No athletic teams in Madison County have had more success in recent years than the bowling squads at Jonathan Alder High School.
Both the Pioneers boys and girls teams have made multiple trips to the OHSAA state championships in recent years and both teams appear to be in for strong showings in the 2017-18 season which began recently.
Both teams enjoyed an opening-night sweep over Marysville, North Union and Fairbanks in the Union County Quad Nov. 22.
The Pioneers boys (3-0) went on the road to open the season with team games of 1,015 and 1,038 to start the season. They added Baker games 247 and 178 to hold off a good Marysville team and an improved North Union squad.
Senior Zach Otto led all boy bowlers with games of 235 and 221 for a 456 two-game series. Josh DeVore finished with a 453 (206, 247), Andrew Clark posted a 450 (226, 224) and Luke Honigford turned in a 365 (189, 176). Josh Schrock (158) and Jake Schrock (178) also helped the Pioneers to victory.
Alder finished with a team score of 2,478, ahead of Marysville (2,423), North Union (2,313) and Fairbanks (1,81).
“It’s a great start to the season for the boys, with big wins over county rivals Marysville and North Union in their home center,” Jonathan Alder coach Rusty Walter said.
With a solid returning core of Otto, Clark, Honigford, Schrock brothers Jake and Josh and a very experienced junior move-in, Josh DeVore, the defending D-II Central District champion Pioneers are expecting another solid season and return trip to the OHSAA State Bowling Championships in March.
The Lady Pioneers (3-0) battled back to claim a hard-fought win over both Marysville and North Union.
The Ladies struggled to get on track to start the night and were down 76 pins going into the Baker game portion of the contest. Alder posted a clean Baker game of 190. To cut the deficit to just 15 pins going into the final Baker game and then overtook North Union for a satisfying 1,890 to 1,879 win to capture the Union County Quad event. Fairbanks was third (1,593) and Marysville came in with a score of 1,107.
Senior Rena Kirts led all the ladies with a 371 series (173, 198).
“Rena, one of our three-year seniors worked hard for her 371 series with only two open frames in two games,” Walter said. “She just couldn’t carry.”
Hallie Nichols added a 178 game, Rachel Kaeser had a 176, Cierra Clark posted a 174 and Emily Walker finished with a 173.
The two time defending D-II Central District Champions Lady Pioneers have a strong group of returning seniors in Kirts, Kaeser and Nichols. It also has a sophomore in Clark and another standout who is returning to bowling in sophomore Emily Walker.
The Lady Pioneers aim to improve weekly and make that difficult fourth straight trip the OHSAA State Tournament.
The Pioneers also improved to (3-0) sweeping Marysville, Fairbanks and North Union. The JV teams was led by an outstanding performance by freshman Nathan Clark 209-245 (454) series leading all JV bowlers and was second overall to only Varsity teammate Zach Otto.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.