Hartley Roundup: Bowling teams aim to build on past success
With most of its top competitors returning, the Hartley boys and girls bowling teams each took steps forward last winter.
The boys qualified for the Division II district tournament after coming up short of that accomplishment the previous season, while the girls lost just four regular-season matches.
With that success in mind, third-year coach Chris Blum hopes both teams can make additional strides during a season that isn’t scheduled to begin until Jan. 4 against DeSales at Holiday Lanes.
The CCL postponed the beginning of the winter sports season until Dec. 18 because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The Hawks also compete in the COHSBC-D Division with programs from the CCL and the City League, which also has delayed winter sports.
“My hope for the boys is to qualify for the state tournament and place in the top 10,” Blum said. “My hope for the girls is to compete at sectionals and qualify for the district tournament.”
The boys team finished 11-5 overall last winter while placing fourth (9-3) in the COHSBC-D and fourth (3-5) in the CCL. DeSales went 12-1 in the COHSBC-D and 7-1 in the CCL to capture both titles.
In the postseason, the boys earned a runner-up finish (3,463) at sectional before placing ninth (3,337) at district.
Junior Marlin Yarborough averaged 175.8 and classmate Ayden Jordan averaged 172.2 in COHSBC action to lead the returnees.
Senior Andrew Grosko tied for 19th (527) at district for the team’s second-best finish behind 2020 graduate Victor Jackson, who was 12th (557) and averaged 180.0.
Juniors Sam Shisler, Noah Shultz and Bradley Teynor were other key contributors a year ago, and senior Ben Gegorski also has returned.
Blum believes Yarborough has a “chance to be the best bowler in the city.”
The girls team has returned seniors Maria Kelley and Trinity Thompson and juniors Ann Flores and Camille Payne after finishing 10-4 overall.
The Hawks finished 39th (2,365) in the Division I sectional as Kelley led with a 402, finishing 43 pins from qualifying for district.
The roster also includes seniors Emily Casto, Joelea Kelley, Morgan Liden and Jessica McBride.
Kayleigh Donovan, Libby Erwin and SaMarra Pointer all were lost to graduation.
“I love this group of young men and women,” Blum said. “They all have a strong work ethic and are open to feedback, but the thing that sets this team apart from teams in past years is how much they enjoy each other. They work to get better and be better for everyone else on the team. This aspect has allowed us to move through the difficulties with this season without much of a hitch.”
•Coach: Chris Blum, third season
•Top athletes: Boys — Andrew Grosko, Ayden Jordan, Sam Shisler, Noah Shultz, Bradley Teynor and Marlin Yarborough; Girls — Ann Flores, Maria Kelley, Camille Payne and Trinity Thompson
•Key losses: Boys — Victor Jackson; Girls — Blessing Robinson, Moriah Cason, Kayleigh Donovan, Libby Erwin and SaMarra Pointer
•Last season: Boys — 11-5 overall; Girls — 10-4 overall
•2019-20 finishes: Boys — Fourth in COHSBC-D, fourth in CCL, second at sectional, ninth at district; Girls — Fourth in COHSBC-D, tied for third in CCL, 39th at sectional