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Area bowling teams are ready to roll

T-L File Photo/SETH STASKEY BARNESVILLE’S Brock Burkhart rolls the ball during the Division II sectional tournament last season at St. Clair Lanes in St. Clairsville. Burkhart is one of the top returning players for the Shamrocks who enjoyed another strong season.

One of the faster-growing sports in the Ohio Valley — bowling — appears ready for another impressive season.

The number of schools offering the sport continues to increase and the level of play climbs with it.

The prep bowling season got under way officially early last week and is ready to kick into full swing.

The Ohio Valley Athletic Conference will once again crown champions in the sport at two different venues on Jan. 28. The 4A and 5A schools will compete at Wabash Lanes in New Philadelphia, while the 1A-3A schools will trek to Pike Street Lanes in Parkersburg to compete.

The OHSAA tournament will begin the week of Feb. 12-19 with Division II sectional action. The district will be held the following week and the season will culminate on March 3 and 4 with the state tournament in Columbus.

Here’s a capsule look at the teams that returned information:

BARNESVILLE — Head coach Chad Hall and the Shamrocks enjoyed a very strong 2021-22 season and are looking for continued success this winter.

The boys team will be led by seniors Matt Hall, Cooper Bell and Brock Burkhart. Junior Kavin Carpenter and freshmen Keegan Martin and Colton Hall round out the varsity roster.

On the girls’ side, seniors Regan Campbell and Julie Johnson are expected to lead the way, while juniors Taylor Crooks, Clarissa Fitch and Cheyenne Brudzinski as well as sophomore Haley Hoffer round out the varsity unit.

The thing about the new season that is most exciting for Hall and his team is that they’re back in their home alley at Chestnut Lanes. The team has spent the last two seasons at St. Clair Lanes after a fire in Nov. of 2020.

“St. Clair Lanes was very good to us the last couple of years, but we’re very excited to be back in our home alley,” Hall said.

BEALLSVILLE — The Blue Devils program continues to grow under head coach Walter Russell.

There are a total of six players in the program.

Leading the way will be senior Xavier Lieberth. Junior Joey Osborne and classmate Anthony Dunn are both experienced players.

Angel Dunn is the lone female in the program. Freshman Kyler Graham and Randy Henthorn are also out for the team.

“We should be continuously improving as a team as the season moves forward,” Russell said. “I feel blessed to have great young kids to work with.”

BRIDGEPORT — The Bulldogs are undergoing a bit of a rebuilding season as head coach Ron Taylor prepares for another season at the helm.

Bridgeport lost four starters from its boys team, but only one female.

Returning on the boys’ squad are Austin Gannoe, Michael McKeen, Gabriel Wheaton and John Wheaton. Newcomers to the boys’ squad are Lucas Kurner.

On the girls’ side, returning players are Rebecca Bowers, Abby Howell, Maddie Matusik, Emma Smith, Aries Willison and Gabrielle Anderson. Newcomers are freshmen Hailey Masters and Chasity Smith.

“Our main goals are to have fun, gain experience and get better,” Taylor said. “At this point, I am excited with the girls because I believe there is some great talent there.

“All five of the boys will be playing. I believe this is a building year for the Bulldogs and with a lot of hard work, good health and determination, we can have a respectable season and hopefully improve on last year.”

BUCKEYE LOCAL — The Panthers of Coach Jared Call are coming off a solid season last winter and are looking to build on it with a roster that features 10 boys and 16 girls.

“We have a really great group of kids this year,” Call said. “They work hard, have fun and enjoy the game.”

The boys squad is senior laden with four 12th graders on the varsity roster. They are Jereny Anspach, Jakob Burris, Chase Eikleberry and Rodney Meeker.

Junior Noah Jock and sophomore Brayden Russell round out the varsity.

Battling to get into the rotation are senior Jacob Watt, Thomas Beranek, LeLand Shoplak and freshman John Frank.

“Our boys team will look to have another solid season,” Call said. “We have a lot of experience on our varsity and we’re looking to improve on last year’s 8-6 record.”

The girls’ varsity squad will include senior Lizzie Frank, juniors Haylee Brown, Kiarra Eastham, Jasmine Yohe, sophomore Melissa Smith and freshman Olivia Takach.

The balance of the roster includes: senior Diamond Sharpe, juniors Cassie Burkheard, Megan Burrier, Abigail Meeker, Maggie Sabo, Sydnee Yanok, sophomores Tina Cline-Scott, Addie Erwin, Emma McHugh and freshman Emma McFadden.

“The girls team will look to have a strong team this year with a solid mix of young talent and several returning lettermen,” Call pointed out.

Graduation claimed Jimmy Hornyak, Erik Bailey, Xavier Lascano, Jacob Terrill, Brooke Shaffer, Rylie White and Kaden Bednarek from a season ago.

Callis being assisted by Luke Fabry and Jim Lish.

HARRISON CENTRAL — Head coach Bobbie Parkinson has built a very solid program in her tenure with the Huskies.

There’s no reason to think the 2022-23 campaign will do anything but add to the program’s legacy.

The Huskies’ boys squad returns four lettermen from a season ago, including sophomores Drew Culbertson, John Gray, Kobie Hennis and junior Chad Viers.

Also expected to roll on the varsity squad are senior Brandon Haney, senior Sean Drapp and sophomore Nick Jacobs.

Vying to get into the varsity mix are senior Holden Anthony, junior Devin Churchill, junior Tevan Palmer, junior Peyton Roski, sophomore Kyle Bake, sophomore Gavin Ray, junior Greg Wright and freshman L.J. Mitchell.

“The boys team should be well-rounded with mostly underclassmen carrying the load,” Parkinson said.

“They should have a great showing throughout the season with some very good scores.”

On the girls’ side, the Huskies must replace Aleyna Runevitch, who competed in last season’s state tournament in Columbus where she placed 29th overall.

However, several experienced players are set to pick up the slack. Leading the way will be senior Cameron Aughinbaugh, senior Kendra DeWees, senior Hannah Ragusa, junior Grace Cain, senior Carly Best, junior Danielle Drapp, junior Madelynn Edwards, sophomore McKeehan Manson, sophomore Hayley Willis.

Freshmen Kim Eickleberry and Keterah Ghezzi are newcomers.

“The girls have mostly upperclassmen carrying the load and teaching our young bowlers,” Parkinson said.

“I am expecting great improvements from our underclassmen during the season. They’ve also been working very hard on spare shooting to improve their games.”

Along with Runevitch, the Huskies lost three boys — Davis Chrisman, Corey Hayes and Caden Anthony to graduation.

MARTINS FERRY — Numbers are up and so is the excitement around Purple Rider bowling as Greg Steele begins this third season.

The Rider boys and girls will field full varsity and junior varsity teams.

“I truly enjoy our team mentality,” Steele said. “Though we’ve been competitive against ourselves fighting for a spot on the varsity team, our kids have done a fantastic job of helping each other to improve during practices. Hopefully, we’ll continue to improve as the season progresses to reach our full potential.”

The boys squad boasts four returning lettermen in senior Blake Wines, juniors Carter Bennett, Walker Romshak and Carmine Stromin. Freshman Gavin Reese is expect to roll on the varsity squad.

The balance of the roster includes: senior Bradley Zonker, sophomore Alex Danehart, Alexander Higgs, Jacob Lasure, Haiden Merrill and Cameron Murphy.

Steele believes the Riders girls squad will “surprise a few schools” because it has “improved immensely from last season.”

There are six returning letter winners, including senior Josie Hancock, junior Gwen Kapolka, sophomore Ryleigh Dominquez, Rhianna Fleming and Madison Oberle.

The jayvee squad will include junior Lyndsy Phillips, sophomore Trinity Hukill, freshmen Angel Toohey, Hudson Higgs and Taylor Tucker.

MONROE CENTRAL — The Seminoles are looking to build on a highly successful 2021-22 campaign.

The Seminoles girls return an experienced cast, which is led by reigning MOVL champion Addason Tomlin and junior co-captain Shyann Baker.

Sophomore Radisson Norman will be one to watch along with junior Chloe Christman. Sophomore Allison Fletcher is a returning varsity player and sisters Haley Brown and Alexis Brown round out the roster.

“Our two team leaders are very well versed in the sport, but all of these girls back each other as we move forward,” Russell noted.

On the boys’ side, four players return.

Sophomore Ethan Gillespie is the leader and team captain. Sophomores James Williams and Owen Weckbacher are also co-captains. Josiah Hise is a returnee from a season ago. Sophomore Will Travis and freshman Mykel Shinkel.

” I feel our returning bowlers will be able to continue to lead the team to a successful season,” Russell said.

“The boys and girls have each been out practicing on their own as open-gym situations as well as their scheduled practices. I am very thankful to have a great group of young men and women.”

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The Red Devils and head coach Courtney Reinbold are experiencing a youth movement which includes four returnees and an astounding 14 freshmen out for the boys and girls teams.

“For the first time in my coaching tenure, I have a truly young team,” Reinbold said. “I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a little scary, but I am trying to look at the opportunity of four years to grow and teach them.”

Senior Chas Anderson leads the Red Devils’ boys squad.

He’s joined by juniors Sebastian Lewis and Alex Brocklehurst. Freshmen rounding out the roster include Rowan Mellott, Devon Holden and Dane Kinney.

The lone girls who are not in the ninth grade are sophomores Isabella Yeager and Harlee Owens. The balance of the roster includes: Jesse Baker, Lily Street, Kailin Hughes and Katie Brocklehurst.

ST. JOHN CENTRAL ACADEMY — The Irish of head coach Gary Holubeck are “ready to roll.”

Six Irish boys are out for the team and four females are out for the squad, which led to optimism for the veteran head coach.

“We’re very excited to get the season under way,” Holubeck said. “We have a young team, but some freshmen who are developing quickly and looking for a good season. If we can make our spares, and stay focused, I think our boys and girls should be very competitive.”

The Irish boys roster is led by senior Austin Garrett, juniors Conner Bennett, Cody Scott, sophomore Oliver Jackson and freshmen Kyle Baker and Patrick Young.

On the girls’ side, All-EOBL performer Lauren Moran returns. She’s joined by Nevada Lucas, Saddy Weber and Abby Young.

“We can’t wait to show the big schools what we have lined up for them,” Holubeck said. “We might be small, but we’re very proud of the tradition at our school. We can’t wait to knock them down.”

UNION LOCAL — A solid nucleus returns for the Jets and head coach Doug Stephens as graduation claimed only four players combined between the boys and girls teams.

The boys squad will be led by senior Gaige Thomas, sophomore Mason Porter, junior Cole Harding, junior Evan White and freshman Logan Porter.

Battling to get into the varsity rotation are Brayden Jeffers, Matt Schubert, Nate Stratton, Bradley Stratton, Wyatt Wehr and Connor Saffel.

On the girls’ side, a solid cast is back with senior Chloe Porter, junior Kelsy Usenick, junior Rylee Gregor, junior Breanna Barbe and junior Karlie Loos on track to compete at the varsity level.

Ticketed for jayvee duty are Dani Stitt, Emma Bohus, Payton Thompson and Sarah Eikleberry.

Those lost to graduation were Josh Neidert, Mark Bell, Alexis Stewart and Kaylee Turner.

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