Four Clermont County high schools, Amelia, Glen Este, Goshen, and Milford. have recently begun their respective campaigns in bowling.
“If I can keep them all healthy and academically eligible we’ll be very competitive in (the Cardinal Division of the Fort Ancient Valley Conference). I was really surprised. We did not get a lot of kids to come back this year.” said head coach Tony Kellerman.
“The five I’ve got are good, though.”
Leading the way will be Wes Lukemire, senior co-captain and four-year varsity team member, and Zac Vesting, junior co-captain, beginning his third year of varsity competition. Last year Lukemire averaged 195 and Vestring 170. This season, Kellerman expects them to both average in the 190-200 range.
Kellerman believes his Barons "have a real good shot to win our division."
Amelia has defeated Milford 2648-2212 in an inner-county, non league game. Partack led the Barons with 413 and Wenzlaff led the Eagles with 361. Partack rolled 388 in a 2605-2015 triumph over Kings and against the Knights the second time, Partack bowled 425 in a 2463-1999 victory. These were contests in the Fort Ancient Valley Conference Cardinal Division.
"If the girls continue to improve we could win the conference," said Kellerman.
The coach's daughter, Amber, senior co-captain, is the premier bowler for Amelia and one of the best in the Greater Cincinnati. She is the lone returnee among the top averages in the city a year ago. The four-year varsity member averaged 190 last year and this year is expected to average 225.
"She'll carry the team," said her coach.
Ashley Durel, a senior and three-year varsity member, is anticipated to be able to improve up to an average in the 160s from last season's 150. Senior Katie O'Leary averaged 155 a year ago and her coach suspects she may average in the 160s this season. Seniors Danielle Welch and Taylor Turner and freshman Alaina Simons round out the roster of a team their coach expects "should have a good season."
In a 2076-1795 win over Milford, Kellerman bowled 472 for the victors and McGeorge 322 for the vanquished. Kellerman tallied a 395 in a 1956-1619 verdict over Kings and in the return match the Blue and White won again 1758-1651 led by Kellerman's 399.
"I anticipate a great season. This may be the strongest team I've ever had," said coach Tom Huber "If they can learn to bowl outside of Cherry Grove Lanes we will be a force to be reckoned with. We could go to state."
The talented Trojans are being led by last year's leader, Dustin Brinson, a senior who sported a 216 average as a junior. He was the Fort Ancient Valley Conference Buckeye Division Bowler of the Year.
Great support is expected from senior Mike Jones who averaged 201, sophomore Jaek Pesnichak 208, junior Nick Pesnichak 170 (he is averaging 208 in the early-going this year), sophomore Zach Hayes 198, sophomore Paul Herdson 190, sophomore Nathan Franz 181, and junior Shane Leimberger 165.
"I expect a lot out of these kids. The future is bright. We can go as far as Dustin and Mike carry us, but by far this is the strongest team I've ever had. Our three goals are to win the league, the district, and the state."
The Trojans split with Loveland winning 2164-2068 and losing 2680-2583. Freshman Jarred Brewer knocked down 331 in the triumph and Brinson 470 in the tragedy. Northwest's Knights took the measure of GE 2880-2828 with Jones leading the Clermont Countians with a 475. All were battles in the Fort Ancient Valley Conference Buckeye Division.
"We should have a pretty good season," said coach Kathy DeMarko. "There are not a lot of high averages, but they have a lot of consistency."
Senior captain Katie Rowe is the leader with her 161 average of a year ago, Senior Sara Ziegler averaged 150 and junior Lori Davis 150.
They are expected to be receiving improving support from sophomore Lauren Gerber who averaged "about 160" last year, sophomore Hannah Ruehlman "about 140," and senior Kristina Brewer "about 130 on the reserve team." Sarah Rowe, a sophomore, has improved to a 130 this year from a 75 from last campaign.
"We'll be very competitive this year...This is a very diverse team. We have swimmers, soccer players, band members, and basketball players," DeMarko said.
The Trojans took Loveland 1961-1800 led by Davis' 307. In a 2307-1916 setback before Northwest, Davis led GE with a 325.
"They're doing well for a bunch of kids who most of them didn't know much about bowling at the beginning," said coach Shirley Reynolds of her Warriors who have won three of their first four contests.
The wins have come over Little Miami's Panthers, Milford, and Mount Healthy's Owls and the loss was to Loveland.
Ryan Reese has rolled the best single game total of 234 and Zach Gibson has a 218 to his credit. Cody Rodgers has the best average at 160 and Aaron Rogers and Garth Whitaker have been steadily improving. Reynolds expects good results from Tyler Pyles once he returns from recovering from a broken foot.
Rodgers knocked down 357 in a 2623-2199 loss to Loveland in non-conference competition.
The girls are seeking their first victory of the season have lost to the same four teams the boys have competed against.
"I'm hoping they keep getting better," said Reynolds who also coaches the distaff team.
Her top performers to date have been Sarah Barrial and Tiffany Meadors.
Barrial's 243 paced the Red and Gray in a 1875-1623 loss to Loveland.
"I expect we will have a pretty good season. All five of our starters are back," said coach Frank Ritzmann.
He described last year as "a learning experience" for his charges who finished the season with a 4-17 record.
The number-one Eagle veteran is junior Andrew Wenzlaff who averaged 169 last season. Senior Chris Hargraves averaged 155, sophomore Adam Edwards 154, sophomore Jason Ashcraft 136, and junior Jared Bussell 132.
Milford won both games over Kings 2248-1829 and 2302-1930. Wenzlaff knocked over 375 to led the Clermont countians in game one and Ashcraft did the same with his 368 in game two. These were non-division Fort Ancient Valley Conference games.
The defending sectional champion E-Gals are "very inexperienced" this season according to Ritzmann who coaches both varsity teams.
"They've been taking their lumps. Everyone on last year's team was a senior.
"I expect to be competitive by the end of the year."
A trio of the Red and White worked on their game during the summer. Samantha Higgins, a junior, improved from 122 to 148 with her practices. Kara Bough, a sophomore, improved from 113 to 148. Alyson McGeorge, a freshman, advanced to a 179 during the summer.
The E-Gals swept Kings 1821-1512 and 1831-1523. McGeorge's 324 paced the Red and White in game one and Higgins' 308 did the same in game two.