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BOWLING: Cabrini girls still on top of Catholic League heap (PHOTOS)
The two-time Catholic League champion Cabrini girls’ bowling team is Megan Gilbert (front, left), Kendall Holley, Stassie Wickett, Lindsay Pomponio, Amanda Onusko, Carolyn Ferraiuolo, Sarah Koshorek and Alex Dickinson; Coach Paul Ferraiuolo (back row), Mary Goodrich, Alexa VanScyoc, Jessica Resst, Jayde Gaydos, Nikki Skrzycki and Coach Matt Valerius. Not Pictured is Katie Summers.
The Cabrini boys’ bowling team is Ryan Way (front, left), Zack Burchart and Kyle Way; Evan Morton (se-cond row), Nicholas Weathers, Andrew Ryles, Nicholas Jamgochian, Kaleb Knapik, Thomas Cahill, Chris Tilley and Andrew Nagy; Coach Paul Ferraiuolo (back row), Mike Kuschel, Michael Buzanowski, Andrew Burger, Jake Pilkington, Declan McAfee, Nick Pilkington, Tommy Richards, Zander Pollack and Coach Matt Valerius.
The Monarchs wrapped up their second West Division championship with a win over Royal Oak Shrine on Wednesday at Universal Lanes. The girls are 12-0 heading into the Catholic League tournament on February 16 at Oak Lanes.
The Cabrini boys also concluded the regular season with a win to finish 10-2, good for second place behind Gabriel Richard.
Cabrini Coach Paul Ferraiuolo called a second straight perfect season for the girls “pretty amazing” – especially considering three-year state tournament qualifier Emily Slater had graduated and was no longer with the team.
This year, the Monarchs may have a more balanced team and even more talent, which gets even better with experience. Coach Ferraiuolo said having three freshmen in the starting lineup a year ago has been a factor this season.
Prime example: Sophomore anchor bowler Mary Beth Goodrich has the league’s high average, 154, and high game, 208.
Another sophomore, Alex Dickenson, is averaging 146.
More than half of the team is 10th-graders, including Carolyn Ferraiuolo, Amanda Onusko, Stassie Wickett, Jessica Resst, Lindsay Pomponio and Kendall Holley.
Koshorek and Summers are in their first year with the team and Koshorek’s 136 average cracked the top 10 in the division.
There are five seniors on the team: Megan Gilbert, Jayde Gaydos, Sarah Koshorek, Katie Summers and Nikki Skrzycki. Joining them is junior Alexa Van Scyoc.
Gilbert, in her fourth year with the team and third season in the starting lineup, has her personal best average, 148.
“We had enough solid performers returning this season to allow the young and newer bowlers to have time to develop – and they have,” Coach Ferraiuolo said. “The team is really clicking.”
Having 14 bowlers on the girls team shows the sport is gaining in popularity at Cabrini.
“All of the other teams in the league look at us and some struggle to get the numbers,” the coach said. “They’re all amazed at the interest levels and the number of bowlers we have. If you have the numbers, you can develop a team year after year.”
Ferraiuolo credited Assistant coach Matt Valarius – an English teacher in the school – for helping generate interest in the team.
“I realize I’m dealing with high school bowlers. Some never bowled before,” Ferraiuolo said. “We stress keeping the game simple. We break it down to a few fundamentals to work on.”
Ferraiuolo said the Monarchs should be a factor in the Catholic League tournament and in the regional tournament that follows at the end of the month.
“We’ve improved enough to make an impact in the tournaments,” he said. “The bowlers are so consistent. I think we’ll do well.”
Gilbert said having a big team “makes it easier for us. We have a lot of good people.”
“We are really shooting for states this year,” she said. “We came close last year. We really want to make it this year. We practice a lot. We really work together to make each other better… I think we have a really good chance because we have a lot of experience on our team.”
The Cabrini boys team is even larger with 19 bowlers on the roster. But the athletes are even younger than the girls. There are nine freshmen and five sophomores on the team, some of whom have cracked the starting lineup.
“Our team is young,” said senior Mike Kuschel. “We have four seniors and mostly underclassmen. We have one junior and the rest are sophomores and freshmen. But they’re experienced, so we’re still pretty good.”
Kuschel and Tommy Richards are the only four-year bowlers on the boys team. Kuschel leads the team with a 172 average. He also has the league’s second highest game, 235, and second highest two-game series, 449.
Richards is averaging 147 and leads the team in head-to-head points won. The other seniors on the team are Zander Pollack and Andrew Burger is at 132.
Junior Chris Tilley is joined by five sophomores: twins Nicolas and Jacob Pilkington, Thomas Cahill, Michael Buzanowski and Even Morton.
The freshmen on the team are Declan McAfee, Andrew Nagy, twins Kyle and Ryan Way, Zack Burchart, Nicholas Jamgochian, Kaleb Knapik, Nicholas Weathers and Andrew Ryles.
The team’s only two losses came against league champion Gabriel Richard, but two of the wins came over last year’s division champs Madison Heights Bishop Foley.
Coach Ferraiuolo said that despite the age difference, the boys are close, which has led to “tremendous teamwork.”
“The maturity of some of our senior bowlers is a treat,” he said. “There are kids that weren’t even in high school last year and they are treated like best friends. It’s nice to see that.”
Like the girls team, Ferraiuolo expects the boys to do well in the Catholic League tournament. And if they remain consistently strong, they “can make some noise in the regionals.”
Kuschel, the only regular starter back from last year’s team, said the seniors have targeted the regional and state tournaments. After qualifying for the state tournament his sophomore year, Kuschel remembers they fell four pins short in the regional tournament a year ago and look forward to another chance this season.
“We’re getting better,” he said. “I think we can get to states. We have to work on our spares and stay calm. It’s like a roller coaster. We can’t get too high or too down.”
Last Updated: 2/8/2013 2:51:03 PM EST