SHELBURNE — A new varsity sport is already seeing small success in Franklin County thanks to one local school that always seems open to trying new adventures and creating new athletes.

Much like snowboarding and volleyball, Enosburg jumped onto the bowling ship three years ago and is currently fielding a team in the sport’s inaugural season as a sport sanctioned by the Vermont Principals Association. Those involved with the program say it’s no surprise that athletic director Chris Brigham has championed another growing sport for more students.

“Chris is invaluable to that school,” EFHS bowling coach Dave McAllister said of Brigham, who is recovering from knee surgery. “We’ve never had to worry about anything. He’s sorely missed right now.”

FNESU Superintendent Jay Nichols said via e-mail that the growth Brigham has brought to Enosburg athletics is a testament to his desire to look after the best interests of all Hornet students.

“Chris Brigham is masterful in working with students and trying to meet their extracurricular needs and interests. Cross country, track and field, snowboarding, volleyball and bowling are all programs he developed to meet the needs of as wide a cross section of students as possible.

“The leadership EFHS has shown in this area is driven by his dedication to the students.”

At his team’s match Saturday at Champlain Lanes in Shelburne, McAllister was helping to oversee an event unlike many varsity sports — absolutely everyone at the lanes on Saturday was having fun.

“If you want to see a positive event, go to the bowling championships,” said Bob Johnson, the VPA’s associate executive director. “This is one sport where all the students support each other and we have had nothing but positive reviews.”

With no referees being yelled at, and no aggressive fans taunting from the sidelines, it was easy to see why the sport is growing quickly throughout Vermont. A rarity in the traditional high school team sports, it was common on Saturday for a bowler who had just sunk a strike or spare to return to high fives from members of all teams.

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