By Susan Jenior
This is the week that Portage County teams compete in their conference championships on the heels of the Portage Trail Conference crowning the Rootstown Rovers boys and girls teams the victors.
This weekend, the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference, Metro Athletic Conference, Suburban League Conference and the Chagrin Valley Conference complete their seasons.
For the third straight year, the Rovers have swept the PTC titles, putting an exclamation on undefeated seasons for both the boys and girls programs, with decisive victories at the conference tournament at Spins Bowl in Kent on Saturday.
Individual award winners were successful for Rootstown as the girls swept the individual medals and the boys grabbed all but one when the tournament was complete.
Natalie Hammerschmidt finished with both the high game and high series (206-565) joining her teammates that grabbed second- and third-high series: Payton Curall’s 543 and Elli Campbell’s 520.
Justin Miller earned high series for the Rovers (653), and he shared first place with teammate Anthony Cambareri, who had a high game of 254.
There was a tie for secondp-high series, with Sean Boveington of Rootstown and Brant Roberts of Lake Center Christian each rolling a three-game total of 625.
Next up for Rootstown is the OHSAA’s Division II Sectional hosted by the Rovers’ home lanes, Spins Bowl in Kent.
Scott Bower, coach of the Falcons, offered an update this week on the first-year team.
“I have been extremely impressed, satisfied and surprised by our varsity team’s performance and upset victories,” said Baker. “We have clutched upset victories against Springfield and Ravenna and lost a nail-biting match against Coventry. These matches display our growth and recent performance as an underdog.
“Field boys bowling, both junior varsity and varsity, represent the qualities of a Field Falcon: Respect, diligence, sportsmanship and teamwork,” Baker added. “Our boys excel in gentlemen-like sportsmanship and display admirable camaraderie. We value healthy competition and strive to perform our best. As a first-year team, I never thought we would be looking so good, but we have proved to be a wild card and a challenge to the most-seasoned teams.”
Baker highlighted Peyton Hover, a freshman scoring a 275 against Streetsboro; Jacob Kucalaba, a new addition with hidden potential and Joey Dilworth, bowling a 266 in the match against Cloverleaf. He is expecting big things from JV bowlers Camron Riggle, James Bullard and Richie Tingler.
“I only have fine things to say about this group of young men,” said Baker.
Field will bowl in the Metro Athletic Conference Tournament this weekend.
Friday-Saturday — Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference @ Sky Lanes (Garfield).
Saturday — Metro Athletic Conference @ Spins Bowl in Akron (Ravenna, Field and Streetsboro).
Saturday — Suburban League Conference @ Riviera Lanes in Akron (Kent Roosevelt).
Sunday — Chagrin Valley Conference @ Sky Lanes in Garrettsville. (Crestwood)
Sectional and district tournaments leading to the state championships for bowling are set for February.
Division 2 Tri County — Crestwood, Garfield, Ravenna, Rootstown, Southeast. (Feb. 8 _ boys teams, Feb. 12 — Girls teams @ Spins Bowl, Kent).
Division 1 Tri County — Kent Roosevelt, Streetsboro (Feb. 19 – boys and girls teams @ Roseland Lanes, Oakwood).