A new era has begun for the Worthington Kilbourne High School bowling teams.
For the first time since the program's inception three years ago, the Wolves have separate coaches for their boys and girls teams.
The past three seasons, Mike Mramor coached both teams simultaneously as they competed. Now he can focus on the boys team, as former Worthington Christian coach Susan Bond is coaching the girls squad.
"Mike and I have known each other for several years, and he asked me if I would be interested in coaching the girls," said Bond, whose team is 0-4 overall and in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-North Division after going 3-14 overall last season. "We get along well, and we have bounced ideas off each other, and that has helped with all three teams (including the boys junior varsity)."
The girls team has five members, including junior Joy Sun, who leads the team with a 146.9 game average. Junior Minori Mae has a 114.5 average, followed by junior Kyrie Barone (107.4), senior Lynn Tong (104.5) and sophomore Olivia Brady (100.3).
Sun led all competitors in a 1,160-1,098 loss to Hilliard Darby on Dec. 2 with a 150 game and a two-game 253 series and had a team-high series (325) and a team-high game (167) in a 1,977-1,145 loss to Olentangy on Dec. 9.
Sun also led Kilbourne in a 1,555-1,309 loss to Big Walnut on Dec. 11 and in a 1,361-1,347 loss to Olentangy Liberty on Dec. 13. She had a 287 series, including a high game of 156, against the Golden Eagles and had a 251 series, including a high game of 145, against the Patriots.
"For the most part, our players are relatively new to bowling, so we have the chance to be able to teach them the craft of it," said Bond, whose team opens OCC-Ohio Division play Saturday, Jan. 4, against Lancaster at Tiki Lanes. "Right now, Joy is the leader and she is like the team captain, per se.
"The girls have been having fun out there and that's what it's all about at the high school level. They are growing into the sport and they have good team camaraderie."
Lent, Mramor leading Wolves boys team
The Kilbourne boys team is 1-3 overall and in the COHSBC-North heading into its OCC-Ohio opener against Lancaster on Saturday, Jan. 4.
The Wolves returned their top two bowlers from last season in junior A.J. Lent and senior Alex Mramor.
Lent has a 199 game average and Alex Mramor is averaging 194.1, followed by senior Josh Toulmin (172.7), sophomore Matt Wilber (154), junior Diachi Mae (137.7) and sophomore Michael Wilber (129).
"I think we have some good firepower," coach Mramor said. "A.J. and Alex are our horses and Josh is in his fourth year with the program."
The Wolves lost to Darby 2,003-1,780 on Dec. 2 with Toulmin leading the team in series (327) and game (179) scores.
Lent led Kilbourne in its next two matches, rolling a 457 series, including a high game of 247, in a 2,365-2,199 loss to Olentangy on Dec. 9 and rolling a 458 series with a high game of 233 in a 2,128-1,973 win over Big Walnut on Dec. 11.
Kilbourne lost to Liberty 2,254-1,936 on Dec. 13.
Knox-led Thomas boys 'keep fighting'
The Thomas boys team was 0-4 overall and in the COHSBC-North before competing against Newark in its OCC-Ohio opener Dec. 30.
Through four matches, junior Johnny Knox had a team-high 180.6 game average, followed by seniors Daniel Monnin (153.4), Forrest Eisenschmidt (152.6) and Kody Prosser (152), freshman Trew Chaffin (145.9), senior Tyler Tedrick (141.1), sophomore Grant Canty (138) and junior Nate Boggs (123).
Also on the roster are juniors Christopher Chichinski, Isabel Neuerer and Colin Stewart, sophomores Kirsten Ensminger and Brock Icenhower and freshman Elana Bolen.
The Cardinals have a co-ed roster because they do not have a girls team.
"We're a pretty inexperienced group with John Knox and Nate Boggs being the only two who rolled consistently on varsity last year," fourth-year coach Joe Taylor said. "They are a fun group to work with because they want to learn to get better. Good, bad or indifferent, they keep fighting."
Knox turned in the Cardinals' highest series and game scores through four matches. He had a 323 series, including a 170 game, in a 2,155-1,266 loss to Westerville Central on Dec. 2 and a 327 series, including a 176 game, in a 2,181-1,758 loss to Westerville South on Dec. 5.
Knox then rolled a 390 series with a 217 game in a 2,093-2,075 loss to Olentangy Orange on Dec. 10 and a 403 series, rolling 401 and 402 games, in a 2,076-1,905 loss to Hilliard Bradley on Dec. 20.
"Johnny Knox is a spare-shooting machine," Taylor said. "... We spend a lot of time working on (spares) and they are improving. The kids are working hard."