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Hoban boys bowling team relying on mix of youth, experience

1/24/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

AKRON — Head coach Dennis Holodnak said this year’s Archbishop Hoban High School boys bowling team is a “very close-knit group.”

“They’re a really good group of boys,” he said. “They’ve come together really good as a team. It’s easy to work with them because they’re such a good group.”

Through Jan. 20, the team was 7-7 overall and 4-6 in the Greater Summit Conference. Holodnak said the team has done well — especially considering how many players are gone from last season.

“After last year, we graduated seven seniors. This year, we’ve got four seniors and only one bowled [for the varsity team] last year,” he said. “One of the other seniors bowled for us two years ago, and the third senior hasn’t bowled at all in high school.”

The team’s returning senior is team captain Jimmy Ciotola.

“Jimmy’s been with the bowling program for four years,” Holodnak stated. “He bowled varsity the last two years, and he’s pretty much the team leader right now. He probably has the highest team average right now at 174.”

Senior Michael Lantz is back with the team after a year off from the sport.

“Mike bowled his freshman and sophomore years, but didn’t bowl in his junior year,” the coach said. “He came back this year and we’re kind of glad of it, because Mike’s a real good bowler. He’s averaging about 171, and he has the second high game for the team with 233.”

Senior Oliver Esmile is in his first year with the team.

“Oliver is the high average on the team with a 177 average. He has a high game of 235, and he has the high series for three games with 647,” Holodnak said. “He’s really a student of the game. He really works hard on improving, and he really tries to make the right adjustments. He’s to the point now where he can come to me and tell me what he thinks his adjustment should be, and he’s usually right on.”

The team’s final senior is Tim Keane, who is in his first year on the varsity squad.

“He averages about 162. He’s tied with Oliver with a high game of 235,” the coach said. “He’s been a four-year bowler, and he’s kind of steady at his game. He works real hard.”

The entire team has gotten better as the season has progressed, Holodnak said.

“Last year, we had a pretty good team because we had a lot of seniors that had three and even four years of varsity experience,” he said. “This year, we have the four seniors and then three sophomores and even a freshman on the team. And they’re getting better every week. The improvements are really starting to show now that we’re in the last month of the season.”

Holodnak said two sophomores, Devin Angels and Matt Caprez, are “pretty much full-time varsity bowlers.”

In addition, he said, one sophomore, Brandon Becker, and one freshman, Drake Jeffries, “rotate between the varsity and junior varsity teams.”

“I bring them up as we need them,” the coach said.

According to Holodnak, the team will spend the remainder of the regular season “trying to get everybody improved for the sectional tournament.”

“We want to get one of the spots so we can move on to district,” he stated.

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