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Fort Sill bowlers hope to join all-Army team

FORT SILL, Okla._Two Fort Sill soldiers are trading in their combat boots for bowling shoes as they compete for spots on the all-Army Men's and Women's bowling teams.

Staff Sergeant Talyia Williams and Specialist Geneithia Allen were chosen from 40 applicants to compete at the all-Army bowling trial camp next Monday in Florida.

Allen and Williams will bowl more than 30 games over the course of just 48 hours. The top four scoring men and women will make the team. They both hope when it comes down to it they will have what it takes to knock down the pins for the win.

"Nothing too fancy I just get the job done. Knocking pins down that's my specialty," said Allen.

Allen has only been bowling for six years, but says it was a long time coming. She comes from a family of avid bowlers who couldn't be more thrilled with her passion for the sport.

"They are so excited, because they never expected me to be so good starting so late, but it came very naturally to me and they are so happy I got picked for all-Army," said Allen.

This will be Allen's second year to compete for a spot on the all-Army women's team. Last year, she and three other women helped lead them to a win at the Armed Forces Bowling Championship. Even though she is very competitive, Allen says bowling can be therapeutic.

"It's the mental game. You don't have to be like the strongest person or the most physical person, but it's the mental game and it helps me relieve stress," explained Allen.

Staff Sergeant Williams has been coaching the 75th Brigade bowling team over the past two years and is one of the 18 men chosen to compete for the four spots on the men's team. He says 35 hours of his week, every week, are spent at the bowling alley; time he hopes is well spent.

"I have been practicing all season. I think my chances are pretty good as long as I stay calm and keep my release down pat, I should be very successful on making the team," said Williams.

Williams has been bowling for a decade, and he says this season he's bowled his best average yet with a 220. He says his proudest moment so far was when he scored 12 strikes in a row.

"Here at Twin Oaks when I bowled my first 300, I busted out in tears because I was very excited," recalled Williams.

And whether he makes the team or not this year, Williams says one thing will remain the same.

"I have grown to love it. I used to like it, then I fell in love with it," said Williams.

Getting to the competition in Florida won't be an easy feat either. Allen and Williams both use 16-pound bowling balls, and plan on taking about five each to the competition.

At this same trial in Florida, the Navy and Air Force will select their teams to compete for the Armed Forces Bowling Championship, which is held May 14 through May 17.

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