The pay-to-participate fee has affected sports at many districts across central Ohio, but the $500 fee has affected the bowling teams at Reynoldsburg High School in a big way.

The pay-to-participate fee has affected sports at many districts across central Ohio, but the $500 fee has affected the bowling teams at Reynoldsburg High School in a big way.

Last season, the Raiders fielded varsity and junior varsity teams for boys and girls.

This season, they hope to field one varsity team comprised of six boys and two girls that will compete against all boys teams in a nine-game schedule.

"The situation has modified the season unlike any we've seen since I've been here at the school," coach Richard Reiter says. "Reynoldsburg High School has been one of the premier programs since bowling started here in central Ohio, it's a huge setback."

Last season, the girls varsity bowled a 2,373 in sectional play at Eastland Lanes and advanced to district. In districts, the girls finished ninth with a 2,251. Westerville Central and Westerville South qualified for the state tournament.

The girls also advanced to district in 2008.

On the boys side, junior Adam Berry advanced to the district level as an individual. The boys finished ninth with 2,783 pins and just missed qualifying for district, 83 pins behind eighth-place Gahanna.

In 2008, Scott Thielson bowled in the state tournament and finished 18th.

This season, there aren't enough girls for a girls team and Berry is one of at least seven players from the boys team that didn't go out for the team, in part because of the pay to participate fee.

Reiter is starting his seventh season as bowling coach. He says over 30 players came out for the team last season. This season, it's just the eight bowlers.

Seniors Chelsea Boardman, Nick Hale, Alyssa Rodrigue and Jeremiah Wilson will lead the team.

They will be joined by sophomores Garrett Stafford and Andras Temesvary and freshmen Zack Aeling and Lucas Houseman.

"The team will be young, but we've got to be dedicated, stick through it, do our best and not give up," Hale said.

The Raiders compete in the OCC-Central White Division this season. They open the season January 8 at home against Hilliard Davidson at Holiday Lanes.

Wilson played mostly junior varsity last season. He will be counted on to help the younger and inexperienced players adjust to the competition and matches.

"It's like coach Reiter says, you have to be consistent," Wilson said. "You don't always have to be a good bowler, just be consistent. You also have to practice, practice practice."

Hale bowled on the varsity team last season. This season, he's the most experienced player on the team.

"This season, I want the kids to have that tremendous opportunity to learn, have team camaraderie and school spirit, have fun and enjoy the time together," Reiter said. "Everyone needs to come together and do the best they can."