By John Bombatch
FAIRBORN — With their wins over Trotwood-Madison on Thursday at Bowl 10 Lanes, Fairborn High School bowling coaches Alicia Simpson, Eric Mrenak and assistant Valerie Sorrells have their Skyhawk bowlers headed in the right direction.
The Fairborn girls defeated Trotwood-Madison by a 1,846 to 1,243 score to up their record to 5-1 overall and 4-1 in the rugged Greater Western Ohio Conference’s American South division. And the youthful Fairborn boys contingent recorded its second team win of the season, 2,233 to 1,668 over the visiting Rams. That win upped the Skyhawk boys record to 2-4 overall, 2-3 GWOC American South.
With the Skyhawk girls bunch, Simpson says the team’s youthful appearance can be deceiving.
“We have a veteran bowling group, but they’re not a veteran aged group,” Simpson explains, of her predominantly junior and sophomore girls team. “We have one senior and then most of the rest are sophomores. They’re very young, but they’re very highly qualified in bowling. … It’s a nice situation to be in, yes.”
In Thursday’s win, sophomore Audrey Renner led the Skyhawk girls bowlers with her two-game 360 series, and sophomore teammate Alyssa Lewis tossed a 314. Other two-game series were tossed by the team’s lone senior, Hannah Borchert (291), and sophs Maddie Riley (276) and Callie Shimek (272). Junior Shyann Predmore is a regular on the team as well.
Lewis tops the girls team in average thus far with a 198.3 average through 16 games rolled. Renner is next with a 185.3 average, with Borchert close behind with a 180.9 mark.
“The amount of spares these kids can pick up is ridiculous. Even coaches from other schools have taken note of it,” Simpson said. “We’ve had one or two games without having an open frame. That says a lot about these girls’ abilities to get their spares.”
On the boys’ side, smooth-throwin’ J.T. Cherpeski led the way with a 442 two-game series. His years of youth league bowling have given the junior righty a release point that is so smooth and consistent that one can hardly hear the ball meet the hardwood. Ryan Karr tossed a solid 387 series, followed by Tanner Robinson (375), James Lewis III (371) and Jacob Hart (308). Stephen Spahr and Dustin Carter are also a regulars in the Skyhawks lineup, but did not bowl against the Rams.
Boys coach Mrenak says the team understands this is a rebuilding year for the perennial GWOC contenders.
“It’s a young boys team as well, with just two seniors on the squad,” Mrenak says. “We don’t have a captain on the team. I want everybody to kind of take a leadership role on this team, so there’s not any one bowler who deserves that right without proving themselves on the floor. … Everybody’s considered the captain on this team.”
Mrenak said the boys team’s ability to pick up spares has gone from a mediocre 50 percent at the start of the season to nearly 80 percent today.
Cherpeski entered Thursday’s match with a team-best 219 average, with Spahr next with a 174 average, and Lewis III (167) rounding out the Skyhawks boys top three.
According to Simpson, the remainder of the Fairborn bowling schedule will provide a good test for the team. They’re not back at Fairborn’s Bowl 10 until Jan. 24, but have a Baker Bash tournament Jan. 16 at Beavercreek’s Beaver-Vu Bowl, and matches with GWOC American South foes West Carrollton (Jan. 19) and Riverside Stebbins (Jan. 20) before then.
You can reach John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.