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BOWLING: Riverview prepares for regional bowling this weekend
Members of the Riverview High School boys’ bowling teams are Coach Lou Hicks, Jake Ciesla, Alan Doll, Steve Toth, Justin Ruloff, Anthony Prior, Luke Everingham, Eric Engler, Garret Bow, Logan Parr, Korey Thomas, Austin Cybulski, James Gardner and Christian Dudek.
Here is the girls’ bowling team from Riverview: Rebecca Michalek (left), Melissa Michalek, Makayla Hollins, Jessica Meyer, Coach Lou Hicks, Sam DellaPella, Michayla Acton, Parker Williams and Amanda Barr. Missing from the photo is Katie Suyak.
The Pirates have had two varsity boys teams this year, meaning twice as many bowlers had the opportunity to bowl against tough competition in the Huron League.
Come this weekend’s post-season play, the six bowlers from the Riverview Maroon team will merge with the seven bowlers on the Riverview Gold team and the coaching staff will select the individuals that will form a sort of all-star team to compete for team and singles honors in the state tournament.
The Pirates will be part of the 14-team Division 2 regional tournament at Taylor Lanes. The three top teams on Friday advance to the team state finals on March 1. The top 10 individual bowlers on Saturday advance to the singles finals on March 2.
“I’m excited to see how they bowl once we combine them,” said Lou Hicks, who coaches the boys and the girls’ team with Eric Southward. “We have to decide which seven will bowl as the regional team. The seven we decide on will compete really well.”
Riverview was offered the chance to put together a second team when Monroe Jefferson didn’t field a boys’ team this year.
“We didn’t play to have two squads in the beginning of the year,” Hicks said. “We figured we’d run our normal squad. We found out about Jefferson on the day of our first match. We tied to split them up so we could get guys the ability to bowl every day instead of rotating in. Everybody goes to every match. The kids love it. They all get to bowl varsity. It’s been great for us too.”
The Maroon team is 8-5 and has sewed up third place behind Huron and Carleton Airport. The six bowlers – seniors Justin Ruloff and Garrett Bow and sophomores Jake Ciesla, Anthony Prior, Christian Dudek and Logan Parr – have the second highest team average (867) in the league and have the second highest game (1034) and two-game series (1967).
Ruloff, who is averaging 201, and Prior, who is averaging 176, are tied for the second best individual series (480) and Prior has the second highest game (278).
Ciesla is averaging 188, followed by Dudek (155), Parr (155) and Bow (152).
The Gold team hasn’t had as much success in the league (5-6-1), but the Gold team actually an older team and the two teams had a hard-fought battle when they faced each other earlier in the season.
Members of the Gold team are seniors Alan Doll (165 average), Austin Cybulski (157), Luke Gardner (141) and Luke Everingham (128), junior Korey Thomas (158), sophomore Eric Engler (122) and freshman Steven Toth (118).
The two-team system “has worked out so well,” Hicks said. “We have so many hard workers. Some of the guys on the gold team were newer guys. James Gardner, Eric Engler and Korey Thomas are all new. They all just improved a ton this year. Each of them has gone up 15 to 35 pins since our first practice.”
Members of the two teams practice together and are very competitive, the coach said.
“It’s been like one big team practicing and working together,” Hickes said. “They help each other out. We’re definitely seeing the results.”
Ruloff agreed. He said the team is “more focused” and has the mindset needed to win.
“It’s been a very team-oriented year,” he said. “I don’t think we won five matches last year. This year, we (Marooon) have only lost five and have a chance to end my senior year 9-5. We’re two pins behind Huron for the best series. And they’re going to be good next year.
“We all practice together and we’re all close. We get along really well. We push each other. I’m very competitive. I don’t like to miss spares.”
No one will be more motivated during the regional tournament than Ruloff, who missed qualifying for last year’s state finals by four pins. As a freshman, Ruloff missed finishing in the regional top 10 by 11 pins.
“I want to win (regionals),” the left-hander added. “We practice on the (middle-of-the-road) lane conditions that will help us at regionals. We’re going to work on the shots that people miss the most often: the single- and double-pin spares.
“I’m looking to win this with the team. Spares will be the key for the regionals. Not everyone is going to bowl 10 strikes in a row. It’s all about the spares.”
Having the team advance to the state finals along with at least three or four individual bowlers from Riverview “would be awesome,” he said.
“Everyone likes to win in all sports,” Ruloff said. “We want to win. That’s our goal. We don’t like to be on the losing side. We like to have fun, but our goal is to win.”
Ruloff said he has bowled in about 80 tournaments. A couple weeks ago, he and Ciesla made it to the round of 16 in a 76-team high school doubles tournament at Merri Bowl Lanes in Livonia – an impressive showing.
“We’ve got to be better than last year,” he said. “I just have to make my spares. I’m going. I’m not losing. My mindset is making it to states. If everyone makes good shots, we’ve got a good chance” as a team, as well.
The Riverview girls team is tied for sixth place with Dundee in the Huron League varsity girls division. Airport has clinched at least a tie for first with one match to go on Tuesday.
Five of the nine girls on the team are seniors: Parker Williams, Jessica Meyer, Katie Suyak, Amanda Barr and Melissa Michalek.
The only junior on the team, Sam DellaPella, is in her third year of varsity bowling. DellaPella’s 160 average is not only the highest on the team, it’s the fifth best in the Huron League.
Sophmores Makayla Hollins and Rebecca Michalek and freshman Michayla Acton round out the team. Acton’s 117 is the second highest average on the team.
Last Updated: 2/15/2013 10:33:26 PM EST