As a standout junior for the West Orange High boys bowling team, T.J. Hamilton helped lead the Warriors to the Metro Conference West title.
The West Orange boys bowling team won its biggest match in years Oct. 5 when it defeated Apopka, the state champion from 2015. Helping to lead the way in that match and all season has been junior T.J. Hamilton, who — along with his brother Sam Hamilton — rolled a 245 that day. This season, T.J. Hamilton has helped lead the Warriors to their first Metro title since 1993.
How big of a deal was it to beat the Blue Darters?
It’s a big milestone considering they’ve been our biggest rivals, really. This is the first time we’ve beat them in seven years.
With that said, do you know any of the bowlers from Apopka outside of varsity competition?
Oh yeah, I know most of them, and I bowl with them in a league.
High-school bowling is a team sport with a heavy emphasis on individual performance. What’s the camaraderie like for the team?
It’s good. Everybody trusts each other to carry someone else if they’re having a rough time out there and pick up the slack.
Your brother, Sam Hamilton, is also on the team. Are you two competitive as teammates?
We’re super competitive by nature. But it’s really nice having someone I truly know on the team.
How did you get into bowling?
I went bowling every year for my birthday party, because I enjoy doing it. In sixth grade, I bought my first bowling ball, and I joined a league. A year after joining my first league, I won a pretty good amount.
What do you do well from a technical standpoint?
Probably my pace on my approach to throw my ball.
Has there been a teammate or anyone whom you’ve looked up to and learned a lot from?
One kid on the team last year, Hunter Scott, he was our previous anchor (best bowler). He was really good competition for me to just improve my game.
What class do you look forward to the most?
Probably my digital design class, because I enjoy Photoshop.
Do you have any ideas on what you might like to do for a career?
Maybe bowling if I can be good enough or something in computers: programming or coding.
What do you like to do with your downtime?
Video games. My favorite game is “League of Legends.”