|PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Senior Hunter Kolb has helped the Highlands Bluebirds bowling team to another solid season.|
Following 7-0 wins over Lloyd Memorial at LaRu Lanes in Highland Heights one week ago, Highland faces Cooper on Thursday back at LaRu. Then the Region 5 Tournament takes place at Super Bowl Bellewood on Jan. 22 and 24. The only loss by either team was the girls game against Campbell County.
"They work very hard," said Glenn Schmidt, Highlands Head Coach. "They've got very good work habits as far as practicing and that type of thing. The have a lot of confidence with their ability. With that confidence and their chemistry, I think we have a really good chance of winning the regional tournament for the boys and the girls and making it to the state."
Schmidt said synthetic lanes never have to be sanded whereas wood lanes have to be sanded every two years and have a new finish put on it. Schmidt said urethane lanes break down quicker and that can lead to drier lanes meaning the balls can break harder.
"They do play a lot differently. You have to adjust to that difference," Schmidt said. "It's a matter of moving your feet maybe using a different ball that you have. One that is less aggressive or more aggressive. It becomes pretty technical once you get into that stuff."
The Bluebirds have three players averaging more than 200 per game. Seniors Andy Campbell and Hunter Kolb lead the way with 224 and 210 respectively and sophomore Jordan Cole is next with a 204 average. Sophomore Gunner Gabbard averages 175 a game and sophomore Cameron Riley averages 169.
"It's truly amazing to be able to have a coach that is willing to make everyone a better bowler, and not just focus on the best ones on the team," Kolb said. "Watching him help my teammates during practices and matches gives a feeling of pride knowing that as a senior, the future teams will be in good hands. Coach Schmidt does his best to help everyone with mechanics and their own personal styles adapting to each individual member of the team."
The girls have two seniors in Kate Schneider (180) and Tessa Woody (157). Freshman Abby Bach leads Highlands averaging 181 per game. Junior Erin Parrott averages 167 per game and freshman Amanda Parrott is next with 163 and junior Emrel Woody averages 162 per game.
"I'd say the best part about this season for me is being with my team because you can bowl well on your own, but you can't always lift yourself up on your own," Erin Parrott said. "You need people that aren't just team members, but family. Once you are on a team, they become your family and they will always lift you up when you throw a bad ball or are so close to picking up that spare, but come up a little short."
The Highlands girls finished runner-up in the 5th Region Tournament last year while the boys lost in the semifinals. The Highlands girls then lost to Louisville Mercy in the first round of the state tournament.