The Westerville Central High School boys bowling team is hoping a seasoned roster can drive the team back to the state meet after missing it last year.

The Westerville Central High School boys bowling team is hoping a seasoned roster can drive the team back to the state meet after missing it last year.

The Warhawks were ninth a season ago at the district meet with a 4,093, behind champion Marysville (4, 324) and state qualifiers Westerville South (4, 226) and Westerville North (4, 195).

In part because of last season's disappointing finish, the Warhawks have focused on performing in tournament settings.

"We made a conscious decision this year mainly to spend a lot of our efforts in bowling tournaments this early part of the season," assistant coach Jeff Robinson said. "You always have to ride that (tournament) experience and they've been in the state tournament before."

Leading the team this year are seniors Zeke Bayt and Ryan Markin and junior Jamie Robinson. Those three were on the team that made it to the elimination round of the state tournament in 2008 and finished eighth.

To get to last year's season-ending district tournament, the Warhawks were third (3,592) in the Rainbow Lanes sectional to champion Pickerington North (4,054) and Jonathan Alder (4,033).

"Last year we didn't do so hot," Bayt said. "We have a lot of strong players on the team. We have one of the best one-two-three combos in the state."

The girls team returns senior Ashley Grega and sophomore Mary Wells and adds senior Stephanie Tumblison, who was at South last season.

The Warhawks were sixth at the state meet, losing to Centerville 3-1 in the first round of the elimination bracket. Pemberville Eastwood beat Troy 3-2 to win the state championship. The Warhawks rolled a 3,134 during the preliminary round to advance to the elimination round. They ended up finishing sixth.

Juniors Melissa Klodnick and Paige Trein fill out the starting lineup. The reserves are senior Kassie Hammerschmidt, junior Carrie Russell and sophomore Amy Mardis.

Last season's program-best finish has made this Warhawks team a confident group.

"A lot of the girls have seen the team get better over time," said coach and club director Julie Wells. "They know what they are capable of and they are willing to put in the work."

The Warhawks rolled a 3,758 to win the district title ahead of runner-up South (3,666) as both advanced to the state meet. Central also won the sectional at Rainbow Lanes with a 3,819. Buckeye Valley (3,446) was second.

•The South girls return a team led by junior Jennifer West, who rolled a 622 last year to win the district championship.

The Wildcats ended up 14th (2,679) at the state tournament and failed to make it to the championship bracket. They lost three starters from that team and now are relying on the depth of a strong program.

"We do have a lot of talent coming back from last year, and we have a couple new girls," said coach and club director Jamie West. "We have to make up for three girls that started for us on a regular basis."

West leads a team that also includes senior Chelsea Strapp, juniors Bre Broughman, Taylor Pannell and Brittany White and sophomores Brittany Dillon, Kate Reid and Jessica Shambaugh. Dillon and Strapp competed at state.

South won the sectional at Eastland Lanes with a 3,756 as Westerville North was second (3,573).

The South boys return senior Michael Della Flora and sophomore Tyler Chaney to a team that was eighth last year at the state meet. They also return experienced bowlers in sophomores Jerry Kellett and Brian Stehmeyer.

Those four start for the Wildcats with seniors Ian Hara, Khryelle and freshman Zach Pannell making up the fifth spot and coming in during baker games.

"We're really young, but I think by the end of the year we're really going to be good," said assistant coach Mike Craig. "It will depend on the younger players coming together at the end of the year."

The Wildcats rolled a 3,365 at state to make it to the elimination bracket where they lost to Springfield Kenton Ridge 3-1 in the first round to finish eighth.

•The North boys were second (4,131) at the Eastland Lanes sectional on its way to its first appearance at state since bowling became an OSHAA sanctioned event for the 2006-07 season.

The Warriors return two from that team in senior Justin Hanley and sophomore Cody LaRochelle.

They helped North finish 10th (3,288) and had the area's top bowler in Dylan Ulry, who was eighth in the state (662).

Also expected to see action are senior Michael Chioran, sophomores Sean Archibald, Eric Lund and T.J. Savage and freshman Matthew Patterson.

"They have the ability (to make it back to the state meet)," said coach Dean Dabe, who is also the club director. "They have that pressure, but the biggest pressure is facing the type of competition we will see in our league. The pressure is going to be whether or not we can win the conference banner."

•The North girls are looking to get past the district tournament for the first time.

The Warriors were fifth (3,268) in the district tournament. The top two teams advanced to the state tournament.

They are led by seniors Allison Davis, Alex Lance and Chrissy Malys. Those three are expected to start along with junior Tori Shook and sophomore Lindsey Schutz.

"They were fifth (in the district)," Dabe said. "They were right there. Hopefully with (the new players') first opportunity, they can make it further."