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BOWLING: Cabrini girls in search of third straight league crown (PHOTOS)
Members of the Cabrini High School girls bowling team gather at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park. Kneeling are Anna Randt (left), Amanda Onusko and Carolyn Ferraiuolo. Standing are Assistant Coach Matt Valerius, Mary Goodrich, Melanie Ryles, Jessica Resst, Alex Dickinson, Zoe Dickinson, Stassie Wickett and Coach Paul Ferraiuolo. Not present for the photo were Alexa VanScyoc, Jessica Campoy and Breanna Cotter.
Members of the Cabrini High School boys bowling team pose for a photo at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park. Kneeling are Matthew Knapp (left), Caleb Knapik, Jeremy Sobczak, Chris Tilley, Nathan Clemente, Lukas Knapik, Ryan Way and Evan Morton. Standing are Assistant Coach Matt Valerius, Vince Boscheratto, Declan McAfee, Kyle Way, Nick Pilkington, Jake Pilkington, Andrew Nagy, Andrew Ryles, Stephen Banghart, Joseph Clemente, John Adamkiewicz and Coach Paul Ferraiuolo
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The Cabrini High School girls’ bowling team is on pace for a third straight Catholic League championship. And the boys’ team is in second place with the league tournament just around the corner.
The Monarchs’ success may have had something to do with the growth in the popularity of varsity bowling at the school. This year, 12 girls and 19 boys are in the program, which may be designed for continued excellence for years to come.
Competition and camaraderie among the bowlers makes it a tight-knit group that wants to bowl well enough to crack the starting lineup of five girls and five boys.
The Cabrini girls are 10-0 to start the season with victories over top rivals Gabriel Richard and Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes coming last week – the second win over each this season.
The Monarchs not only have the league’s top team average by well over 100 pins 656), they have the high scratch game (802) and series (1483).
The Dickinson sisters own the league’s top two games and series. Freshman Zoe Dickinson leads off the Monarchs’ lineup and has the best series (393) and second-best game (289) in the league this year. Her sister, junior anchor Alex Dickinson, has the best scratch game (205) and second-best series (339). They also have the best averages in the league: Alex with a 163, Zoe with a 153.
But Cabrini’s success is truly a team effort as five Monarchs are ranked among the league’s nine best averages. Junior Mary Goodrich overcame off-season back surgery, rehabilitated her back, restructured her game and is “back” with a 143 average – fourth best in the league.
Teammate Melanie Ryles, the only senior in the starting lineup and the starting setter on Cabrini’s volleyball team, is in her first year on the bowling team and carries a 129 average. And junior Carolyn Ferraiuolo, who averages 126, is the team motivator, always shouting encouragement to her teammates.
Other girls on the team work hard in practice and make the most of their time in matches. Juniors Stassie Wickett (120) and Amanda Onusko (119) and senior Alexa VanScyoc (106) are knocking at the door of the starting lineup.
Rounding out the team are juniors Anna Randt (Cabrini’s No. 1 girls tennis player), Jessica Resst and Jessica Compoy, plus freshman Breanna Cotter.
Alex Dickinson, Goodrich and Ferraiuolo are three-year starters and continue to be the core of the team. Seventh-year Coach Paul Ferraiuolo (Carolyn’s father) said the three continue to show marked improvement this season and have increased their knowledge of the sport and how to excel under all conditions.
“This bunch has been together for awhile,” the coach said. “We have two freshmen and two seniors. The rest are all juniors. They came in as a group three years ago. They’re staying together, bowling and doing extremely well.”
Ferraiuolo and Assistant Coach Matt Valerius have a different approach to the game, telling the girls to concentrate on their bowling skills and not the scoreboard.
“I tell them not to look at the score sheet – that’s the coaches’ job,” Ferraiuolo said. “It helps them maintain their focus on bowling. Every time they bowl, we want them to execute their best shot. We stress that over and over again.”
The Cabrini boys have lost just twice – both times to first-place Gabriel Richard, the defending Division 4 state champions. The Monarchs’ last win over the Pioneers came in last year’s Catholic League tournament just before the state tourney got under way. They are 8-2 with four matches left on the regular-season schedule.
Cabrini has lost two state qualifiers to graduation in the last two years: Adam Chircop in 2012 and Mike Kuschel in 2013. The 2014 Monarchs are young, but maturing, according to their coach. There is only one senior on the varsity team and the starting five include two juniors and three sophomores, including two sets of brothers.
Twins Nick and Jacob Pilkington joined the team as freshmen, learned the game and as juniors they have two of the top averages on the team: 178 and 170, respectively. Ferraiuolo said they truly take advantage of practice time to hone their skills and put their coaches’ guidance into action. Nick’s 382 scratch series against Our Lady of the Lakes was the third best in the league that day.
Sophomore Declan McAfee made significant improvement at the end of last season. After missing the early part of this year with a hand injury, he has regained his form and is a key member of the team with a 170 average. Ferraiuolo said McAfee has developed a real passion for bowling and it shows. Two weeks ago, his 245 was the best game in the league that week.
Rounding out the starters are twin sophomores Ryan and Kyle Way, who are averaging 146 and 148, respectively. The Way brothers joined the team last year with plenty of experience and hit the ground running.
The 19-member boys team – believed to be the largest in school history – includes some surprises. Freshman Matthew Knapp is one of the most improved bowlers on the team, has been able to crack the starting lineup on occasion and is averaging 174.
Junior Lukas Knapik joined the team this year, has shown a natural form and has the ability to compete well on all lane conditions. He and brother Caleb, a sophomore, form the third brother set on the Monarchs.
The Cabrini bowling experience is quite the family affair with five sets of siblings on the roster. Junior Joseph Clemente and freshman Nathan Clemente are brothers. Sophomore Andrew Ryles is the brother of senior Melanie Ryles of the girls team.
Rounding out the boys team are senior Chris Tilley, juniors Evan Morton, Vince Boscheratto and Stephen Banghart, sophomores Jeremy Sobczak and Andrew Nagy and freshman John Adamkiewicz.
The coaches see good things ahead for the boys team.
“A great team like Riverview Gabriel Richard sets an excellent benchmark for us to look at,” Coach Ferraiuolo said. “They’ve really helped our team week in and week out as to defining the level of competition that is required to be an elite team. We’re not there yet on the boys’ side, but we’re moving in that direction.
“Our boys are great sportsmen, win or lose. They’re high-fiving their opponents and taking notes along the way. They’re learning. Those trying to crack the lineup know it takes consistency frame after frame, game after game, if you want to crack that lineup. Many, many are doing that work.”
Last Updated: 2/7/2014 2:36:22 PM EST