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Coventry boys bowling team looking to get past sectionals

2/6/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

COVENTRY — Coventry High School boys bowling head coach Steve Kinty said he is pleased to see the way his team is “coming around.”

“I’m happy with how we’ve played,” Kinty said.

Through Feb. 2, Coventry was 7-4 overall and 4-3 in the Portage Trail Conference (PTC) Metro Division, and the team finished fourth in the PTC tournament this past weekend.

“We’ve played in some tough matches this year,” the coach said. “The league is getting a little tougher, which it should be because we’ve got some good schools in there.”

The sectionals will get underway Feb. 15 at Midway Lanes in Akron, and Kinty said he will look to his seniors, Devin Elekes and Jacob Shondel, to continue to provide steadying influences for the team.

“Devin and Jacob have been my fourth and fifth bowlers, and they have done well. They have been able to handle pressure all season, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they do in the sectionals,” the coach said. “Devin’s had a 300 and a 299 so far this season during league play. I’m happy with how he’s played. And Jacob is my only two-handed bowler. He’s done extremely well. He wants the ball in his hand when it comes down to the ninth and 10th frame. He’s been able to handle the pressure. He’s shown a lot of guts. I really think that if he sticks with it after high school, he’ll do well.”

According to the coach, the team’s biggest surprise this year has been the play of freshman Daniel Thomas.

“Daniel’s averaging well,” he said. “No matter where we go, he’s averaging about a 180. I’ve been very pleased with him.”

In addition, Kinty said, three juniors have stepped up this season.

“Kyle Maneval, Trevor Williamson and Sam McKenzie have all done real well for me,” he stated. “They’ve turned their game. They are really working on their swing and their releases. They’re really coming around in understanding a lot of different things about the game, and I’m looking for really good things from them.”

In fact, Kinty said, the whole team is improving at learning the finer points of the game.

“They are also really understanding now how important spares are. It’s always been ‘the more strikes the better,’ but now they realize how important those spares are, because you aren’t always going to get strikes — especially when we go on the road with conditions they aren’t used to,” he said. “They’re really understanding the meaning of conditions, with the different lane surfaces and oil patterns, and the difference between the different types of bowling balls.”

The team next needs to work on “patience and staying calm,” Kinty said.

“They just need to make sure to keep their feet slow and stay patient with their swings,” he said. “They just need to keep calm and try not to force the swing. They’re learning to relax, but it’s tough to maintain that when you feel the pressure around you, and there’s a packed house in the sectionals. But they’ve done a great job and they’re getting better.”

Kinty said his team has a “high chance” of making some noise in the postseason.

“I would say we’ve got a good 80 percent of getting past the sectionals,” he said. “I really think we’ve got a chance to do it.”

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