Bowling is a sport of physical repetition, but in order to excel, you have to overcome the mental aspects of the game.
The St. Charles Preparatory School team did just that in winning its first league championship by defeating Ready 2,296-1,682 on Feb. 9 at HP Lanes.
The Cardinals tied DeSales for the title at 6-2, with Hartley and Watterson tied for third at 4-4. Ready was fifth at 0-8.
"I think they have improved their games by 50 percent from the beginning of the season, and most of it has been mental," said first-year coach Bill Pritchett, whose team also was 12-4 overall and 8-3 in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-D Division before facing Columbus East on Feb. 12. "They have always had the physical part of the their game, but they started to come together as team. That's what has helped them most. They started rooting for one another instead of making it a competition between themselves."
Chris Walker was medalist against the Silver Knights with a 458 series on games of 205 and 253. Alex Etheredge (408), Grant Flory (395) and William Ullom (369) also competed.
"I think this year we had more of a sense of chemistry with the team," Walker said. "We had more than half of our team as underclassmen and two seniors in me and William Ullom, so we can continue to do well in the years to come."
The Cardinals have learned to be patient on the lanes thanks to Pritchett's leadership.
"Patience has been the key," Ullom said. "Bowling can be very frustrating and sometimes you just have to push through it. Coach has helped with that. He's really good at reading people and knows how to get the best out of everyone."
Etheredge led the Cardinals with a 179.7 average through 16 matches, followed by Walker (178.6), Flory (175.2), Dominck Koeth (168.0) and Ullom (162.2)
"Everyone has been doing their part and bowling their best," Etheredge said. "We also have been keeping our heads. You have to stay calm because it can hurt your game."
The Cardinals next compete in the Division I sectional tournament Feb. 23 at HP Lanes.
"Focusing has been a key," Pritchett said. "The matches we lost were because we weren't as focused as we should have been. I think we could have taken the (COHSBC-D) if we had been focused throughout the year."
Pema leads swim team into district
Patrick Pema won the 100-yard backstroke (52.87 seconds) in a Division I sectional meet Feb. 10 at Kenyon College to lead the swimming and diving team into district.
Pema is seeded third in the event at district, which began Feb. 13 with diving at Dublin Recreation Center. Swimming events will be held Saturday, Feb. 17, at Ohio University.
The Cardinals finished third (197.5) of 11 teams at sectional behind Dublin Jerome (270) and Dublin Coffman (250).
Pema also was third in the 500 freestyle (4:44.53) and is seeded fourth at district.
Michael Gutman was third in both the 50 free (21.92) and 100 butterfly (52.74). He is seeded third at district in the 100 fly and fourth in the 50 free.
Placing fourth were Alex Nash in the 50 free (21.92, fifth seed at district) and Mitchell List in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.85, 10th at district).
The winner of each sectional event advanced to district. In addition, 27 at-large district berths were awarded in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites.
The top five divers at district advanced to compete in the state meet Feb. 24 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. The swimming competition will be Feb. 23 and 24.
The top two placers in each swimming event at district automatically advance to state. In addition, 16 at-large state berths will be awarded for each event based on times statewide.
St. Charles has won four consecutive district titles.
Hockey team earns third seed in district
The hockey team is the third seed for the district tournament behind top-seeded Jerome and second-seeded Olentangy Liberty.
The Cardinals, who are 19-11-1-1, open the tournament with a second-round game against 11th-seeded Olentangy Orange or 23rd-seeded Mason on Sunday, Feb. 18, at Chiller North.
St. Charles lost to Orange 2-1 in overtime Dec. 22 in Capital Hockey Conference play. It did not play Mason this season.
The winner plays fifth-seeded Upper Arlington, 14th-seeded Centerville or 18th-seeded DeSales on Feb. 24 at OhioHealth Ice Haus.
The Cardinals also were seeded third in the Blue Jackets Cup and defeated sixth-seeded Olentangy 1-0 in a first-round game Feb. 8 as Zach Lynch scored.
St. Charles then lost to second-seeded Liberty 5-3 in a semifinal Feb. 9. Jacob Kiger scored twice.
Basketball team learns district path
The basketball team learned its Division I district draw Feb. 11. The tournament begins Feb. 24.
The Cardinals, who are 5-13 overall, dropped to 1-6 in the CCL after losing to Hartley 70-51 on Feb. 9. Eli Burkey led with 17 points and four 3-pointers, and Roland Rowe added nine points.
Below are the coming schedules for the St. Charles basketball and wrestling teams:
*Feb. 16 -- At DeSales. The Cardinals defeated the Stallions 58-49 on Jan. 30.
Feb. 15 -- CCL tournament at Hartley
Feb. 17 -- Nye Cardinal Classic at home
*League contestAt a glance
Below are the district qualifiers with sectional time and district seeds for the St. Charles swimming team:
Chase Bateman: 200 free (1:51.29, 27th), 500 free (5:09.09, 30th); Griffin Beam: 100 back (56.15, 17th), 200 free (1:47.4, ninth); Will Elsrod: 200 IM (2:05.19, 20th); Michael Gutman: 100 fly (52.74, third), 50 free (21.92, fourth); Thomas Lennox: 100 back (54.4, 12th), 200 IM (2:04.08, 16th); Mitchell List: 100 breast (1:00.85, 10th), 200 IM (2:06.94, 28th); Ben Mooney: 100 fly (54.44, eighth), 200 IM (2:06.79, 27th); Trey Moore: 100 free (49.93, 24th); Alex Nash: 100 fly (54.15, seventh), 50 free (21.98, fifth); Sean Noonan: 200 free (1:51.06, 24th); Patrick Pema: 100 back (52.87, third), 500 free (4:44.53, fourth); Ryan Seidt: 100 back (55.82, 14th), 100 free (49.84, 22nd); Andrew Shyu: 100 fly (56.93, 26th); Michael Shyu: 100 breast (1:03.78, 26th); Jonathan Sugar: 100 free (49.28, 13th), 50 free (22.08, ninth); 200 free relay (1:32.09, 11th); 200 medley relay (1:42.92, 13th); 400 free relay (3:21.98, ninth)