Photo by Bill Roseberry
Alton boys’ and girls’ bowlers practice Monday at Bowl Haven in Alton. Local bowling teams are a couple weeks into the 2014-15 season.
You can hear more than just a pin drop on the local lanes. Area prep bowlers are rattling those pins frequently in logging strikes and spares.
The boys, who started first, are pointing toward the IHSA finals on Jan. 30-31 at St. Clair Lanes in O’Fallon. The girls state finals play out Feb. 20-21 at The Cherry Bowl in Rockford.
Here’s a quick glance at the four River Bend teams. Marquette Catholic doesn’t have a squad.
Five times in the last 11 years, the Alton boys’ team has finished in the top 10 places at state. And the Redbirds are seeking another strong showing this season.
Senior Lucas Pejakovich leads the way. Coach Jeff Woszczynski has seniors Mat Gorman and Justin Amistadi to complement Pejakovich, the 2013 AdVantage News’ Male Bowler of the Year.
“Mat and Justin are picking up the slack, and we are getting contributions from junior Matt Fritz and Jacob Donahue and sophomore Tyler Stevenson,” Woszczynski said. Juniors Nik Meggos and Will Paisley round out the squad.
Alton figures to be in the thick of things for both Southwestern Conference titles. The AHS girls took third behind champion Collinsville and runner-up Herrin in the recent Kahok Invitational.
“We have everybody back but (the graduated) Abbie Reilly,” Woszczynski said.
Junior Eryka Graham, the AdVantage News’ Female Bowler of the Year returns, as do seniors Becca McBride, Amanda Menke and Allison Steines, plus sophomore Ashly Heistand. Juniors Chloe Greenberg, Jade Krankel and Elizabeth Hanke are also in the mix.
The Eagles have already won the Alton Quad Tournament and had an early-season Mississippi Valley Conference showdown with Jersey earlier this week.
“We’ve had a great start,” coach Shawn Callies said.
He’s counting on Ryan Hayes, Jacob Troeckler, Phillip Ramos, Dalton Harshbarger and Alex Lukas to lead the way. Hayes is averaging 222 thus far, followed by Ramos at 218 and Troeckler at 218. Ramos has rolled a 264 game thus far and Hayes has shot a 258 one.
Zack Hagen and Devin Davis, a pair of sophomores, add depth.
CM’s girls, coached by Mike Parmentier, are angling to improve after finishing 4-14 last season. They opened their season earlier this week against Jersey.
Senior Rahime Aliu and Alexis Hogg power the Eagles. Juniors Brittany Dickerson and Sierra Jennings boost them, while sophomore Joanna Cathorall-Krankel and freshmen Cori Beckham, Alex Cherry and Kaitlin Ambrose figure in the blend.
EAST ALTON-WOOD RIVER
Seth Stanley, Tyler Hayes and Zack Hudson have guided the Oilers in the early going, coach Jesse Daniels said. Hayes, a sophomore transfer from CM, owns a 168 average — tops on the team. Hudson is a freshman.
Daniels expects seniors Ashtin Wiegand, Anthony Lane and Stanley to add nice touches.
“Ashtin was our No. 1 bowler last year, but he is currently unavailable until the second semester,” Daniels said.
He added, “We will have a pretty strong squad once all of the pieces are in order. Seth is carrying a big load the first half of the season and is doing a great job. We expect big things from him this season.”
It’s more of a rebuilding situation for the EA-WR girls’ team, coach Mike Lawson said.
“We bring back a couple of girls from last year’s team and we have three new varsity girls, so how we will do this season is unknown at this point,” he said.
Juniors Nicole Bailey, Kiersten Niethe and Sammy Johnson, along with sophomores Leslie Dixon and Kiaira McCarvey, will pace EA-WR.
The Roxana boys’ and girls’ teams are revamping things.
“We have a very young boys’ team, so it’s a rebuilding year, and it’s also a building year for the girls’ team,” coach Marsha Ribes said.
Senior Zach Wilson and junior Jesse Duncan might direct the boys’ team. Duncan is sporting a 155 average, while Wilson has a 144 average to go with a team-high 193 game. Juniors Nathan Custer and Brayden Hensley, sophomores Nick Fulk, Dalton Baggett, Tim Clemons and Treyton Edwards, plus freshmen Marcus Hartnett, Mason Savage, Wyatt Kirkpatrick, Alex Johnson and Griffen Brock round out the squad.
Senior Deb Bethel could be the best bowler for the girls. She averaged 156 last year. Junior Andrea Mellenthin, owner of a 142 average in 2013, is in the mix. So are senior Erica Griggs, sophomores Taylor Westfall and Alexis Davis, plus freshmen Faith Ottwell, Breanna Williams and Amanda Morgan.
Both Roxana teams were slated to debut Thursday against Waterloo.