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BOWLING: Huron bowlers feel time is now (PHOTO)

The turnout for bowling was so high at Huron High School, the school formed two boys' teams and a girls' team. Photo by Dave Gorgon

This season, Josh Coffee became the first four-year varsity bowler at Huron High School.

Coffee was a freshman when Coach Larry Collins formed the bowling program in 2010. He wants his senior season to be his most memorable. He says with confidence that a state championship is within the realm of possibility.

“We’re really good this year,” Coffee said. “We won the Huron League the past two years. We won regionals two years ago and came in third last year. Every year, we do decent at states, but we haven’t won that yet. We have good all-around bowlers and multiple bowlers who can average 200 with ease.”

In its fourth year, bowling has become such a strong and popular sport at the high school. Tryouts drew so many good bowlers that Coach Collins formed two boys’ varsity teams and a girls team in the Huron League, along with junior varsity teams, and had to turn away 10 more bowlers.

Coffee is one of eight members of the Huron Red team, the only undefeated (4-0) squad in the conference. Eight more boys compete on the Huron White team, which is in a three-way tie for second place (3-1). There are enough bowlers at Huron to form a third boys team for tournaments, if need be.

“‘In it to win it,’ is our theme,” Collins said. “I think we’ve got a very good chance of going deep in the (state) tournament. If the boys stay focused and stay on track and continue to practice and meet their goals, I think we’ll have a very good run in states.”

Goal one is to win the league. Huron Red has decisive wins over Milan Red, Flat Rock, Dundee and Carleton Airport and leads the conference in total pins (7,698) and team average (962, an average of 192 per bowler). The Chiefs also own the league’s high team game (1,062) and two-game series (2,072).

Three members of Huron Red are averaging above 200. Junior Tony Leo, who competed in the Junior Olympics, has the Huron League’s high average (225), second highest game (268) and second best series (480). Collins called Leo the biggest competitor he has seen in his four years of coaching and “would be surprised if he didn’t shoot 300 this year.”

Coffee and junior Jeremy Bonner are each averaging 201. Bonner is the son of Assistant Coach Terry Bonner and younger brother of T.J. Bonner, who finished second in the state tournament in 2011. Senior Anthony Munoz, the Chiefs’ vocal leader, carries a 193 average.

No one on the Red team is averaging below 175. Senior Chris Ross (187 average), junior Austin Cole (185), sophomore Zac Scicluna (178) and freshman Tyler White (175) round out the team. Scicluna and White are the younger brothers of former Chiefs standouts Tyler Scicluna and Paul White.

After a season-opening loss to Flat rock, the Huron White team has victories over Milan Black, Riverview and Dundee.

The Huron White team is averaging 867 a game. Senior Kyran Bennett, in his third varsity season, leads the way with a 192 average. Sophomore Josh Varcie, who shot a 256 against Flat Rock, averages 186. Junior Dan Hollis, one of the team’s power bowlers, is averaging 184.

Third-year seniors Dakota Pauwles (167), Shayne VanHooser (163) and Tim Kosikowski (159), sophomore Cody Farr (174) and freshman David Clark-Rose (143) also contribute. VanHooser missed last year with a broken leg, but has rebounded nicely.

Collins said the intense competition during practices at Flat Rock Lanes has really led to improvement throughout the program. It may be tough when the coach has to select a team to compete in the regional tournament as only eight bowlers can be picked.

Bowling with the junior varsity are sophomores Nick Umin, Vincent Niemi, Dunstin Yancy and Jose de Farias, an exchange student from Brazil, plus freshman T.J. Bordeau.

Despite having just one senior in the lineup, the Huron girls varsity squad is primed for its best year yet. The Chiefs are .500 heading into the Christmas break after wins over Milan Red and Dundee and losses to Flat Rock and Airport. The match with perennial powerhouse Flat Rock came down to the final frame, which game the Huron girls confidence, even in defeat.

“I think it’s our year this year,” said senior Sam Pappas, in her third year with the girls varsity team. “We’ve always been in the boys’ shadow. I think it’s our time to win the Huron League and go to states. A lot of girls have stepped up and come to their full potential.”

Huron already has the league’s high team Baker game score (189) and series (351), along with the second highest regular team game (864) and high series (1625).

Sophomore Brandy Wallace, the team’s anchor bowler, leads the Chiefs with a 179 average – and Collins expects big things from her. Junior Madison Simmers, the lead-off bowler, is averaging 161 in her third year with the team. Pappas, one of the bowlers to get a new ball, is averaging 160.

Rounding out the seven-girl varsity team are juniors Julie Gentis (156), Holly Sysol (134), Jamie Nickell (131) and Miranda Beltran (124).

Other girls in the program are Baylee Tockstein, Brianna Pischke, Kara Yeramian, Ashleigh Apel, Mackenzie Glinski, Madison Klotz, Katie Pritula and Marion Turner.

“Across the board, the girls are substantially better,” Collins said. “I could tell they practiced over the summer. They’re hungrier. There is no reason not to expect to win. I’d really like to see this team compete hard in states. They’ve got the ability, knowledge and determination to make a qualifying run at states.”

NOTEBOOK: Huron will compete in four tournaments this year with the boys seeking to defend their championships in the Bowl for Burns and the Wayne County Invitational tournaments. The Chiefs also will bowl in their own inaugural Huron Holiday Classic all-Baker games tournament on December 28 and the Ladywood Tournament on January 4.

Earlier this week, Coach Collins received his 22nd ring for bowling an 800 series. He recently shot 251, 290 and 279 – good for an 820 series – in a men’s league at Roosevelt Lanes in Allen Park. Collins also has bowled 55 perfect 300 games.


Last Updated: 12/20/2013 3:21:20 PM EST

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