Lake bowling teams rolling to success

Andy Harris
Suburbanite correspondent

LAKE TWP.  Halfway through the season, Lake bowling has already racked up some impressive – and even historical – results.

Lake bowler Cameron Ryan bowled a two-game total of 510 earlier this year against GlenOak. It was the sixth best score in program history.

Success has come on an individual level as well as a team level for the Blue Streaks, with the girls sprinting out of the gate to an 8-1 record and the boys enjoying multiple standout efforts on an individual level. Eight wins in nine outings puts the girls team in a positive frame of mind for the coming rush of Federal League matches.

"They've been opportunistic. The teams we've beaten are opponents they should have beat and they've worked hard and taken advantage of the chances," head coach Pat King said. "The girls have been using the opportunity to work on their games and work on picking up spares."

The girls team's lone loss through nine matches came against a talented GlenOak team and the remainder of the league figures to pose some other tough tasks. A team with just two seniors on the roster hasn't lacked for veteran-like efforts, as seniors Mackenzie Bozman and Skylar Oshell lead the Blue Streaks with scoring averages of 177 and 157 pins per game, respectively.

Bozman has a high game of 213, while Oshell has a top game of 194. They've been joined atop the stat sheet by sophomore Ashlee Cunningham, a first-year bowler who battled her way into the varsity lineup and has a 153 scoring average per game.

"They've provided really good leadership and Mackenzie has bowled some varsity all four years," King said. "She just has a really constant, pleasant demeanor and brings the team together."

With two seniors, two juniors and two sophomores forming the core of the varsity roster, the girls team has good balance between veterans and underclassmen.

Having a small senior class is a trait the girls team shares with the boys, who are 3-6 so far and have just one senior. Josh Eaton is tied for second with a 175 scoring average and earned a third-place finish at the Stark County Conference Early Bird Tournament in November with a two game series of 431 thanks to individual games of 209 and 222.

It's junior Christian Konigsberger who leads the team with a 190 average, but his high game of 232 isn't the best single-game effort for the boys this season. That distinction belongs to junior Cameron Ryan, who is in just his second year of high school bowling but had an outing for the history books against GlenOak on Dec. 9.

Ryan, paired with a bowler from GlenOak who turned in a personal-best game, had a 263 game that he chased with a 247 game, giving him a two-game score of 510 to rank sixth in program history. While Ryan is tied with Eaton for scoring average at 175 pins per game, King admitted his big day was a pleasant surprise.

"The bowler from GlenOak had his first nine frames as strikes and going into the 10th frame, he had a perfect game, then rolled a gutter ball his first roll that last frame," King said. "Cam had a split in the sixth frame, but he came back and struck out, kept his focus and was able to win."

King described Ryan as a determined, focused competitor who doesn't show a lot of emotion on the lanes. The veteran coach has seen added confidence from Ryan since his big series and expects there will be more such series in the future. He believes being paired with an opposing bowler on the same lane benefited Ryan during that match and in a season when many alleys separate teams during matches so bowlers are grouped only with teammates on a lane in order to minimize exposure and promote safety in terms of COVID-19 issues.

In between now and the sectional tournament, the Blue Streaks will have plenty of tough tests to prepare them for the postseason. League foes such as Perry and Green have been among the area's most successful at different points in recent years and with no postseason Federal League tournament, those matches have an added layer of intensity.

Once the postseason begins, King believes the most important thing the Blue Streaks need to keep in mind is that whatever lane they're bowling on, the dimensions are the same. The veteran coach noted that his bowlers really enjoy the home setting at Park Centre Lanes, but need to have the same mindset wherever they compete.

If they can maintain that mindset, the Blue Streaks have a good look at adding even more impressive results to their ledger.