On the heels of one of the most successful seasons in program history, Green girls bowling is dealing with a number of challenges this season.

On the heels of one of the most successful seasons in program history, Green girls bowling is dealing with a number of challenges this season.

Dave Cowley, who helped launch the program, stepped down after last season and in his place, new head coach Cory Potter has presided over a team that lost several top competitors to graduation.

Potter took over a very successful program from Cowley, whose tenure as coach saw Green advance individuals and the team to the state tournament on a number of occasions, including the state finals last year. On top of those challenges, Green also moved into the Federal League this year.

But these challenges don’t worry Potter. He served as Cowley’s assistant coach and experienced firsthand the drive that took Green to the state finals. Despite heavy graduation losses, the first-year head coach inherited several returning  bowlers from the team that went to the state finals last year.

"We did lose two outstanding seniors but we have a solid nucleus back,” Potter said. “I would describe our team as young and experienced (and) our move to the Federal League has really opened up the competition. Every team is top-notch competition. It is one of the best leagues in Ohio. It is a totally different animal from the Suburban League.”

Potter said that while the level of competition is high in the new league and Green has much to learn about their new rivals and venues, the goal remains to win the league and make a return trip to the state tournament next month.

“I am keeping expectations high. I want the girls to finish as high as possible,” Potter said. “We won our first tournament, which was a real bonding experience for the team. It was really a tense and exciting match for the girls.”

With a 6-4 record through their first 10 matches, the Bulldogs have found the going tough in their new home, but have also found ways to be successful. Juniors Kristy Pompeo and Brandi Wells don’t believe there is a huge difference between their old league and their new one, although fellow junior Jennifer Johnston, a returning state qualifier, believes the overall level of competition is higher.

“I am really enjoying the season so far,” Johnston said. “We are close-knit from last year and feel laid back. We expect to go back to the states. The Federal League is more competitive and harder then the Suburban League (and) for me I want to work to improve my form and get my average up. Coach Potter has helped me with that, spotting things I was doing wrong and helping me correct them.”

The remainder of the regular season will present some tough matches for Green, but those contests should serve as a good training ground for postseason play. With the tough competition, the Bulldogs know they will have to be in top form to advance through the sectional and district tournaments.

Still, they believe the drive and determination is there to take them as far as they want to go.