By: James Justice
It’d be tough to argue that bowling at JCHS has never been in a better place as it rounds up the winter sports calendar. With twenty three kids in total on this year’s squad, JCHS has one of its biggest teams of all time, and the future looks bright as the record setting team is also one of the youngest teams in recent JCHS history. Out of the twenty-three bowlers, there are only two seniors, John Christopher and Justin Vitiello, each contributing a veteran presence to this year’s varsity squad. But it’s fitting that the bulk of the contribution on the varsity squad is from the underclassmen. One of whom is junior Will McCoy, who holds the fifth best high game score with a 253, and stands at second for his high series score of 674. McCoy has been a leader on and off the lanes for the program serving as a scout in many respects by talking positively about the sport and bringing in new people to the fold. One new bowler is fellow junior Mark Olsen. Olsen had very little experience with bowling going into the season, but the constant weekend trips to Hanover Lanes during the fall helped Olsen feel comfortable, and really helped positively impact Olsen’s game. Olsen stepped in and immediately made varsity, becoming one of the best bowlers on the team before sadly getting injured in non-bowling accident. That being said, Olsen says that, “he never ruled out a return,” and he is ahead of schedule on his recovery. Another new face to enter the program was freshman Colin Dromgoole who proved to be very impressive after he made the varsity squad. His scores of 138, 192, and 485 rank second to only to McCoy.
But while there have been some welcome surprise additions to the team, it didn’t immediately translate to positive performance in competitive action. The Chiefs started out the year a little slow with a 3-6 record in all competitions and 23-47 points total. This could be expected with all the new faces coming into the fold but things soon turned around for the team. The Chiefs responded to early struggles with late heroics. David turned into Goliath, as the once struggling Chiefs made three straight wins with staggering 7-0 score lines! JCHS then toppled the likes of SEC rival Irvington, and Weequahic back to back. And with these victories came added confidence before the most important part of the season, the Essex County Championships which will be taking place on February 3 at Hanover Lanes. For any JCHS bowlers lucky enough to score high enough in the championship, they will advance onto the prestigious NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2 Final set for February 7 at Jersey Lanes.