Reynoldsburg Roundup: Boys bowlers hoping for 'memorable' season

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Reynoldsburg Raiders

With a five-member senior class leading the way last winter, the Reynoldsburg boys bowling team won league and sectional titles before having its season end at the Division I district tournament.

Three others on the team saw limited action but showed the kind of potential that fifth-year coach Jamie Gapen believes could bode well for this season.

The Raiders had their practice and match schedule paused in late November and aren’t scheduled to compete until Jan. 6 against Hilliard Bradley at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl.

“It’s been a struggle so far with the (COVID-19 coronavius) pandemic,” Gapen said. “We managed just three or four practices before we had to suspend the program. But it was nice to see everyone again and to know they were in good spirits and hopeful of the upcoming season.

“Not being able to practice and to cut a good chunk of the season out from the start without knowing how much they will get to compete, if at all, is the biggest downside. My overall hope is that we’ll be able to get the bowlers out there to participate and still make it a memorable one.”

Seniors Mark Drake and Cris Weatherly and sophomore Caleb Defenbaugh should lead the way. Weatherly averaged 192.5, Defenbaugh averaged 175.8 and Drake averaged 143.5 last season but only saw action in four league games or fewer.

Senior Terrell Jackson and junior Alijah Walker also are expected to be key bowlers.

The Raiders went 13-1 overall last year. They won the COHSBC-B Division at 11-1 and shared the OCC-Central title with Gahanna at 5-1.

They then won the sectional title with a score of 3,991 before placing eighth (3,545) at district as the top three teams advanced to state.

Logan Jeffers, who averaged 208.0 in COHSBC matches to finish fifth overall and bowled 554 at district to place 25th, led a 2020 senior class that also included Logan Gapen (201.2), Owen Chisley (196.4), Cameron Brosious (184.3) and David Robinson (179.2).

“The group of bowlers this season has limitless potential, just as much as in the past,” Gapen said. “Just giving the bowlers a chance to compete this season will give each one of them a chance to be top bowlers in their own right. I’m positive that when the time comes for their chance to shine that they’ll make the best of it no matter what.”

Most of girls

bowlers return

Of the six bowlers who competed for the girls team last season, four have returned.

Among that group is senior Katie Morgan, who was third on the team in average at 118.1 and is the daughter of third-year coach Jeff Morgan.

“My daughter bowled a few times this summer,” coach Morgan said. “Katie’s a senior and this is her fourth year on the varsity team. I had four of them return. We really haven’t been able to recruit much with Katie going to (Eastland-)Fairfield Career Center. I’ve got three seniors and I’d like to have them (earn a varsity letter) this year.”

The other returnees are senior Jenan Alkhatib and junior Lizzy Folk, who averaged 105.2 and 108.2, respectively, in COHSBC matches, and senior Dipisha Kekhatri.

Kekhatri only played five games last season, when 2020 graduates Kimmee Shook and Kay Hetterscheidt averaged 138.3 and 134.4, respectively, to lead the way.

The Raiders improved from 2-11 in 2018-19 to 5-9 overall last season, including placing ninth (4-8) in the COHSBC-B behind champion Gahanna (12-0), before having their season end with a 23rd-place finish (2,649) at sectional as the top 16 teams advanced to district.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

BOWLING

Coaches: Boys — Jamie Gapen, fifth season; Girls — Jeff Morgan, third season

Top athletes: Boys — Caleb Defenbaugh, Mark Drake, Terrell Jackson, Alijah Walker and Cris Weatherly; Girls — Jenan Alkhatib, Lizzy Folk, Dipisha Kekhatri and Katie Morgan

Key losses: Boys — Cameron Brosious, Owen Chisley, Logan Gapen, Logan Jeffers and David Robinson; Girls — Kay Hetterscheidt and Kimmee Shook

Last season: Boys — 13-1 overall; Girls — 5-9 overall

2019-20 finishes: Boys — First in COHSBC-B, tied for first in OCC-Central, first at sectional, eighth at district, Girls — Ninth in COHSBC-B, sixth in OCC-Central, 23rd at sectional