High school bowlers remain the focus

Jack Hammill - Guest Columnist

When my book is finally written and published there will be a rather huge portion of it dedicated to this current season. As we have previously chronicled it has been a season of incredible loss, especially considering the individuals are now at eternal rest.

We have not even addressed the various mysteries of the bowling world or the titles won and lost in the same fortnight. It has been, for sake of a better word, a season of incredible intrigue. Ian Fleming could not have written a better script.

Most recently throughout it all, we have had the youth to show impeccable spirit as they prepared for the OHSAA Division I and Division II tournaments.

Sadly the DII event ended with a large thud as only two youth from our immediate area, Hannah Riepenhoff from Lima Central Catholic and Brayden Dalton from Lima Perry advanced to second round action, the D2 district this weekend at Westgate Lanes here in Lima.

Riepenhoff got off to a brilliant start on Saturday with two games over 200 before struggling to a fifth place finish and a district nod. Dalton had a similar trip at Minster the next day and held on to grab the final district spot with a 601 set.

Interestingly enough Perry was the head scratching No. 2 seed in the tournament and there were times that they demonstrated that they were appropriately seeded, unfortunately when the dust settled they finished back in the pack.

It is the hope in Limaland that the D1 will bring about a better result but as we pointed out in a recent report, it will be an incredible journey. The sectional play will be wide open and the teams in our immdiate area such as Lima Shawnee, Lima Senior High, Elida and even Wapak will have a strong opportunity to advance to the D1 district in Wapak but it will become very difficult beyond that point.

It is at this point that I have to become just a little bit more critical, some may even contend too critical.

I absolutely love our area coaches and kids and am aching for them all to advance. The added week will serve as a benefit to a handful of our teams as they will be able to get some work in on the patterns designed by Kegel for OHSAA sectional and district play.

What is interesting is the way information was delivered this season. In the past the host house generally found out the bowling pattern that was to be used in the upcoming event about one week ahead. That was not the case this season as the pattern was posted about two to three weeks earlier. Teams that checked the Northwest District Athletic Board website or knew to check the site had a distinct advantage and were able to contact their bowling home and practice on the pattern. If you were a bowling center who was waiting on the historical week

ahead notice … such as former host sites the teams for those centers lost ground on some competitors.

As we look ahead it is great to know that the information will be available to all in early November when the season begins. Congrats to the NWDAB for this great decision. My apologies to the teams who did not have the same opportunity to practice on the pattern at some houses!

Things will be tough enough in the land of the D1. The Northwest District has the perfect mix of a lot of existing D1 schools and a limited number of schools who offer bowling programs. The end result is that is our district only has the opportunity for one boy’s team and one girl’s team to advance to state play. They also will only be able to advance one boy and one girl.

What is will provide is incredibly great drama when the D1 action hits first Interstate Lanes in Rossford followed by the district finale the following week in Wapak.

The cost of admission on that day will be $6. If the OHSAA wanted to make more money, they could easily charge double that if not more. I would be willing to tear up my press pass and pay more.

The teams and the individuals who will battling for the rights to move forward include the reigning D2 state champion, St Marys, as well as perennial powers such as Wapak, Celina, Lima Shawnee and upstart Lima Senior High. I do not get east and north much but Bowling Green and Perrysburg as well as Sandusky are always competitive and Ashland has been amazing lately. Without question I am missing someone.

Rest assured somebody we love is going to be staying home with a score or scores much higher that what will advance from some of the other areas. Get the tissues and the hugs ready. In fact I would not be surprised if a team stays home with a better resume than the state champ.

Once again we take a look to the future. In the past the individual districts could utilize whatever pattern that they chose. There were times that we would open our bowling guides at the state to see a great disparity from one district to the other with regard to scoring. This season the scores may be more uniform but the pattern will play different from sectional house to sectional house as well as district house to district house.

Somehow the state has to open their eyes and be more just with our district when it comes to teams having a chance to advance. Without question, historically the two strongest divisions in the state are the Northwest and the Southwest. It is time that the representation at the state needs to represent that fact


Jack Hammill

Guest Columnist

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