BY TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
OWEGO - After going 4-56 and finishing fifth in the STAC Metro last season, the Owego boys are looking to be competitive this season.
The early season has seen with mixed results, but the Indians appear headed in the right direction. They knocked off defending STAC champ U-E in the season opener and had an impressive showing and season-high score in their most recent match. In between, Owego struggled against Vestal and is currently 8-7.
For the girls team, it looks like some rebuilding is in order as Owego graduated their top three bowlers.
Junior Qwinten Adams who posted a 205 average last season and was an All-Conference selection. After missing the first two matches due to illness, he rolled a 214-210-623 in Wednesday's win over Horseheads.
Senior Gabe Avery was second in average last year with a 165.
Youth should serve Owego well with freshman Tyler Taft and 8th-grader Cole Dalton, both carrying a 159 averages, also returning.
Tenth-grader Nathan Travis, a lefty is making a return to bowling after trying it during seventh grade.
"He shows a lot of promise and has been improving every day since the start of the season," Schmidt said.
The coach has set the bar high for the boys team.
"We return four starting bowlers from last year's battle-tested team and are expecting big things this season," Schmidt said. "Led by Qwinten Adams, a two-time top-30 finisher in Section 4 individual average, this team also boasts senior Gabe Avery, along with returning starters Tyler Taft and Cole Dalton. We have a great competition right now for that fifth starting spot between Levi Stanton (11th grade), who saw some time on varsity last year, along with JV starter Quinton Hollister (10th grade) from last year, and newcomers Hunter Harbst and Nathan Travis."
Coming off a 24-36 record and third-place STAC Metro finish, the Indians have some big holes to fill.
Zezra Reynolds, Ashley Bidwell and Arielle Mosher were All-Division picks last season, but the trio has graduated.
Leading the charge this season will be seniors Hayley Classen and Abby Shirley with 139 and 136 averages, respectively.
Eighth-grader Victoria Reigle will help the rebuilding effort.
"After losing our top three girls bowlers to graduation last year, Victoria is leading the youth rebuilding effort after bowling exclusively on JV last year," Schmidt said.
Schmidt knows this group is youthful overall, and is focused on consistent improvement.
"Abby and Hayley return for their senior seasons, but the rest of the team will be very young and inexperienced," he said. "We are hoping to improve each and every day and compete in our matches in a tough STAC Metro Division. Shirley and Classen are joined by new varsity bowlers Lillie Carrigan-Bauer (10th grade) and Victoria Reigle (8th grade). We have four bowlers competing to start in the fifth spot in the lineup."
IN PHOTO: Owego's Qwinten Adams.
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