There is some uncertainty surrounding the Reynoldsburg High School boys bowling team as it attempts to make it to the district tournament.

There is some uncertainty surrounding the Reynoldsburg High School boys bowling team as it attempts to make it to the district tournament.

The Raiders lost their two most experienced bowlers from last season in Scott Thielson and Cameron Mitchell. Thielson was 17th in the state tournament last year and Mitchell was a district qualifier.

"With them gone I began to wonder," said coach Richard Reiter, whose team is 4-2 and will compete Tuesday at HP Lanes against Mifflin and Wednesday at Eastland Lanes against Groveport. "We don't have any seniors. The potential is there, but that potential has to be developed and you don't get that much time to practice."

This year's team features a starting lineup that includes four juniors and a sophomore. To help ease the loss of the graduates, the team was able to recruit junior Jeff Clugston, who in his first season has a 180 average. Also on the team are juniors Matt Kershaw, Josh King, Cody Rardin and D.J. Roberts. John Meyers, a sophomore, was on the team last year.

Kershaw and Roberts competed in the Rainbow Lanes sectional last year as Reynoldsburg rolled a 3, 405 to finish 11th. The top seven teams advanced to the district tournament including champion Westerville South (3,810).

After the match against Whitehall on Dec. 18 -- the Raiders won 2,075-1,953 with Kershaw as medalist (386) -- King led the team with an average of 186 followed by Meyers (183), Clugston (180), Roberts (177), Kershaw (175) and Rardin (174).

Whitehall was a state qualifier two years ago and a district qualifier last year. The Raiders bowled a season-high score in a 2,443-1,262 win over South.

"Follow any of the linescores with teams like Whitehall or Pickerington North and (2,443) tells us that we have the potential to bowl that kind of score," Reiter said. "That's what the big rollers roll, so the potential is there. The element of the mental focus and not to get stressed out and being able to move and adjust has to be there, too."

•Last season was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the girls team, but Becca Bagwell rolled 12 strikes in a row in the district tournament to propel her to the state tournament.

After losing one graduate, the Raiders, who have opened 4-1, can pick a starting lineup from a group of experienced returnees.

Bagwell, who rolled a 421 to finish 82nd in the state tournament as Kettering Fairmont's Jennifer Grady won (730), leads a group of seniors that also includes Simone Ison and Dena Thompson. Also on the team are juniors Danielle Martin and Lauren Poalcek and sophomore Chelsea Boardman.

"All of the varsity bowlers this year are returning lettermen," said assistant Jean Martin, who oversees the girls team. "They are all very good bowlers with a lot of experience. They work very hard. When you have a well-rounded team you tend to have high expectations. Our goal every year is to be the very best we can be and ultimately go to the state tournament."

As a team the Raiders made it to the district tournament last season. They posted a team score of 3,981 to finish fifth as the top two teams -- Westerville South (2,528) and Buckeye Valley (2,457) -- advanced to state.

The Raiders competed in the sectional at Rainbow Lanes and finished sixth (2, 877) behind champion South (3, 041) as the top seven teams advanced.