After more than a month off, Twinsburg bowling ready to roll
It’s mid-January and the Twinsburg High bowling program has had to remain patient and follow the path towards a season, which is just getting under way.
Veteran Tiger head coach Anthony Byrd is determined to get his bowlers into some action this season as the Tigers are set to open the season and compete Jan. 11 at Barberton.
“It has been a very challenging year to begin the winter sports season as our teams just got off of a mandatory district athletics and activities stoppage (due to COVID-19) and we just began practicing three weeks ago,” stressed Byrd, who is in his eighth year.
Twinsburg’s boys and girls’ teams have some experience back from last year as Byrd was just able to finalize a roster last week.
“It’s been just last week and we really worked with the kids and to see what we have,” noted Byrd.
It’s been a learning process – even for the veteran Tiger bowlers.
“A lot of our first practices were spent trying to get the athletes adjusted to the new COVID protocols as well as trying to get the athletes comfortable with each other,” explained Byrd.
Due to a unique season, some changes have gone in place this winter.
“COVID-19 has impacted our game in many ways from the late start to how matches and practices are run with the two biggest changes are a roster of six athletes for a match instead of eight, and, teams now competing on an assigned pair of lanes instead of splitting a pair of lanes and crossing lanes,” said Byrd.
Twinsburg’s youngsters have worked hard through adverse conditions to learn along with the more tested Tigers.
Last year’s boys’ team was young and was 4-10 overall and 4-7 in the strong Suburban League.
The girls were 5-9 overall last season and 3-8 in Suburban League action.
Key losses to graduation for the boys were Will Faini and Austin Holloman-Rawls while the Lady Tigers lost standout Cassie Burgess.
Returning for the girls this season are junior Abbi Dines and senior Jordan Nudelman. Dines had an average last season of 119.3 while Nudelman was at 94.7.
Boys who are returning are senior Kameron East, senior Brody Markovitz, and sophomore standout Jaylen Bogarty.
East made honorable mention All-Suburban League a year ago. He has great potential and posted a 206.6 average in 2019.
Shining as a freshman last season, Bogarty registered an average of 170.3.
Blessed with good experience, Markovitz put up a 2019 average of 122.8.
According to Byrd, the top newcomers for the boys are junior Tyson Jacobs and sophomore John Larson.
The girls’ top newcomer, according to Byrd, is freshman prospect Colleen Harney. “We are focusing on one practice, one match, and one day at a time,” disclosed
Byrd. “We are focusing on understanding the game for our new Tigers and improvement day to day while we gel as a team.”
Twinsburg has been able to re-focus and some of that focus has been simplified due to what has been going on.
“We are just thankful that we are able to have a season,” said Byrd. “We are looking to enjoy every practice and match, not taking anything for granted when it comes to this year.”
The Suburban League will just field head-to-head competition this season without tournament action. The league’s pre and post season tournaments have been cancelled because of the delayed start of the season.
“It will be interesting to see how the season shakes out with only head-to-head competition to determine league champions,” pointed out Byrd. “The Suburban League is always competitive and any team in this league can beat anyone any given day if you have an off day.”
Last year, the Tiger teams competed at the deep Division I sectional tournament at Roseland Lanes in Oakwood. The girls placed 10th overall and the boys, 12th, respectively.
Twinsburg hopes to improve their post season marks from last year, but Byrd just wants his student-athletes to be to simply compete this season.
“Whatever we have to do to get the kids a season, we will do,” stated Byrd. “We just want the kids to have fun.”
The Tigers will host Copley Jan. 15 and Medina Highland Jan. 22. All matches begin at 4 p.m.