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Springfield boys bowling team working to improve consistency

12/26/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield High School boys bowling head coach Bill Burket said a key strength for his team this season is its overall balance.

“I have seven players on varsity, and we have a senior, two juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen,” he said. “And they’re all really into bowling.”

The lone senior on the team is Tyler Ross.

“He started out with me as a freshman and he’s improved every year,” the coach said. “He brings consistency and a positive attitude — kind of like a leadership ability. He’s a stabilizing force for the kids. He’s someone to look up to and he’s improved a lot, so kids who have been around him have seen that.”

The juniors on this year’s team are Matt Riddle and Mason Pastorius, both of whom are in their third years on the varsity team.

“They are just consistent for us,” Burket said. “Matt is a real good bowler, but he has been working on keeping his focus and not getting frustrated. Mason is steady. He’s not very emotional — there are no dips or highs. For the three years he’s been here, he’s probably been the most consistent kid I’ve had.”

Burket said sophomores Kasey Carson and Colton Riddle are both bowling well now, with plenty of room to improve.

“Casey bowled a little bit of varsity last year and kind of came on at the end. He has a lot of potential for the future. He just needs to be a little more consistent, and he’s working on that,” the coach said. “Colton is Matt’s brother. He has really come on this year after bowling all JV [junior varsity] last year. This year, he’s become one of my better bowlers. He’s a lefty and a real solid bowler. The coaches see him having a bright future.”

Burket said he also “sees a lot of bright things in the future” for freshmen Zak Williams and DJ Conley.

“Zak is left-handed and he’s probably my best bowler, actually, as a freshman. He has pretty much taken over the anchor spot in just about every baker game because I believe he makes the best adjustments and he has been the most consistent in the baker games,” the coach said. “DJ is solid; he just needs more work. He bowls every match, as he’s usually my first sub in. I think he’s going to help us a lot in the future.”

Springfield won one of its first three games in the Portage Trail Conference and one of seven games overall, but Burket said he has seen plenty of reasons to be confident about the way his team is bowling.

“We’ve been bowling pretty well as far as our scores, but we’ve gone up against some stiff competition,” he said. “I think we’ve bowled better than I expected, and I’m seeing improvement. We have a lot of young kids, but it seems like the kids are starting to take it a little more seriously. I think they have improved at seeing how critical every game is.”

Despite the slow start, Burket said he believes Springfield can compete for the league title this year.

“I think we can beat anyone on any date, depending how we show up,” he said. “I expect the kids to compete for the title. As a boys team, we have not moved on in the tournament, but I think the boys hope, and I hope, that we can do that this year. I think we have the ability to do it; we just need our consistency to be better. Overall, our scores are better than they have been in the past.”

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