Heels Go Bowling

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The North Carolina faithful are eager for their Tar Heels to go bowling this season, but it's probably best that Wednesday's extracurricular activities were witnessed by just a handful of individuals. This group of football players will never be mistaken on the lanes as professionals.

"The hot topic of the day is that we didn't practice this morning," Davis said during his Wednesday media session. "We had planned back during the summertime that after about our 10th day of training camp we would try to find some way to have some fun and give the players a little bit of a break. Last year we took them swimming, and this year we ended up taking the players bowling, and it was absolutely phenomenal. We don't have [anyone] that's going to threaten to be Dick Weber, but we had a great time."

Davis served as a self-described "cheerleader" for the morning's festivities, indicating that hard work and a great practice on Tuesday helped to set the table for the bowling reward. To add some competitive fire on the lanes, the coaching staff pitted the 10 best bowlers from both sides of the ball against each other for bragging rights.

"It was a hard-fought match, and the defense won 93-88," Davis said. "So that tells you how good the bowling was."

The players were delighted for a change of pace after nearly two weeks of grueling training camp work.

"We've been grinding for a couple of weeks now, so just a chance to go with the guys and do something other than football was a lot of fun, especially the competition at the end between the offense and the defense," senior linebacker Chase Rice said. "That was a great time. We were all just cheering each other on, trying to distract the other guys. I think there was almost a couple of fights over the final bowling [game]."

The coaching staff called an 8 a.m. meeting Wednesday morning, 30 minutes before the first session of the mid-week two-a-day was scheduled to begin.

"No one knew what the team meeting was about – everyone was a little nervous," said senior safety Trimane Goddard, who bowled a 99. "[Coach Davis] talked for a while and then he told us that we were going bowling and that we would have a playoff format."

Rice was unwilling to provide his score, saying, "I didn't have a very good today bowling. I'm pretty disappointed in my performance, but the defense came out on top, so that's what really matter."

Last season's swimming trip still serves as a good memory for the Tar Heels, especially in the way that the staff broke the news. As Davis addressed the team with a slide projection of a beach on the wall behind him, defensive line coach John Blake entered the room wearing only his bathing suit before asking if anyone wanted to go swimming.

Davis tabbed Rice, Brooks Foster, Cooter Arnold and Mike Dykes as the best bowlers of the bunch. The worst bowler award, however, went to starting running back Greg Little, who bowled a stunning 24 in a full 10-frame set.

"That's bad – that's really bad," Rice said. "I'm sure he had a lot of gutter balls. I don't know, I guess he's just that bad of a bowler. I have no idea. Thank God I didn't get a chance to see it, because that would have been rough to watch."

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