Dan Koeth was ready to step in when the St. Charles bowling program was in a bind.
The Cardinals' coach, Bill Pritchard, died of cancer Aug. 10 after leading the program for two seasons and being a longtime assistant before that.
Koeth, whose son, Dominick, previously competed for St. Charles, wasn't about to let the players miss out on having a chance to win a third consecutive CCL title. That is still in play for the Cardinals, who have put together another strong season.
They were 12-3 overall and 10-2 in the COHSBC-D Division before facing Columbus East on Jan. 29. They are 5-2 in the CCL after defeating Watterson 1,973-1,834 on Jan. 27.
"They weren't going to have a team this year, so I said I would step up if it was needed," Koeth said. "They wanted a teacher to run the program, so (Latin teacher) Brennan (Weiner) helps out with the administrative stuff. So, Dominick and I help out as assistants.
"We have a lot of seniors who came back. Knowing these seniors for a few years, I didn't want them to go through that. I wasn't going to let that happen. I wanted to make sure they had a team."
Entering Jan. 28, DeSales led the CCL at 6-1, ahead of second-place St. Charles, while Hartley and Ready were 3-3 and Watterson was 0-7. On Friday, Jan. 31, DeSales faces Ready at Game of Western Columbus and St. Charles takes on Hartley at Holiday Lanes.
"We're going to need some help (to win the CCL)," Dan Koeth said. "We beat DeSales by 69 pins (2,104-2,035 on Dec. 6) and they came back and beat us (2,561-1,895 on Jan. 10), so you have to tip your hat to them."
St. Charles also lost to Ready 1,923-1,828 on Dec. 11, but won the second meeting 2,086-1,873 on Jan. 6.
Through 14 matches, Nick Bastaja led the Cardinals with a 179.6 average, followed by Vinnie Foresta and John Melliere (both 170.2), Teague O'Brien (168.5), Dino Colasurd (152.5) and Gio Cocchiarale (151.4).
Dominick Koeth, a 2019 graduate, is studying integrated social studies education at Ohio Dominican with aspirations of becoming a teacher, maybe at his alma mater. For now, he's coaching the Cardinals' junior varsity players.
"Dominick's taking the j.v. and I'm taking the varsity because a lot of (the j.v. players) didn't know him as well as the varsity kids," Dan Koeth said. "He can be more a coach to them than a friend that the varsity kids see him as. It makes it easier to coach j.v. guys than your buddies."
Swim team wins 22nd consecutive CCL title
The swimming and diving team continues to deliver strong performances as the Division I postseason approaches.
The Cardinals won their 22nd consecutive CCL championship Jan. 25 by scoring 473 points in the league meet, which was held in their home pool. DeSales (254) was second, followed by Hartley (187) and Watterson (83).
St. Charles swept the relays. Gabriele Nervez, Ryan Alfred, Will Elsrod and Sawyer Davidson were on the first-place 200-yard freestyle relay (1 minute, 34.67 seconds), Thomas Lennox, Christopher Edwards, Aidan Miller and Jack Simone were on the winning 400 free relay (3:35.26) and Donnie Richardson, Seth Miller, Angus Moore and Travis Miller were on the champion 200 medley relay (1:43.38).
Winning individual events were Spencer Aurnou-Rhees (100 free, 49.45), Elsrod (200 free, 1:53.1), Mitchell List (200 individual medley, 2:01.89), Alex Nash (100 backstroke, 56.7), Sean Noonan (100 breaststroke, 1:04.34), Luke Rakowsky (100 butterfly, 55.23) and Ben Stevenson (50 free, 22:43).
"It's good to win (the CCL) for the 22nd consecutive year," Aurnou-Rhees said. "It gives us a lot of confidence that we can improve and gets us ready for a hard week of practice as we get ready for sectional."
The Cardinals compete in a sectional Feb. 8 at Kenyon.
Basketball team continues torrid pace
The basketball team has won seven consecutive games and is 12-5 overall and 4-1 in the CCL.
The Cardinals defeated Watterson 42-38 on Jan. 24 to keep pace with DeSales in the league race. The Stallions are 6-0. The teams play Feb. 7 at DeSales, which won the first meeting 75-64 on Jan. 3.
Jared Frey scored 17 points with three 3-pointers and went 6-for-7 on free throws against Watterson.
Spencer Martin added eight points.
Below are the coming schedules for the St. Charles basketball, bowling, hockey and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 31 -- At Hartley. The Cardinals defeated the Hawks 66-44 on Dec. 20.
Feb. 1 -- Home vs. Westland
*Jan. 31 -- Hartley at Holiday Lanes
*Jan. 31 -- Upper Arlington at OhioHealth Ice Haus
*Feb. 1 -- Springboro at Chiller Springfield
Jan. 30 -- At Bexley with London
Feb. 1 -- Caledonia River Valley Invitational