The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 14, 2013

Brian Holtzapple's bowling column: Braves still making noise on lanes

Well, it's back to the grind once again dear keglers. And it's a good thing too, because there's a lot I need to catch up on.

But where do I begin?

Considering their combined performance in Saturday's league match against Central Columbia, the early success currently enjoyed by the Shikellamy High bowling program is a good place to start.

I know I talk about the Braves quite a bit in this column, but it's hard to argue about success. And whenever it seems the teams have been knocked down a peg, they just keep winning games.

Case in point: after the two teams went 3-1 versus the Blue Jays on what was senior day for the Braves, Shikellamy's boys are now 10-2 and the girls are 9-3, and both squads find themselves in the thick of the Heartland Athletic Conference title chase.

With senior veteran Zack Williams and several match-tested underclassmen in juniors Brett Bowersox and Earl Malick, plus sophomores Noah Thomas, Jacob Kratzer and Randy Ripple, the Braves have been putting up big numbers all year long.

Kratzer and Malick have also rolled perfect games during the youth league at Strike Zone Lanes, with Kratzer accomplishing the feat twice (more on that next week). Thomas added a 299 game as well in the league.

"The boys have been bowling very well this year. A lot of big games have been tossed during the youth leagues and (high school matches)," said coach Bill Snyder. "Never count out Shikellamy bowling, we have been in contention for titles every year."

Although what Shikellamy's boys team has done so far this year may not be all that surprising, the fact that the girls team has done as well as it has to this point probably is to some.

When you lose two of the best bowlers in the state and four starters overall to graduation, some struggles are expected. Even though the Braves have been far from perfect, the girls are hanging tough.

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