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BOWLING: Strong Roosevelt boys' team has excellent depth (PHOTO)
The deep and talented Roosevelt boys’ bowling team is Brett Livingston, Justin Hamilton, Marcus Lesko, Austin smith, Jason Ratliff, TJ Thompson, Cory Coffey, Jack Harris, Jay Sirdan, Nick Janeski, Tony Zaddach and Coach George Purdu. Not pictured is Dal-ton Fields
The Roosevelt girls’ bowling team is off to a 3-1 start this season. The team is Lindsey Ragen, Mara Schippling, Kelsey Mashike, Cheyenne Miller, Coach Vic Hagen, Emma Hawkinson and Jalyn Sirdan. Not in the photo are Caytlin Fields and Christina Goodman.
Zaddach suffered three severely broken bones in his right ankle. His junior bowling season was done. The Bears were not the same team without him.
“I felt like I let the team down and felt really bad about that,” Zaddach said.
After a lot of rehabilitation and a lot of practice, Zaddach said he’s back to 100 percent. As the senior captain of Roosevelt’s varsity boys’ team, he has high expectations for a squad that opened the season 3-0 with wins over Livonia Clarenceville, Dearborn Heights Annapolis and Dearborn Heights Crestwood before falling short against Anderson on Dec. 17 at Indian Lanes.
“I feel we have a strong team this year – probably better than last year,” Zaddach said. “All of our bowlers can easily average 200 on varsity. I really feel good about our team.”
The Bears have experience from such bowlers as Zaddach and senior Justin Hamilton, plus talented newcomers, such as freshmen Cory Coffey and Marcus Lesko. Those four are averaging in the 200s with Hamilton leading the way at 213. Coffey (212), Lesko (208) and Zaddach (206) are close behind with sophomore Dalton Fields right there at 193.
Hamilton’s 279 was the highest scratch game for a couple weeks. As a team, the Bears have the second best Baker game (227) and third best Baker series (408) of the young season.
“Our freshmen have really surprised me this year,” Zaddach said. “I did not expect them to average what they have been averaging. They are helping the team out.”
Boys’ Coach George Purdu is excited about his team, which includes three seniors (Zaddach, Hamilton and Jason Ratliff), junior Brett Livingston, Fields and the two freshmen. Of the seven, only the seniors were on varsity a year ago. Livingston and Fields were on the junior varsity last season.
Purdu beamed about Zaddach’s comeback and leadership ability, noting that the senior was on the Roosevelt varsity team that qualified for the state finals two seasons ago.
“He’s been on varsity since he was a freshman, which is pretty rare,” Purdu said. “He’s a very good bowler and a pretty composed kid. He’s definitely our captain.”
As for this year’s freshmen, Purdu said he remembers Coffey and Lesko talking about competing for the high school team ever since they were his students in middle school.
“Ever since they were in sixth grade, they’ve been talking about bowling,” he said. “It’s nice seeing that not much rattles them. They listen well and they handle the pressure of being on varsity.
“The best thing is that everybody gets along. There are no egos. It’s nice to mesh the older kids with the younger kids.”
Purdu also has talented bowlers on the junior varsity and said he has the option of entering two teams in some tournaments.
Zaddach said he feels the Bears can bounce back from the defeat to Anderson.
“It’s important to start good,” he said. “It boosts your energy and makes you feel like you can beat everyone, even if they’re the best team in the league.”
His goal is to return to state finals. This time, it would be in Division 1, where Roosevelt finds itself this year.
“We may get to states again,” he said. “I was part of that as a sophomore. It was just a great feeling. Holding that regional trophy was the greatest feeling in my life.”
The Roosevelt girls’ team also got off to a 3-0 start before Anderson got in the way of a perfect season.
Coach Victor Hagen is excited about a lineup that includes five seniors, a junior, a sophomore and a freshman. He said he has enjoyed watching the seniors, especially, join the team with relatively little experience and improve every season.
“Four of them have been with me all four years,” Hagen said. “They’ve come a long way. Many were 120 bowlers when they started. Now they’re in the 140 to 170 range, adding about 10 pins a year to their average.
“It’s nice to see that consistency. They all feel good about it and they’re all contributing. It’s been fun to see a balanced team where everyone feels we have a fair chance to win. They’re excited.”
The four returning seniors are Lindsay Ragen (162 average), Caytlin Fields (158), Mara Shippling (148) and Kelsey Mashike (145).
Joining them this year is senior Jalyn Sirdan (153) and junior Christina Goodman (141), sophomore Cheyenne Miller (134) and freshman Emma Hawkinson (123) round out the balanced team.
“I have faith in them,” Hagen said. “They keep practicing and they just get better. This is a fun year.”
The coach also boasts that the bowlers are honor students.
“I’ve been very blessed that way,” he said. “There’s such maturity. There are no worries. They’re all good kids – very good kids.”
Hagen is seeking at least eight wins during the 11-game season – which would be two wins more than last year’s team. With the experience and consistency, he’s hopeful that the Bears will have a good post-season run as well.
Last Updated: 1/2/2013 10:45:41 AM EST