With only two varsity performers returning to the St. Charles Preparatory School bowling team, first-year coach Nelson Thomas has taught the basics to his players and now they are working to improve their skills.
Senior Noah Thomas and sophomore Ryan Siesel return from a team that finished 9-7 overall last season and placed eighth (9-6) of 16 teams in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-Central Division behind champion Ready (14-1).
"They are pretty much all beginners except Noah and Ryan and (sophomore) Marcus (Galeano), who played j.v. last year and is playing there again," said coach Thomas, who is assisted by former professional bowler Bill Pritchett. "Bill and I have been working with them and they are starting to turn things around. They have been doing a lot better. They have a good idea of what to do, and now we work at honing their skills."
The Cardinals are 2-2 overall and in the COHSBC-Central after defeating Haugland Learning Center 1,870-1,171 on Dec. 19.
Noah Thomas is a fourth-year bowler who led the Cardinals with a 192.5 average and a high game of 236 through three matches. Freshman Dave Downey had the second-best average at 178.8 with a high game of 202.
Senior Daniel Munsell averaged 172.0 with a high game of 212, and senior Wayne Beltz averaged 155.7 with a high game of 172. Siesel averaged 127.3 and had a high game of 150. Junior Sam McQuade and freshman Patrick Sprigler also have competed in varsity matches.
The roster is rounded out by seniors Andrew Barlage and Nathan Horton.
"We're working with them on picking up spares," said coach Thomas, who was an assistant for three seasons under six-year coach Michael Warner. "We're not worried about getting strikes as much as getting 10 spares. If you get 10 spares, you roll a 190 and that's doing well."
The Cardinals opened Dec. 4 by losing to DeSales 2,160-2,101 as Noah Thomas led the team with a 360 series and a 190 game.
On Dec. 9, they lost to Columbus Academy 1,822-1,554 as Downey led the team with a 394 series and Munsell's 212 was the high game.
Noah Thomas was medalist with a 453 series -- he also had the high game of 236 -- in a 1,965-1,934 win over Ready on Dec. 12.
Hockey team wins nine of first 10
The hockey team was 9-1 overall and 5-1 in the Capital Hockey Conference before playing DeSales on Dec. 20, Olentangy Orange on Dec. 21 and Thomas Worthington on Dec. 22.
The team's only loss came in a 4-1 decision to Dublin Jerome on Nov. 23.
"We've been moving the puck fairly well, and we have been doing a good job of finishing," coach Rob Sangster said.
"I think we have had good goaltending and when you have good goaltending, things go well for you."
Ryan Cleary, Clayton Klosz, Daniel Schirtzinger and Jacob Weikert all scored in a 4-0 win over Olentangy Liberty on Dec. 13. Goaltender Alex Ward had 12 saves.
Ryan Brady, Jack Cleary and Mitch Wade all scored and Ward had 18 saves to lead the Cardinals to a 3-1 win over Dublin Coffman on Dec. 14.
Klosz scored three times and Jack Cleary, William Knudson and Weikert had two goals each in a 16-0 win over Dublin Scioto on Dec. 15. Brady, Nicolas Carducci, Ryan Cleary, Elliot Cooke, Alec Organ, Schirtzinger and Wade all scored one goal.
The Cardinals are preparing for a pair of tournaments in northeastern Ohio: the Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit Warrior Shootout on Friday, Dec. 27, to Sunday, Dec. 29, at Kent State and the Brother James Memorial Tournament on Jan. 3-5 at Gates Mills Gilmour.
St. Charles won the Warrior Shootout last season, going 4-0 with wins over Hudson (4-0), Parma Padua (7-0), Shaker Heights (2-1) and Walsh Jesuit (2-1).
"Last year, I would have been the happiest guy in town to have gone 2-2 in that tournament, but we played really well and put together several good periods," Sangster said. "I hope to come out of the weekend (at Kent State) just being competitive and having played a good brand of hockey. The experience up there can only help us the rest of the season in league play."
On Jan. 3, the Cardinals play Cheektowaga (N.Y.) in the Brother James Memorial Tournament before playing Gilmour on Jan. 4. The schedule for Jan. 5 will be determined by points from results in the first two games.
Basketball team looks to rebound
The basketball team was 1-2 overall before playing Fairfield Union on Dec. 20, Gahanna Christian on Dec. 21 and Linden-McKinley on Dec. 23.
The Cardinals were 1-1 in the CCL after defeating DeSales 45-40 on Dec. 9 and losing to Ready 42-19 on Dec. 13.
Sean Hennessey led St. Charles with 19 points and Matt Hennessey had 11 against DeSales. Otis Smith scored seven points and Nick Pappa had five.
Against Ready, Sean Hennessey scored six points and Smith added five.
On Jan. 3, the Cardinals' CCL game at Watterson has been moved to 6 p.m. so it won't conflict with Ohio State playing in the Orange Bowl later that evening.