Team sports are about more than physical battles. Michael Bowles relishes the mental aspect of sports and the challenge to play fundamentally sound as a team.
“With baseball, it’s not rushed,” said Bowles, a high school junior who has played the sport in some form since he was 3 years old. “You can take your time and think things through. It’s strategic.”
Bowles played on Severna Park High School’s junior varsity baseball team the last two years and on the 16U Severn Panthers baseball team this summer. With the Panthers, he compiled a 2.68 ERA while leading the team with 31.1 innings pitched. Also a threat with a bat in his hands, Bowles played outfield and led the team in batting average (.463) and had a .566 on-base percentage.
“I like pitching because it gives me a break from running and tracking the ball, but I like doing those things too,” he said.
Bowles did more than put up stats, leading his teammates by example. He was one of three team captains along with Jimmy Miller and Clay Weaver.
“It’s always fun to lead people,” Bowles said. “In baseball you need focus, a lot of it. It’s a waiting game between each pitch. Most people know that, but I try to make sure no one gets distracted.”
That leadership did not go unnoticed among his coaches.
“Michael is a very good baseball player with lots of different skills,” said Dave Ferris, who coached the 16U Panthers with Jim Christy and Joe Zimmerman. “He is a leader amongst his teammates and sets a great example of how to prepare and play the game.”
Bowles prepares by throwing bullpen sessions, hitting off of a tee at home, and by perfecting his bunting technique. As a basketball player, he is working to become a more efficient shooter.
“I’m just trying to improve my shot and my consistency,” said Bowles, who plays guard. “I tend to be hot and cold.”
Bowles also works hard as a student. During the third marking period of 2019-2020, he made the principal’s honor roll at SPHS.
Bowles wants to play baseball or basketball in college. Before that, he would like to continue developing his skills. The upcoming high school fall and winter sports seasons have been postponed.
“I was really bummed,” Bowles said after hearing the news. “But I’m optimistic that we will have a season.”
In partnership with The Matt Wyble Team of Century 21, the Voice’s Student-Athlete of the Month series recognizes the many student-athletes in our area who make an impact not necessarily by way of statistics or stardom, but by their unique contributions. Contact Zach Sparks at email@example.com to nominate a young person in our community making a positive impact through sports.