Photo by Bill Roseberry
Eryka Graham of the Redbirds winds up to bowl early on in the season for the AHS girls’ bowling team at Bowl Haven Lanes in Alton.
While the boys roll into postseason action Saturday, area girls will continue regular-season bowling for about another month. Bowl Haven Lanes will play host to a regional Feb. 7.
O’Fallon then welcomes a sectional Feb. 14 before the IHSA finals plays out Feb. 20-21 at The Cherry Bowl in Rockford. Alton, Civic Memorial, Roxana and East Alton-Wood River are angling to send keglers to state. Marquette Catholic doesn’t have bowling.
Here’s a glance at the girls’ season to this point.
ALTON: The Redbirds are rolling, recording nine victories in their first 10 matches and challenging Collinsville for the Southwestern Conference title.
Junior Eryka Graham, AdVantage News’ Bowler of the Year in 2014, leads the way with a 205 average. Seniors Becca McBride, Allison Steines and Amanda Menke are following her and junior Ashley Heistand is contributing to the cause.
“Our goal is to finish in the top 10 at state,” coach Jeff Woszczynski said. “Eryka is one of the top bowlers in Southwestern Illinois and the other girls have really stepped it up for us.”
ROXANA: The Shells are seeking a strong finish after going 3-6 through their first nine matches, coach Marsha Ribes said. It’s a young team aiming for constant improvement.
Deb Bethel continues to lead the way for Roxana. She’s carrying a 155 average. Teammate Andrea Mellenthin is next in line with an average of 131. Three seniors, two freshmen and a junior comprise the team.
CM: Youth is also being served in Bethalto this season. Coach Mike Parmentier has one senior, one junior, a sophomore and two freshmen on a retooling team.
Freshman Cori Beckham leads the squad with an average of 111.
Junior Brittany Dickerson is averaging 103 and senior Rahime Aliu is shooting 101. Parmentier said Kaitlyn Ambrose and Sierra Jennings are also made contributions. CM had three matches scheduled this week, including one with rivals Roxana and EA-WR.
EA-WR: It continues to be a rebuilding process for the Oilers under coach Mike Lawson. They are still seeking their first win of the season and Lawson is regrouping with six bowlers.
Shelby Yarborough has served as EA-WR’s brightest spot. She is averaging a 160 score and has accounted all the team’s points thus far. Although no other bowlers have averages above 120, Sammy Johnson and Kierstan Niethe are complementing Yarborough.