DeSales Roundup: Boys bowlers aim for return to state
Although the DeSales bowling program's season had yet to start, the Stallions weren’t shy about stating their ultimate goal.
At the same time, third-year coach Miranda Singer wasn’t shy about reminding them there is plenty of work ahead.
“It is day to day at this point but even today, they were saying ‘we’re going to state’ and this and that,” Singer said after a recent practice. “I remind them well then, you have to make your spares. It hits home that little improvements will be the key. But they’re not afraid to talk about it.”
Senior Bryan Ritzler and sophomore Caden Lester, who averaged 196.6 and 195.3, respectively, last season, return after the Stallions went 18-1 overall and reached their first Division I state tournament. They finished 14th a week after capturing the program’s first district title.
Juniors Patrick Anderson and Andy Karas also saw varsity time last season as DeSales won its third consecutive CCL championship at 7-1 and went 12-1 to finish first in the COHSBC-D Division.
Ritzler is the boys team’s only senior.
“Right now, we have a lot of work to do. We’re such a young team,” Ritzler said. “I’ve worked on spares a ton. That's all I’ve worked since things have reopened (during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic). I go out by myself two times a week and work on different oil patterns and all that so I know how to play with a lot more patterns.
“If I can pick up more spares, I’d easily average two to three pins higher than I did last year. Easy spares, I’ve missed those and knew I should have picked them up.”
Rounding out the boys roster are juniors Xavier Pici-Garcia and Stephen Stalnaker, sophomore Luke Trejchel and freshman Nick Gillian.
Senior Skyla Blumenscheid leads a five-bowler girls roster and hopes to advance to her second state tournament in three seasons. Blumenscheid finished 71st at state as a sophomore but placed 39th at district last year and did not qualify for a return trip.
She averaged 165.2 last year, ahead of classmate Ella Otu-Danquah (121.4) and sophomore Alexis Reynolds (104.1).
Freshmen Sadie Bassit and Calin Mascarin complete the girls team, which went 10-7 overall, 10-2 in the COHSBC-D and 2-4 in the CCL last season.
“We’re getting some young blood in here,” Blumenscheid said. “I like where we stand. Ella and I are just trying to keep the program going. It’s something we both love. We'll try to do well in sectional and district. I at least want to get to district with the team and I absolutely want to get back to state. I’ll be ready to push those freshmen really hard.”
Ritzler said he feels a responsibility to do the same on the boys side.
“I just want to teach these guys the sport,” he said. “They want to succeed even more than I do. I am hoping they can feed off me.”
•Coach: Miranda Singer, third season
•Top athletes: Boys — Patrick Anderson, Caden Lester and Bryan Ritzler; Girls — Skyla Blumenscheid, Ella Otu-Danquah and Alexis Reynolds
•Key losses: Boys — Will McAfee-Witherspoon, Andrew Swift and Isaiah Thomas; Girls — Olivia Houlihan, Catharina Le and Audrey Nave
•Last season: Boys — 18-1 overall; Girls — 10-7 overall
•2019-20 finishes: Boys — First in the COHSBC-D, first in the CCL, sixth at sectional, first at district, 14th at state; Girls — Tied for second in the COHSBC-D, tied for third in the CCL, 31st at sectional