WJ Bowling strikes a noteworthy season

North Coast League recognizes Walsh Jesuit talent

Jessica Huth, Staff Writer

The Warrior bowlers have been racking up strikes and spares since the ’90s when the men’s and women’s bowling teams were first organized by then English teacher Mr. Tom Cardone. Since the beginning, they have continued to work hard and stay competitive.

The women’s season ended last year with an overall average above five hundred.  While only returning two bowlers, Coach Karen Forfia and the team recognize this is a rebuilding year. Seven new girls joined, many playing multiple sports.

Marissa Bradley, soccer star and second year bowler, currently holds the highest average. Allie Drake (’17), a softball player and first-time bowler, described just what made her decide to give the sport a try: “I joined the bowling team because Mr. Dodds made it sound like so much fun, and I decided that there is nothing wrong with trying something new.” She added, “My hopes are that we have a better record than last season and improve every match. I also hope that we become closer as a team and as friends.” Allie and sophomore Annie Simpson were recently named to the North Coast League Second Team.

(Nick Cammett)
Senior Michael Presby prepares to load up the scoreboard for his team at a recent match.

The boys finished last season strongly with an 11- 1  record and won their conference for the first time. Head Coach Walter Dodds, awarded Coach of the Year by the North Coast League, stated, “We fell short in terms of advancing in the tournament, and that’s something we need to fix for this year. We have the talent to move on; we just have to put it together on the right day.”

With a record of 8 – 0, winning the North Coast League and placing first in the Akron-Summit Conference, the team may well surpass last year’s performance.

Many of the bowlers on the men’s team have been bowling for several years. Captain of the team as well as the top bowler with an average of 221, Chad O’Connor (’17) noted, “My hope is that we go undefeated this season and break school records.” Chad, named MVP of the North Coast League, was also honored with placement on the League’s First Team along with teammates James McConnaughey (’20) and senior Anthony Sicurezza.

Bowling, as weird as it seems, is actually a great experience. It’s so fun and easy going!”

— Allie Drake

Many at Walsh should note that the bowling team uses Legend Lanes, which is right around the corner from WJ, for their home matches.  When asked what he would like to tell the school community, Chad only had two words:  “Come support!” Head Coach Dodds, responding to the same question, stated, “We have fun, so if someone is looking for an activity to have fun. We take anyone who has any type of talent, from beginner to kids who have bowled since they were four. We want kids to have an experience and be involved. We are flexible in our schedule and allow kids to miss a day if needed.”

Allie Drake no doubt expressed the feeling of many of her teammates when she said, “Bowling, as weird as it seems, is actually a great experience. It’s so fun and easy going! The coaches are amazing, and it’s a great way to meet new people and just have an all-around good time.”

(Nick Cammett)                             Marissa Bradley (’17) shows perfect bowling form.