When Tony Gonzalez took over the Westerville Central High School boys and girls bowling teams before this season, he inherited a program rich in tradition.
He also received the chance to coach two bowlers who mean the world to him as his son, Zach, is a key member of the boys team and his daughter, Reace, is a standout for the girls team.
Zach and Reace began bowling at a young age under the guidance of their father. The three now are keys in the Warhawks' success.
"It's been pretty fun to watch them grow from when they first started bowling," Tony said. It's not always been smooth. There's been times when they don't agree or understand what I've told them, but that's where the trust grows and understand that everything I tell them is to make them better. So to see them now both being really strong, amongst the best in the city, is a pretty good feeling."
Zach and Reace admit they always have been competitive with each other and recently have included that edge when playing against their father.
"It sparks some internal competition," Zach said. "We each want to outperform each other, but overall it's pretty fun."
"I've always bowled with Zach, so it's not a different thing, but it's definitely a competitive thing within the house," Reace said.
The boys team improved to 7-0 overall and in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-A Division with a 2,458-2,155 win over Westerville South on Jan. 14. The Wildcats fell to 5-2 overall and 4-2 in the league.
The Warhawks also lead the OCC-Buckeye at 5-0.
Zach is fourth on the team with a 183.1 average, behind Wesley Minke (206), Devon Richardson (205.3) and Malik Brown (194.2).
"There's definitely up sides and down sides," Zach said of bowling for his father. "He gets to watch me all the time through the struggles and the successes, so that's a lot of fun. ... I don't feel any different because he still spends most of his time with the girls, but I can sense him watching from the side."
Tony was the junior varsity girls coach last season.
Zach was a sophomore when the boys won the program's first state title in 2017. He hopes the team can repeat that effort this season.
"We definitely have potential (to win the Division I state title)," Zach said. "We've won two tournaments and we're still undefeated in match play."
Along with winning the state title, the boys have won four consecutive COHSBC titles and four consecutive OCC titles.
The girls fell to 6-1 overall and in the COHSBC-A with a 1,980-1,929 loss to South, which improved to 5-2 overall and 5-1 in the league. The Warhawks are 4-1 in the OCC-Buckeye, while South stood at 3-0.
Reace, a junior, leads the team with a 187.6 average. Jocelyn Grimsley is second at 175.9.
Reace left the sport during middle school to play volleyball, but has since quit volleyball because of a nagging ankle injury.
"Since Zach was bowling, I thought it would be fun to try it again, so I started again freshman year and I've been doing it since," Reace said.
The girls won COHSBC titles in 2011, '12 and '13 and OCC titles in 2012 and '13.
"We want to go to state (and) hopefully make it to bracket play this year and go undefeated," Reace said.
Tony replaced Julie Wells, who stepped down after 12 seasons, although Wells has since returned to help guide the boys team on a limited basis, according to Tony.
"We've done really well out of the gate," he said. "We've seen a lot of success. The boys have come out roaring and the girls have shown progression as the season has gone on, so it's pretty exciting."
Tony's schedule also includes coaching softball at the club level, another sport in which Reace competes.
"There really isn't any pressure because I'm used to it since he's coached me in softball for so long, but there's definitely some pressure because he's right there when I get off the lanes," Reace said. "He definitely helps."
Boys basketball team seeks to snap skid
The boys basketball team looked to end a four-game losing streak when it played Mansfield Madison on Jan. 15.
The Warhawks were 4-8 overall. They fell to 1-4 in the OCC-Buckeye by losing at South 69-45 on Jan. 11 as Tyler Combest scored 12 points.
Chaz Dixon scored 13 points and Tasos Cook added 10 in a 60-48 loss at Big Walnut on Jan. 8.
Girls basketball team puts up fight in loss
The girls basketball team battled South before losing 44-40 on Jan. 11 as Karmen Long led Central with 15 points.
South is 9-2 overall and first in the OCC-Buckeye at 5-0. The Warhawks are 2-3 in the league.
Long scored 11 points in a 39-38 loss to Big Walnut on Jan. 8.
The Warhawks were 7-5 overall before playing Olentangy Berlin on Jan. 15.
Below are the coming schedules for the Central boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, gymnastics and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 18 -- At Westerville North. The Warhawks defeated the Warriors 57-55 on Dec. 7.
Jan. 22 -- At Pickerington Central
*Jan. 18 -- At North. The Warhawks lost to the Warriors 36-25 on Dec. 7.
Jan. 22 -- Home vs. Central
*Jan. 17 -- Olentangy at Delaware Lanes
Jan. 19 -- Central District Preview at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
*Jan. 22 -- Delaware at Colony Lanes
*Jan. 23 -- Grandview at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
Jan. 17 -- At Thomas Worthington with DeSales, Thornville Sheridan and Upper Arlington
Jan. 19 -- Warhawk Invitational at Worthington Youth Boosters Gymnastics
Jan. 23 -- At Worthington Kilbourne with Grove City and UA
Jan. 19 -- Panther Invitational at Pickerington North