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Springfield boys bowling team wins PTC tournament

2/13/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

SPRINGFIELD — Although the Springfield High School boys bowling team’s overall record of 5-10 and league record of 3-6 leave room for improvement, the team was able to win the Portage Trail Conference (PTC) Metro Division tournament Feb. 1.

Head coach Bill Burket said his players have done a tremendous job of improving throughout the season, and that continued improvement culminated in the league tournament title.

“I have a very young team — two juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen — and it has taken us a while to come together, to gel together. We had a shaky start to the season, but the kids are starting to get comfortable with each other, and I think it’s shown in our past few matches,” he said. “We were able to put it all together and bowl well in the tournament. It took some of our best games to do it.”

According to Burket, the tournament win was a first for the boys program. Heading into the season, the coach said he saw the chance of pulling off the win as more of a possibility than a goal.

“It was a goal of ours to do well, and we thought that if the kids came together, that hopefully we could compete,” he said. “One of our assistant coaches [Rob Crihfield] has coached these kids in the younger leagues, and he said at the beginning of the year, ‘They have the capability to win the tournament, if they come together.’ I expected us to compete at the beginning of the year, but I also knew the league would be rough — thus our record of 3-6. But we just saw improvement all the way through the year, and our scores this year were way higher than last year.”

Key to the team’s success, Burket said, has been the play of sophomore Colton Riddle and freshman Zak Williams.

“Colton’s a left-hander, and he is pushing a 200 average now. I think his average is like 199.5. He was junior varsity last year and started bowling varsity this year. He’s just been pretty much on fire this year. It has been a vast improvement over last year,” the coach said. “Zak is our anchor bowler during Baker games, and his average is around 197. To me, he’s like our grinder. He’s very consistent. Colton comes in with the big popping scores, and Zak sticks right around 210, 220, 205 — I just can consistently count on him to be in that range.”

The team’s No. 3 and 4 bowlers in terms of average, Burket said, have been juniors Matt Riddle and Mason Pastorius.

“Matt has our high series this year. He has a lot of potential, and I just have to keep reminding him that he can do it. He has the capability as long as he remains positive in himself,” the coach said. “Mason is another one who is consistent. I can count on him to get a 180 or a 190, and then he’ll pop a big game in there every once in a while.”

Burket said his team is looking forward to seeing how they can build on winning the league tournament going forward — starting with the sectional tournament Feb. 15 at noon at Midway Lanes in Akron.

“The guys’ games have really matured as the year has gone on, so we’re looking forward to the tournaments coming up — the state tournament, sectionals and all that — and hopefully moving on,” the coach said. “We’ve never moved on in the sectionals, so we’re hoping we can do well there, too, and then move on.”

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