Columbus Academy senior Christian Amland will graduate knowing he left his mark on the bowling program.

Columbus Academy senior Christian Amland will graduate knowing he left his mark on the bowling program.

Since the program's inception last season, Amland has been the team's top competitor.

This season, Amland is leading the Vikings with an average of 176.5 per game. He had a high series of 426 in a 1,927-1,714 win over Northland on Jan. 24 and a high game of 240 in the Central District Preview Classic on Jan. 14 at HP Lanes.

"Christian is the only senior on the (boys) team," coach Dan Olexio said. "I didn't pick him to be the captain because he's the only senior. I picked him because he's a leader. He knows how to focus and have fun at the same time. He strikes the right balance for our team. It's our second year of bowling. He's been with us both years and he's really helped us set this program."

The Vikings are 8-8 overall and 7-7 in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-Central Division after closing the regular season on Jan. 30 with a 2,189-1,849 loss to St. Charles.

As of Jan. 31, Academy was tied with Hartley and Watterson for eighth behind league champion St. Charles (14-0).

Led by Amland, Academy turned in a program-best score in a 2,014-1,490 win over Briggs on Jan. 27.

Amland had a 382 series, including a 214 in the first game. Victor Liu had a 360 series, followed by Sam Hochman (334) and Alleluia Tyus (321).

Through 15 matches, Max Smith had a 166.3 average, followed by Liu (150.6) and Tyus (145.4).

In the program's first postseason last year, Academy finished 21st (2,845) in the Eastland Lanes sectional behind first-place Hartley (4,231).

Amland led the team with a 140.5 average last season.

He is hoping that the Vikings can qualify for the program's first district tournament.

The boys will compete in a sectional tournament Feb. 17 at Eastland Lanes or Columbus Western Bowl. The top nine teams advance to the district tournament Feb. 25 at HP Lanes.

"Both the boys and the girls have a chance to make it," Amland said. "The team is really good. We have really good chemistry. We have some good freshmen and sophomores coming up to keep the team strong and good seniors."

The girls sectional is Feb. 18 and the district tournament is Feb. 24, at the same sites.

Amland began bowling at age 8 but did not bowl competitively until last year. He credits his parents, Ted and Ellen, for suggesting he join the team.

"My mom and dad really got me into bowling," Amland said. "They suggested that I should do it. I wasn't really sure about it at first, but when I decided to do it I had a lot of fun. Starting out it was a little rough, but coach has definitely helped and all that really makes it a lot of fun for me."

Amland also is a member of the Academy baseball program. He was a catcher on the junior varsity last season and hopes to play varsity this spring.

"Baseball is something I have loved, but there's something about bowling," Amland said. "I'm kind of addicted to it now. I'm always practicing just trying to get better."

The girls team finished the regular season 8-5 overall and 8-3 in the COHSBC-Central.

The Vikings tied Watterson for fourth behind champion Ready (11-0).

Academy lost to Briggs 1,999-1,460 on Jan. 27.

Sarah Kerr led the Vikings with a 261 series, followed by Danika Stahl (250), Rabia Khan (242) and Carolyn Vara (233).

Kristin Lampe has the team's top average (145.4), followed by Alyssa Rock (134.6), Vara (132.8) and Kerr (131.7).

•The boys basketball team controls its destiny in its pursuit of at least a share of the MSL-Ohio title.

The Vikings, who are 12-2 overall and 8-1 in the league, visit Heath on Friday, Feb. 3.

Academy defeated the Bulldogs 74-50 on Jan. 3.

The Vikings completed a regular-season sweep of Licking Valley by beating the visiting Panthers 54-43 on Jan. 28.

Daniel Aronowitz led the Vikings with 19 points and Jacob Mikalov added 11.

Academy defeated Licking Valley 68-66 on Dec. 6.

The Vikings' lone league loss came against Newark Catholic, 63-42 on Dec. 10. Academy avenged that loss with a 62-48 win over the visiting Green Wave on Jan. 24. Zach Ratcliff led the Vikings with 16 points.

Academy and Newark Catholic are tied for first in the league. Licking Valley is third at 6-3.

The Vikings' other loss came against Division II Jonathan Alder, 81-70 on Jan. 17 at home. The Pioneers were ranked second in the state last week behind Dayton Dunbar.

The Vikings were second in last week's Division III district coaches poll behind Bloom-Carroll.

Ratcliff leads the team in scoring average at 13.7 points per game, followed by Aronowitz (12.2) and Mikalov (11.9).

Ratcliff also is the top rebounder at 7.2 per game.

"I like where we are," coach Chris Jones said. "We haven't peaked. We don't want to peak yet. We still have six more games to go in the regular season before the tournament comes and I'd like to be peaking about five games from now. There are definitely things that we need to do to get to where we want to go. We always talk about being in search for perfection and we haven't played a perfect game."