During the 2015 postseason, the Reynoldsburg High School boys bowling team followed a 16th-place finish in the Division I sectional with a surprising fourth-place district finish and the first state-qualifying berth in program history.
The Raiders believe they have a team capable of making another long postseason run, and scores from their first few matches back up that assertion.
After beating Hilliard Darby 2,273-1,930 on Dec. 14 at Holiday Lanes and before facing Whitehall on Dec. 17 at Holiday Lanes and Pickerington Central on Dec. 18 at Rule 3, the Raiders were 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-B Division.
Reynoldsburg, which was third in the COHSBC in overall team average through eight games at 954.1, beat Marysville 2,334-2,175 on Dec. 12 at Holiday Lanes. In the first game against the Monarchs, the Raiders rolled a 1,059.
"They've definitely got a lot of promise this year," third-year coach Jamie Gapen said. "They've improved dramatically since last season. Most of them have been out practicing in leagues over the summer and they've gotten better by far. The improvement's been really nice. My (son) Logan (Gapen), in one of the first days of practice, shot a 300.
"If anything I'd like to see them surpass at least 10 wins, and they've told me their goal is to get to state if not even win it, so they're pretty confident in their ability."
Logan Gapen, a junior who tied for 48th (478) in the Division I district tournament last season as Reynoldsburg placed ninth of 16 teams, was 13th in the COHSBC in average through eight games at 206.3.
Juniors Owen Chisley and Tyler Robinson and sophomores Cris Weatherly and Mark Drake also are returnees.
Juniors Cameron Brosious and Logan Jeffers and sophomore Quentin Brosious are others on the team.
Girls bowlers aim to show improvement
After winning one match last season, the girls bowling team has a goal of winning at least five this winter.
The Raiders picked up their first victory Dec. 12 when they defeated Marysville 1,288-688 at Holiday Lanes as junior Kay Hetterscheidt led with a 131 average.
Senior Halle Pennycuff, junior Kimmee Shook and sophomore Katie Morgan also are returnees for the Raiders, who were 1-3 overall and in the COHSBC-B after beating Darby 1,550-1,285 on Dec. 14 and before facing Whitehall on Dec. 17 and Pickerington Central on Dec. 18.
Junior Kaitlynn Stiers and sophomore Toniya Seymour Williams are new to the team.
Morgan's father, Jeff Morgan, has been a recreational bowler for 25 years and is coaching the girls this winter.
"I asked (coach Gapen) what he wanted and he said we wanted five wins and at least making it to district," coach Morgan said. "These girls needed help. I've enjoyed it."
Wrestling team staying busy
The wrestling team visits perennial Division I power Dublin Coffman on Thursday, Dec. 20, for a quad that also includes New Albany and Olentangy Orange.
Then on Dec. 28 and 29, the Raiders will compete in the Chagrin Falls Kenston Invitational.
Luke Goeschl (126 pounds), Kyle Copas (152), Noah Ratliff (160) and Dalton Hall (heavyweight), all of whom placed in the top four of their respective weight classes in the Lee Spitzer Golden Bear Invitational on Dec. 1 at Upper Arlington, have been leading the way.
Reynoldsburg, which opens the OCC-Ohio schedule Jan. 10 against Pickerington Central and Pickerington North at Gahanna, lost to Licking Heights 48-23 and to Watkins Memorial 63-13 on Dec. 6 in the Eastside Duals at New Albany.
Then on Dec. 15, the Raiders placed ninth (112) in the 19-team Xenia Invitational behind champion Springfield Greenon (196). Ratliff (160) finished first, Copas (152) and Goeschl (126) were runners-up, Isaiah Boateng (132) placed sixth and Peighton Irish-Arnett (113) and Gary McCreary (145) finished seventh.
Basketball teams set to face Tigers
The boys and girls basketball teams will face the programs that represented central Ohio in the Division I state tournament last season in a doubleheader Friday, Dec. 21, at home.
The girls game, which starts at 6 p.m., pits the Raiders against defending Division I state champion Pickerington Central.
Reynoldsburg was 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the OCC-Ohio after beating Grove City 59-17 on Dec. 14. Central was 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the league after beating Lancaster 58-24 on Dec. 14.
While the Raiders are led by senior forward and Denver commit Uju Ezeudu, the Tigers feature a pair of standout Division I signees in Maliya Perry (Auburn) and Madison Greene (Penn State).
The boys team will play Central, a Division I state semifinalist last season, following the girls game.
The Raiders were 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Ohio after beating Grove City 68-53 on Dec. 14. The Tigers were 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the league after beating Lancaster 90-34 on Dec. 14.
Senior Ben Fort, who is the only returning key player from last season for the Raiders, was averaging 14 points through three games.
Central is led by senior Javohn Garcia, who scored 28 points in an 80-67 victory over Pickerington North on Dec. 7.
*Dec. 3 -- Thomas Worthington at Holiday Lanes
*Dec. 7 -- Hilliard Bradley at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
Dec. 8 -- Holiday Baker Marathon at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
*Dec. 12 -- Marysville at Holiday Lanes
*Dec. 14 -- Hilliard Darby at Holiday Lanes
*Dec. 17 -- Whitehall at Holiday Lanes
*Dec. 18 -- Pickerington Central at Rule 3
*Jan. 9 -- Olentangy at Holiday Lanes
*Jan. 11 -- Worthington Kilbourne at Holiday Lanes
*Jan. 23 -- Groveport at Holiday Lanes
*Jan. 25 -- Gahanna at Gahanna Lanes
*Jan. 29 -- Lancaster at Tiki Lanes
*Jan. 31 -- Pickerington North at Rule 3
*Feb. 7 -- Hilliard Davidson at Ten Pin Alley
Below are the coming schedules for the Reynoldsburg boys basketball, girls basketball, wrestling teams:
*Dec. 21 -- Home vs. Pickerington Central
Dec. 22 -- Cincinnati Princeton at Capital
*Dec. 21 -- Home vs. Pickerington Central
Dec. 20 -- At Dublin Coffman with New Albany and Olentangy Orange