Both the boys and girls bowling team at Hillboro High School had very successful seasons last fall with the boys making it to the state tournament and the girls missing the state bid by just 56 pins. This year both teams are shooting even better than last season and both coaches are thrilled at the what possibilities the season may hold.
“I think we can make it back to state finals,” said boys coach Shane Ison about his team. “The guys are doing really well and are actually already above last year in our first two matches. In those, we’ve had two games over 1100, which is 220 per man. That is really good for a high school level. With these kind of scores this early, I actually see those scores improving. Last year we improved by 10 pins by the end of the season. I see our top guys who are averaging around 215 to be 220 by the end of this season.”
At the state tournament last year, the Indians came in as a number one seed and were upset by a number eight in Beavercreek to end their season. Coach Ison says his players use that everyday for motivation.
“At the state last year we finished fifth out of the 16 teams that were there,” Ison said. “We qualified number one but got beat by the eight seed Beavercreek, so these guys are looking forward and striving to make it back to those finals, but not only making it back but winning.”
Ison closed in saying that he invited the community out to watch a match or few of the Indians bowling team. He thinks most people would be happily surprised with what they see.
“If you’ve never been to a high school match, it’s something that I highly encourage coming out to see,” said Ison. “Unlike your other high school sports, it’s free admission, so it doesn’t cost you anything to come out and support your local team. Out of the varsity team, three of these guys are probably looking to go past high school and do this at a collegiate level. I could take our five guys against five guys in this ally and they would fend well for themselves. People who come out to our matches for the first time are actually intrigued by how good these kids actually are.”
The Hillsboro girls are having just as great a start to their season, if not just a little better.
Sitting at 5-0 already this year, with scores improving every night, the girls have their minds set on improving on last year and making a state bid.
“So far this season, the girls are 5-0 and with their scores so far, have out-shot all the boys’ teams we’ve seen except for ours,” said Lady Indians coach Jeff Miller. “The girls finished fifth in district finals last year and are looking even stronger this year. We’re looking to be able to make a state bid this year. We only missed fourth last year by 56 pins and with the girls scores so far this year, I can’t see how state wouldn’t be able to happen. The girls remember all those teams last year at districts and we talk about them almost every practice. They’re chomping at the bit to get a chance at them again.”
Not only do the girls have something to prove when they get to districts, they also have a little bit of payback to get on their now rival Miami Trace, who beat them out last year to win the South Central Ohio League.
“For the SCOL, our main rival is Miami Trace,” Coach Miller said. “They won the league last year. We beat them in every tournament we faced them but then beat us in record because we lost some matches on the year that we shouldn’t have. Our first goal this season is to finish first in the SCOL, but we’re going to take it one step at a time. We also want to make state this year. That’s what we want to do and what we’re working towards and with the scores these girls are putting up, I don’t see any reason why we can’t
“A lot of these girls have been here at Highland Lanes all summer working hard on their games. I can’t speak enough about the work ethic of these girls.”
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.