When Greg Snyder heard there were 42 boys and girls were interested in being a part of the Dublin Coffman High School club bowling program, he was astounded.

When Greg Snyder heard there were 42 boys and girls were interested in being a part of the Dublin Coffman High School club bowling program, he was astounded.

That's because Snyder was an assistant for both teams last season, when only three boys and four girls showed up for the first day of practice.

Just a year after boys coach Jeff Nelson and Snyder were forced to recruit athletes just before the start of the season to have enough to field full teams, they had to tell dozens more that they didn't even make the junior varsity.

"It was definitely surprising and exciting to have so many kids interested in our teams," said Snyder, who is the girls coach.

"The coaches and the kids really plugged the program a lot better than we ever have in the past. I teach chemistry at Coffman and I spread the word through the classroom and it just took off like wildfire. We received almost too much interest because we didn't have enough lane space to accommodate everyone who was interested in bowling."

The Shamrocks compete in the 16-team Central District-North Division along with Beechcroft, Brookhaven, DeSales, Gahanna, Grandview, Hilliard Darby, Hilliard Davidson, Linden, Jonathan Alder, Olentangy Liberty, Olentangy Orange, Watterson, Westerville Central, Westerville North and Westerville South.

Both teams will compete Tuesday at Plain City Lanes against Jonathan Alder.

Competing for the boys team are seniors Chase Sparks (162 average), Kyle Dieteren (158), Pat O'Connor (152), Ryan Baker (143), Josh Yost (142) and Keith Joffe (137). Junior Josh Nelson (150), who is the coach's son, rounds out the lineup.

"We have a bunch of seniors and we're a stronger, more experienced team this year," coach Nelson said. "Every one of them has improved by 10 pins over what they bowled last year."

The boys team went 3-11 in league competition a year ago. The Shamrocks were 2-4 after losing to Beechcroft 1,819-1,806 on Dec. 17.

"People on our team didn't take this seriously a few years ago and we didn't win any games that year," Sparks said. "Last year we did a lot better, and we've improved a lot since then. We want to at least double our wins this year."

The girls team is led by seniors Lexi Bugay (108), Kristin Kuehl (113), Kati Keenan (119), Carrie Terlecky (113), Andi Wesley (94) and Alex Miller (91) and juniors Allyson Chee (125) and Rachel Vanover (107).

The Shamrocks went 1-13 in league competition last season. They were 2-4 after losing to Beechcroft 1,334-1,297 on Dec. 17.

"We've already doubled the matches we won last year, and we want to continue to win and improve our averages," Terlecky said.

"We're a lot closer as a team now and we take bowling a lot more seriously."

As a club program, Coffman isn't allowed to compete in the postseason meets.

"Bowling is an expensive sport, and with today's economy it's tough to tell when it we might gain varsity status at Coffman," coach Nelson said.

"We don't have a feeder program, so it's tough to compete with the schools that have kids who bowl year-round. Our goal is to teach the kids to have respect for the sport and be as competitive as they can be while still having fun."

At a glance

•Coach: Boys -- Jeff Nelson, second season; Girls -- Greg Snyder, first season

•Next match: Tuesday at Plain City Lanes vs. Jonathan Alder

•Key bowlers: Boys -- Kyle Dieteren, Jeff Nelson, Pat O'Connor and Chase Sparks; Girls -- Allyson Chee and Kati Keenan