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Published: Friday, 4/9/2004

St. Francis Red ends Whitmer s Metro streak at 4

BY MARK MONROE
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

For the first time in four years, a school other than Whitmer has claimed the area s top high school bowling title.

The St. Francis Red team ended Whitmer s dominance when it won the Toledo Metro League s National Division last month. St. Francis team members T.J. Eagle, John Szczucinski, Andy Ostrosky, Mike Izsak, and Marc Resnick defeated Clay three games to one on March 20 at Imperial Lanes.

“It was anyone s game,” said St. Francis coach John McNally. “It was tough, friendly competition all the way through. The Clay team is an exceptional group of kids.”

Clay s Chad Koles, Nick Wuertz, Cameron Phillips, David Johnson, and Chris Bodnar won the first half of the 28-week season to earn a berth in the post season rolloff.

St. Francis, which won the second half, won the first game of the rolloff 968-949. Clay won the second game 1,087-1,037 before the Red squad won the decisive game 1,054 to 1,021.

It was the first time in more than two decades that a St. Francis team had won the top bowling title, according to McNally, who is in his 13th season at the helm of the Knight program. He said he had the most bowlers ever with 30 and that for the first time he had two teams that competed in the top division of the Metro League.

“I ve had as few as 10,” McNally said. “But the kids on this championship team did a great job recruiting kids.”

Eagle, a junior, has been the most vocal recruiter, McNally said. The team s leadoff bowler also gives his teammates tips.

“T.J. is the brains behind the team,” McNally said. “He knows more about bowling than most people. He is always making suggestions.”

Eagle recruited freshman Ostrosky when Ostrosky was in eighth grade.

“He has matured quite a bit,” McNally said of his ninth grader. “He kept us in quite a few games this year.”

The Knights second bowler, Szczucinski, was the most improved. The sophomore joined the program s top team at midpoint of the season.

Izsak, a junior, was the team s top bowler all season and had the high average of 212.

Resnick, the team s anchor, had the highest series in the league this year, a 782.

“He s a very good bowler,” McNally said. “He knows the game inside and out.”

McNally said the team could not have won the title without junior sub Shayne York.

“He bowled in at least half of our games,” McNally said. “He plays football so we didn t have him until after Thanksgiving, but he kept us in contention” in the second half.

Resnick is the only bowler McNally will lose to graduation, so the Knights appear to have a good chance at repeating next year.

“We ll definitely be strong,” McNally said. “In fact as the season progressed we thought next year would be our year.”

St. Francis Red also had the high scratch game (1,182) and high scratch series (3,282) in the league this year.

Individually, Bowsher s Aaron Okonski had the only 300 this year. Whitmer s Nick Stone had the high overall average at 214. The Panthers Emily Kosier had the high scratch game, 278, and series, 673, among the girls.

wThe Queens traveling classic presented by Dunn Chevy-Buick held its first round of post season rolloffs Monday night.

The league s wild card team, Lizcano s Pro Shop, defeated A.A. Boos & Sons 111/2 points to 91/2 at Forest View Lanes.

“It was real close,” said Lizcano s Jodi Woessner. “It went down to the last frame.”

A. A. Boos & Sons, which consists of Kathy Askins, Tricia Rettig, Jodie Walter, Mona Kurtz and Sheri Verespej, had won the first session of the league.

The Lizcano s Pro Shop team - Kathy Taber, Shellie Stone, Cheri Nopper-Hahn, Woessner and Lisa Kessinger - will face the Toledo Sports Center team in a championship rolloff Monday at 9 p.m. at The Timbers and Tuesday at 9 p.m. at Westland Lanes.

Toledo Sports Center team members Ann Lawson, Mary Minnick, Connie Fairchild, Patty Pruss, and Kathy Coombs won the second and third sessions.

wSylvania Township s Kevin Taber continues to maintain a torrid pace this season - he bowled himself into the top 10 at the American Bowling Congress tournament in Reno, Nev., on March 27.

Taber moved into fourth place in the Regular All-Events category and tied for sixth in the Regular Singles event. Taber, who won the Master s Tournament in Toledo last month, bowled a 746 in singles, 683 in doubles and 604 in team for an all-events score of 2,033.

“I worked more on my game in the last three weeks than I have the last three years just to get ready for this tournament,” Taber said. “I m very satisfied.”

Taber is ranked seventh in singles and sixth in the all-events category.

The ABC Tournament is the largest participatory sporting event in the world. More than 80,000 participants from all 50 states and several foreign countries are competing for an estimated prize fund of more than $6 million.

The Greater Toledo Bowling Association has a new Web site that is up and running. The Web site, www.toledobowling.com made its debut last month.

The idea has been on the back burner for at least five years and was made possible by a computer upgrade at the GTBA office, according to GTBA secretary Rob Huss.

The Web site features a discussion room and forums along with a calendar of events and listings of tournament results.

The site has a listing of all the GTBA directors and will eventually have e-mail for all officials. It also lists all of the GTBA Hall-of-Fame members year by year.

The site also has links to other bowling sites such as bowl.com and the WIBC and ABC sites.

“There s a lot of info on it,” Huss said of the system that had an initial set up cost of about $600. “We think it will save costs in the long run. There will be tournament entries available to download next season.”

Contact Mark Monroe at: mmonroe@theblade.com or 419-724-6110.



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