116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
VAN HORNE — It was only two years ago that Aaron Janss started the bowling program at Benton Community, beginning as a club team.
Now, after their first season as a sanctioned team, the Bobcats have 31 bowlers ready to fall in love with the sport.
“Numbers are up this year,” said new coach Andrew Kauder, who is in his 22nd year of teaching at Benton. “We have 17 boys and 14 girls. It helps to have numbers to work with.”
Kauder is no stranger to coaching, let alone physical activity.
The soon-to-turn 50-year-old has two-plus decades of teaching physical education and health and has previously coached cross country and track and field for Cedar Rapids Xavier and Benton Community.
Kauder and his brother, Fred, used to bowl in leagues for fun, but walked away when COVID hit.
“I just love bowling and I learned from adults during youth league,” Kauder said. “I feel I can help some of the athletes get even better yet.”
As a team, the Bobcats will be looking to win their first match as a program while learning the sport.
“We need to develop some consistency,” Kauder said. “This is something that can be lifelong for the kids. I've had several runners who've thanked me and we'll work to build that with the bowlers.”
Kauder has always been interested in the possibility of the Benton job and believes he could stay there until he walks away from teaching.
“I think around 10 years, I could see myself doing this until I retire,” Kauder said. “I try to pass on a healthy lifestyle to these kids.”
Kauder has two daughters of his own, but doesn't see there being any interference once they reach the high school level.
“I can coach while I teach because I can still go see what my kids are doing with running,” he said.
The Bobcats have five duals scheduled, beginning with an away match at Independence on Dec. 3. They also will compete in seven tournaments, including the Wamac tournament Feb. 12 and the state qualifier Feb. 15. The lone home meet for the Bobcats will be Jan. 11 at Turner Hall in Keystone versus Independence.