By Chris Chaney
A banner season for the Glen Este boys’ and girls’ bowling teams came to an end this past weekend as both were unable to advance to the state tournament from the districts at Beaver-Vu Lanes in Beavercreek, Ohio.
The district tournament turned out to be more stressful than the Trojans’ originally assumed with the cancellation of the girls’ tournament due to weather on Friday.
“We got our mentality up and everyone’s on the same wave length and then things start to change,” Demarko said. “Tension builds among the kids and they try to figure out how they’re going to do this or how they’re going to do that. And we’re worrying about how we’re going to get cars there and kids there because we know if we’re not there and they don’t cancel it, they’ll go without us.”
The girls’ tournament ended up being postponed until Monday, Feb. 25, but the stress that went into the uncertainty set the tone for a hectic stretch for Glen Este.
The boys’ tournament went off as scheduled on Saturday with the Trojans bowling a 3,786, which placed them 17th overall.
Individually, the boys were led by senior Tyler Clark who bowled a 565 series that left him 101 pins out of individually qualifying.
Blake Huber, a junior, bowled a 546, but Demarko said that he was a little off his game because he couldn’t get the pattern down pat with the type of heavy ball he was throwing.
When the girls finally bowled Monday morning, they ended with a 3,597, which landed them a 13th-place finish.
Individually, the Lady Trojans were led by junior Haley Vogelsong who bowled a 599 series, an agonizing 10 pins shy of qualifying for state individually.
Demarko said that a 10-count here or there or a spare could have made the difference for Vogelsong.
Leslie Campbell, another junior, bowled a 537, but, similar to Huber, had trouble getting down the patterns of the lanes with the heavy ball she was throwing.
Despite falling short on their goal of making it to state, head coach Kathy Demarko says that the teams have plenty to be proud of.
“Two ECC championships,” Demarko said of how she’ll remember this year. “In fact, I texted (athletic director Dan) Simmons and told him sorry we couldn’t move on and he texted me back, ‘great season, two championships,’ and he’s right, we should look at it that way.”
Glen Este will lose five seniors to graduation this year, but Demarko says their adage of reloading, not rebuilding will stay true.
“We’re losing Amber Walters, Erin Hunley, Katlyn Fite, Justin Taylor and Tyler Clark,” she said. “Those are our seniors, but we like to say next year we’re not rebuilding, we’re just reloading.”
The optimism of Demarko is verified by the talent that will return for the Trojans next year. On the boys’ team, Blake Huber returns after leading the ECC in average and being named the Bowler of the Year. He will be buffeted by fellow junior Ryan Stroup who was also named to the First Team All-Conference.
On the girls’ side, Bowler of the Year Leslie Campbell and fellow First Team All-Conference selections Haley Vogelsong and Gabby Ruehlman will also return.
The returning talent coupled with the up-and-coming additions of bowlers from the Glen Este junior varsity team will keep the Trojans atop or near the top of the conference as well as the area.
For Demarko and the team, the goal remains the same.
“The goal never stops,” Demarko said. “I want these kids to set these records for the rest of their life so they can look back 25 years from now and say when I was in high school, this is what I did.”