By T. Anthony BellApril 4, 2018
FORT LEE, Va. (April 4, 2018) -- Fort Lee is set to host a service-wide athletic event for only the second time in a decade.
The All Army Bowling Trial Camp will take place at the new, state-of-the-art TenStrike Bowling Center April 10-12. The trials, which includes final selections for the All Army team as well as the other services, will be followed by the Armed Forces Championship scheduled for April 13-15.
Roughly 55 active duty bowlers are expected for tryouts consisting of four qualifying rounds. Four men and four women will earn spots on the Army, Navy and Air Force teams, respectively, then go on to represent their service branches during the armed forces tournament.
Walter "Chip" Wikan, TenStrike Bowling Center manager, said he looks forward to seeing the best active duty bowlers populate the facility's lanes.
"It's a tremendous opportunity to give Fort Lee the sports-venue visibility it hasn't had in the past, as well as a chance to show bowlers what this brand new Family and MWR facility looks like," he said. "TenStrike is really a showplace."
Built at a cost of $12 million, TenStrike opened last summer, replacing an aged facility located near the PXtra. Accommodations at the new digs include two separate bowling areas of 20 and 10 lanes for adults, respectively, and two lanes for children. It also boasts an 80-seat food and beverage area, arcade and meeting spaces. TenStrike's 39,752 square feet nearly doubles that of the older facility.
Additionally, the facility features soft seating in the bowling areas, high-tech computer-scoring and entertainment systems, and LED lighting. The many features of the center show the extent to which it was well-thought-out and funded, Wikan said.
"We have a facility that's equipped to serve all portions of the military community in this area," he added. "We basically have two bowling centers in one, which is exactly what this post has needed since I arrived here 13 years ago."
Undoubtedly, TenStrike's selection to host the bowling trials is a boon for the facility and the installation. Much of the credit for making it happen, Wikan said, should go to Bill Schaffer, the former FMWR business operations director, who actively promoted the new facility and offered it up for All Army hosting responsibilities in February. The acceptance of the offer with the start of the camp just over a month away was met with excitement from the TenStrike management team.
"We've got the greatest staff in the Army here at the bowling center, and they're more than ready to handle this," he said, "We're ready to rumble."
Last year, the Navy men and Air Force women earned team titles at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Airmen also captured the individual titles. The Air Force has earned seven team trophies since 2012. The last Army team to claim team honors were the women in 2014-15.
Fort Lee has hosted All Army trials here in the past -- softball in 2004 and golf in 2010. It has never hosted bowling.
During the trials and tournament, TenStrike will continue to operate under normal hours, however, only one set of lanes will be open to patrons as the other will be reserved for competitors. A schedule of activities is listed below. Spectators are welcome.
For more information about the bowling center, call (804) 734-6860. For updates on the sports competition, visit www.facebook.com/ArmedForcesSports.