, 701st Military Police Battalion, 1,812 to 1,305.
— The Company A, 554th Engr. Bn. bowled a 1,957 on its way to a forfeit victory.
— The 1st Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment, defeated the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, 1,819 to 1,056.
— The 3rd Chemical Brigade beat the 1st Engineer Brigade, 2,065 to 2,063.
The 2-48th Inf. and 14th MP Bde. players will have another chance to compete against each other and all other participating units during the 2018 Commander’s Cup Bowling Tournament, which begins tonight at 6 p.m. at DBC and will conclude May 10.
The tournament differs somewhat from the regular season in that instead of teams competing head-to-head against each other, all teams compete to see who can earn the highest combined score with six games played over two nights of competition.
While Klinge has confidence his team can win the tournament, he also said the 2-48th Inf. Bn. will have their work cut out for them.
“We’re going to end up playing the 14th MP Brigade, and they’ve got a good team,” Klinge said. “When we played them earlier this year, we beat them — but it wasn’t by much.”