The prospects of having depth on the Bexley High School boys bowling team were dwindling until Tyler Roberts reached out via social media.
The junior posted on Snapchat that bowlers were needed and a couple of his friends responded to give the Lions seven participants, providing insurance since five are needed to earn a team score in the postseason.
"I just posted something on Snapchat saying that we needed a couple more players on the bowling team," said Roberts, whose team was 2-3 overall and in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-C Division after defeating Columbus West 1,600-1,257 on Dec. 17. "A couple more of my friends -- (seniors) Isaac (Halter) and Miracle (Williams) -- decided to try out, which helped us out a lot."
The Lions also have a new coach in the second year of the program. Brian Talabere has replaced his former neighbor, Mike Munsell, who moved out of state for work.
"Mike told me he was leaving and he needed someone to step up and coach," said Talabere, who works as a drafting technician for Lang Stone.
The Lions opened with losses to Briggs (1,822-1,544 on Dec. 3) and Centennial (1,785-1,521 on Dec. 7) before Roberts set program records for high game (250) and series (439) in a 1,791-1,010 win over Columbus South on Dec. 10.
"The oil had a lot to do with it," Roberts said. "I found my spot right away and once I did that I kept throwing the ball the same way with the same steps, the same speed and same motion. I let the ball do the work.
"For me, the only way my balls spin is because of the oil. I have three different balls. One of them doesn't spin at all, one spins with heavy oil and one spins on light oil. I have to figure out how much oil is out there because it all looks the same because of the light on the lanes. I used the one that spins on heavy oil (against South)."
The Lions also lost to Teays Valley 2,252-1,489 on Dec. 14.
Juniors A.J. Cox, Jordan Herman, Zach Herman and Haven Horton-Kunce complete the roster.
"The biggest thing is for the kids to have fun," Talabere said. "We have a lot of first-time bowlers, so having a positive attitude is important because it can be a little challenging at times. One of the things we tell the kids is that it doesn't matter what your first shot is, (because) you can always recover on your second shot."
Roberts said he has a different mindset than last season.
"On the drive to the matches, I always think about what ball I'm going to use, what I did in practice that I didn't do in my last match and what has worked out," he said. "I didn't do that last year.
"Now I'm also a leader on the team. I make sure everyone has the right mindset. I try to make sure that they are forgetting about a bad shot and picking up what (pins) you can on the second. You need to make sure to get one (pin) on a split. They can't think about anything else, just think about your game. You can't control anyone else."
Boys basketball team follows plan of action
The boys basketball team turned up its defense to pick up a 49-29 win at Grandview on Dec. 14 in MSL-Ohio play.
The Lions evened their league record at 1-1 by limiting a Bobcats offense that had averaged 63 points in its first three games. Coach Todd Phillips said his team needed to hold down the Grandview trio of forward Luke Lachey and guards Brian Collier and Manny Day.
"They have great scorers and we couldn't let all three go," said Phillips, whose team improved to 5-2 overall by defeating Logan Elm 43-32 on Dec. 15. "If (Lachey) caught it on the box, we had to have two guys dig it out, one being Ryan Callahan and the other being our closest guard. On the perimeter, Ryan was going to play him square up. We did a good job of shadowing him when he had the basketball."
Callahan finished with 20 points and Damian Davis added 13.
Lachey had 14 points, 3.7 below his average through three games. Collier was averaging 20.7 but scored only five, and Day went scoreless after averaging 11.7 in the first three games.
"We knew they had some great players so we had to focus on Lachey and Collier," Callahan said. "We had to do a great job on defense, and that's what won us the game.
"We wanted to bring as much energy as possible and play together. We knew if we worked inside and kicked it out, our jump shots would go in and I could get some points in the paint."
Wrestlers compete in home duals
Senior Hunter Hilgeman went 3-1 at 160 pounds to lead the wrestling team Dec. 15 in the six-team Bexley Duals.
Senior Eammon Sears (145) and junior Justin Mauk (heavyweight) both went 3-2 for the Lions, who were 0-5 in the event as Groveport won at 5-0.
Juniors Jake Brigdon (132) and Luke Robinson (195) went 2-3, and senior Kevin Villatoro (220) was 1-4.
"We had some juniors and seniors do well, and the rest of the team is freshmen and sophomores," coach Chris Bragg said. "They gave great effort, but we still have a lot of work to do. Each week is getting better."
*Dec. 3 -- Briggs at Stadust Lanes
*Dec. 7 -- Centennial at Holiday Lanes
*Dec. 10 -- Columbus South at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
*Dec. 14 -- Teays Valley at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
*Dec. 17 -- Columbus West at Holiday Lanes
*Dec. 19 -- Columbus International at Holiday Lanes
Dec. 22 -- Urbana Southwest Baker Shootout at Southwest Bowling Center
*Jan. 7 -- Village Academy at Holiday Lanes
*Jan. 8 -- Marion-Franklin at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
*Jan. 9 -- Worthington Christian at Holiday Lanes
*Jan. 16 -- Haugland Learning Center at Holiday Lanes
*Jan. 23 -- Columbus Academy at HP Lanes
Jan. 26 -- Jaguar Baker Marathon at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
*Feb. 1 -- Whetstone at Holiday Lanes
Feb. 2 -- MSL tournament at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl
*Feb. 4 -- Northland at Sequoia Lanes
Below are the coming schedules for the Bexley boys basketball, girls basketball, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Dec. 22 -- Home vs. Columbus Academy
Dec. 21 -- At Granville
Dec. 22 -- Home vs. Springfield Northwestern
SWIMMING & DIVING
Dec. 22 -- Wellington Jaguar Invitational at Columbus Aquatics Center
Dec. 21 -- At Caledonia River Valley with North Union and West Jefferson