The Westerville North High School boys bowling team is taking steps to make last season's 0-16 finish a distant memory.
The Warriors were 1-4 overall and in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-A Division before facing London on Dec. 19.
On Dec. 15 at Columbus Square Bowling Palace, North defeated New Albany 1,962-1,900 for its first victory since Feb. 11, 2016. In that match, the Warriors defeated Big Walnut 2,136-1,898.
Senior Austin Hagemann led the way against New Albany, earning medalist honors with a 447 series. He rolled games of 247 and 200.
"We continue to get better and better with each match," first-year coach Luke Williams said. "We surpassed 2,000 (pins) for the first time against Gahanna and kept that momentum by getting our first win in our next match."
In the 2,270-2,133 loss to Gahanna on Dec. 13, Hagemann was medalist with a 465 series that included a 269 game. He had eight consecutive strikes before leaving one pin standing in the ninth frame.
"I'm good at sizing up the oil patterns, but everything is still coming back to me," said Hagemann, who has not competed since his freshman season. "I need to learn how to adjust and work on my approach and to keep from coming behind the ball on my release."
Junior Jason Sturgell returns after rolling a 549 to place 66th of 127 bowlers in the Division I district tournament last season.
Through four matches, Hagemann led the Warriors with a 199.4 average, followed by freshman Will Mueller (158.6), sophomore Jonathan Pratt (155.4) and Sturgell (153.2).
Also playing varsity are junior Ryan Hensley and sophomores Ryan Iarussi and Drew Wright.
The girls team has six bowlers, including three who competed at district last season in juniors Kaitlyn Sturgell (485, 49th of 133 bowlers), Soumoya Wright (396, 89th) and Livie Stanton (386, 90th).
North finished 7-8 last season. Before playing Big Walnut on Dec. 19, it was 3-2 overall and in the COHSBC-A.
"They are really excited and they are the right amount of serious," Williams said. "They are excited about where we could be and we're always looking forward instead of always looking back."
North defeated Olentangy Liberty 1,651-1,324 on Dec. 7, Beechcroft 1,622-1,354 on Dec. 11 and New Albany 1,528-1,488.
Rounding out the girls roster are junior Lexi Hagemann, sophomore Danielle Pratt and freshman Sophia Soisson.
Athletics director Wes Elifritz said Williams was known at the school from his work with Young Life, a Christian outreach ministry. He replaced nine-year coach Dean Dabe.
"Luke didn't play in high school or college but enjoyed (bowling) socially and thought he could give it a shot as coach," Elifritz said. "I was looking for someone dependable and reliable, and someone who would be there for the kids.
"I contacted (Westerville Central coach) Julie Wells and told her I had a coach who was green behind the ears and if she could give him some help if he had some questions. She has been great and helped send him down the right path."
Mathews breaks swim records at Ned Reeb
Senior Jason Mathews broke a pair of 31-year-old program records for the boys swimming and diving team in the Ned Reeb Invitational on Dec. 15 and 16 at Ohio State.
Mathews won the 100-yard breaststroke in 53.89 seconds, breaking the record of 57.02 set in 1986 by Brett Axline. The Ohio State signee, who moved to Westerville in the offseason and used to attend Pickerington North, was second in the 200 freestyle in 1:39.79, breaking Axline's record of 1:41.6, also set in 1986.
His sophomore sister, Janessa Mathews, was first in the 100 breast in 1:02.83, breaking the program record of 1:06.97 set by Lindsey Lash in 2007. She also was 12th in the 200 individual medley (2:09.71).
"We had a great meet from top to bottom," coach Rich Morris said. "It was a great performance and it shows how hard we have been working and how we are improving."
Senior Andrew Bernsdorf was fourth in the 100 butterfly (52.13) and 200 IM (1:53.26).
Wrestlers take third at Liberty
The wrestling team had eight competitors place in the Liberty Classic on Dec. 15 and 16.
Junior Mitch Potterf was runner-up at 160 pounds to lead the Warriors, who finished third (197 points) of 20 teams behind Liberty (214.5) and Olmsted Falls (213).
Senior Bodi Bien (182 pounds), junior Caden Christ (145) and sophomore Blake Wright (132) placed third, and seniors Davis Gaylord (heavyweight) and Zach Pryfogle (160) were fourth. Senior Lucas Seibert (120), junior Jacob Goldsmith (195) and freshman Gabe Ohle (106) were sixth.
*Dec. 4 -- Westerville Central at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
*Dec. 7 -- Olentangy Liberty at Sawmill Lanes
*Dec. 11 -- Beechcroft at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
*Dec. 13 -- Gahanna at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
*Dec. 15 -- New Albany at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
*Dec. 19 -- London at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
*Jan. 8 -- Big Walnut at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
*Jan. 10 -- Westerville South at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
*Jan. 16 -- Delaware at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
*Jan. 22 -- Olentangy Orange at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
*Jan. 30 -- Olentangy at Delaware Lanes
*Feb. 6 -- Marysville at Marysville Lanes
Feb. 10 -- COHSBC tournament at Game of Western Columbus
Below are the coming schedules for the North boys basketball, girls basketball, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Dec. 23 -- Home vs. Olentangy Liberty
*Dec. 22 -- At Liberty
Dec. 23 -- At Licking Heights
SWIMMING & DIVING
Dec. 21 -- New Albany tri-meet
Dec. 23 -- Westerville Central and Westerville South at Westerville Community Center
Dec. 27-28 -- Medina Invitational Tournament