Westerville South High School senior Zach Pannell represented the boys bowling team in the state tournament last season.
This season, he would like to compete there with his teammates.
His season so far has included his second 300 game sanctioned by the OHSAA during a 2,452-1,972 win over Hilliard Bradley on Dec. 13 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
"The boys team is bowling pretty well," Pannell said. "It's not the same going to state when you go by yourself. It's always better as a team because you have them behind you. We just have to keep making our spares, throw good shots, keep calm and do well."
Pannell's other OHSAA-sanctioned 300 game came as a sophomore during district play at HP Lanes.
"I wasn't surprised," seventh-year coach Jamie West said. "Zach is capable of knocking down a lot of pins."
Last season, Pannell finished 29th (587) of 119 bowlers at state, behind champion Danny Simmons (702) of Warren Champion.
Other returnees are juniors Mikhael Barr, D-Andre Curenton, Adam Henson, John Levakis and Ian Strapp. Juniors Dalton Akers and Logan Hypes competed on junior varsity last season.
Other bowlers are juniors Bryan Barlow and Rick Whitehead, sophomore Brandon Loggins and freshman J.J. Price.
"Our boys team is pretty strong," West said. "I could see this team advancing to state if they bowl like they are capable."
After losing to Westerville North 2,267-2,130 in its opening Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-North Division match Dec. 4, South won five consecutive matches, including against Bradley, before facing Hilliard Davidson on Jan. 2.
The Wildcats also defeated Delaware 2,336-2,148 on Dec. 6, Olentangy 2,245-1,912 on Dec. 12, Olentangy Orange 2,420-2,325 on Dec. 17 and Big Walnut 2,351-1,983 on Dec. 18. They were 5-1 overall and 4-1 in the COHSBC-North.
South won the Holiday Baker Marathon on Dec. 8 at Columbus Square Bowling Palace, defeating Fairport Harding 438-397 in the final. They were 16th in the 30-team Invitational Kickoff Tournament on Dec. 1 at Columbus Square, behind champion Fairport Harding.
Last season, South won (3,916) the 28-team sectional at Eastland Lanes and finished fourth (3,764) in the 18-team district tournament at HP Lanes behind Jonathan Alder (3,962), North (3,884) and Whitehall (3,769) as the top three teams and top three individuals not on a qualifying team advanced to state.
Pannell was first (689) at district.
South finished third (10-2) in the COHSBC-North behind co-champions North and Jonathan Alder (11-1) and tied North and Westerville Central for first (4-1) in the OCC-Cardinal ahead of Big Walnut (1-4), Delaware (1-4) and Gahanna (1-4).
North off to strong start
North improved to 5-0 overall by beating Watterson 1,971-1,781 on Dec. 28.
After defeating South, the Warriors beat Hilliard Darby 2,193-2,165 on Dec. 11, Olentangy Liberty 2,312-2,153 on Dec. 13 and Watterson 2,029-1,928 on Dec. 17. They are 3-0 in the COHSBC-North.
North opened the season by finishing 29th in the Invitational Kickoff Tournament.
Back are seniors Mathew Patterson and Markus Patterson and junior Austin Farmer.
Junior Nickolas Pannell and sophomore Dylan Henthrone were on j.v. last season. Senior Jack Hanselman returns after not competing last season.
"The boys all seem to be about the same average and they seem to be consistent," fifth-year coach Dean Dabe said. "That's what I'm looking for."
Last season, North finished fourth (3,928) in the 24-team sectional at Columbus Western Bowl behind champion Jonathan Alder (4,020), second at district and 14th (3,204) at state behind champion Coldwater as 16 teams competed.
The Warriors tied Jonathan Alder for first in the COHSBC-North and tied Central and South for first in the OCC-Cardinal.
Central looks to build on sectional finish
Central returns four bowlers who helped the team tie Groveport for second (3,647) in the Eastland Lanes sectional last season behind champion South.
Back are juniors Michael Spiers, Conor Starkey and C.J. Whiting and sophomore Marcus Gonce.
Seniors Chris Burke, Beemer Emery, Chris Lutz and Corey Walls and juniors Connor Griffith, Dorian Kellum, Tim O'Donnell and Will Rorris competed on j.v. last season.
The team also includes junior Mohammad Siddiqui and freshmen Brandon Bainum, Austin Bleiweiss, Alex Borowitz, Connor Borowitz and Nick Carpenter.
"I have a young boys team," seventh-year coach Julie Wells said. "They are getting better every day. They know that they have a lot of work ahead of them."
Central opened by finishing 30th in the Invitational Kickoff Tournament.
After losing to Olentangy 2,075-2,028 on Dec. 5 and Bradley 2,176-2,103 on Dec. 11, Central defeated Worthington Christian 2,255-1,728 on Dec. 13 and Delaware 2,166-2,043 on Dec. 20 to stand at 2-2 overall and 1-2 in the COHSBC-North.
Central was 11th (2,844) in the Holiday Baker Marathon.
Last season, the Warhawks were eighth (3,627) at district, fourth (9-3) in the COHSBC-North and tied North and South for first in the OCC-Cardinal.