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Members of the Southgate Anderson varsity bowling team gather for a team photo. In the front row are Joey Devereaux (left), Caitlynn Muzzey, Natasha Nelson, Makayla Hollins and Alec Pittman. In the back row are Assistant Coach Jim Yoos (left), Blake Ciantar, Tyler Fults, Ryan Merchak, Andrew Yoos, Rosolino Mannino, Cody Korbal, Jacob Pinkoson and Coach Sean Sevrence.
BOWLING: Titan bowlers focus on goals near and far (PHOTO)
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As the 2013-2014 varsity bowling season winds down, members of the Southgate Anderson High School team are focused on the near future and beyond.
Senior Caitlynn Muzzey wants to bowl well enough in Friday’s regional tournament to qualify for the Division 1 state finals the following weekend. She fell 12 pins short a year ago.
Senior Ryan Merchak would like to finish among the top 10 in the regional tournament to make his second straight appearance in the state finals.
Junior Marissa Williams would like to have enough bowlers for a full girls team next season for her senior year. There are only four girls on this year’s team – one shy of the minimum starting lineup.
And sophomore Tyler Fultz would like to earn a bowling scholarship, bowl in college and – with hard work and dedication – turn pro one day.
Like the goals, the season has been a mixed bag for the Titans. The boys had a balanced attack and finished 2-4 in the Downriver League and 5-6 overall. The girls had some quality individual performances, but with only four bowlers, they didn’t have enough scores to compete on an even playing field.
Coach Sean Sevrence said bowlers on both the boys and girls squads have shown improvement.
“All I try to do is reinforce filling your frames,” Sevrence said. “The scores will take care of themselves. There is no defense, right? If you put your best out there, the other teams have to beat you. Make adjustments and do the best you can.”
Boys anchor bowler Merchak has the high average on the team, 194. He and fellow senior Rosolino Mannino (181) – in his first year with the team – are the only two in their final season of prep bowling.
Freshman Blake Ciantar (182) won the most head-to-head games: 10. Also eligible to return next season are junior Cody Korbal (173), sophomores Andrew Yoos (186), Tyler Fultz (171) and Joey Devereaux (162) and freshman Jake Pinkoson (179) and Alec Pittman (145). Korbal is in his third year with the team. Pinkoson’s 246 game was one of the highlights of the season.
“Everyone has improved from last year,” said Fultz, who also is the team cheerleader. “We almost beat Wyandotte and they finished tied for first. Hopefully, our whole team can make the state finals. We have a strong team.”
Merchak, in his third year of bowling, is the best individual hope in the regionals. Last year, he tied for 10th and won a roll-off to advance to the state finals.
“I think I can do it,” he said. “I’ve just got to stay focused and do what I did last year.”
With only four members, the girls team has been frustrated. The Titans have come close to victory a couple times, even with just one less girl in the lineup.
Muzzey’s 160 average led the team. She also scored a team-high 14.5 points in head-to-head games vs. the opponents’ best bowlers. The other three girls are juniors: Williams (118), Natasha Nelson (138) and Makayla Hollins (111).
“We kind of maintain our composure and try to stick it out,” Muzzey said. “We take it one shot at a time, like the coach says.”
The senior anchor said she likes her chances in the regional tournament. In her third year with the team, Muzzey has fond memories of when the Titans advanced to the state finals in her sophomore year.
“If I keep shooting the way I am, I think I’ll make it,” Muzzey said. “I’ve got to fill my frames, not get flustered and do my best. I’m very confident in myself. I know I can place in the top 10 and dominate in states.”
With only three girls eligible to return next season, Williams hopes more Anderson students join the bowling team to give the Titans a chance.
“It’s beyond frustrating,” Coach Sevrence said. “The girls are bowling great. There are several matches they just lost – even with only four out of five. We’re just missing a body.”
Williams said it’s not all about winning and losing.
“I always want to come out and have fun,” she said. “Even with four bowlers, we have motivation to do better. It’s a lot of fun, actually.”
NOTEBOOK: Coach Sevrence competes in the Key Bank Traveling Classic in the Toledo area. He recently bowled his 17th 300 game to go along with 14 800 series.
His son Spencer is a chip off the old block. At age 16, he bowled a 300 game (he has three perfect games) and an 868 series in a junior travel league.
Sean said Spencer (now 17) trusts dad’s coaching, has a “fantastic skill set” and great eye-hand coordination.
Last Updated: 2/14/2014 1:44:30 PM EST