PREVIEW: Panthers' first season is all about learning

The Monticello High School boys bowling team, first row from left: Noah Arduser, Jacob Farmer, Alex Fagan, Eli Beitz, Levi Temple and David Titman. Second row: Gary Pasker, Robert Pejchl, Kegan Arduser, Caleb Gillmore, Ransom Brady, Autry Fasnacht, Hayo Eiben and head coach Brian Meyer. Not pictured is volunteer assistant coach Stacie Breitbach. (Photos by Pete Temple)

The Monticello High School girls bowling team, first row from left: Cassie Gillmore, Natalie Newhard, Rachel Larabee, Yutana Hughes, Jordyn Patterson and Keeley Anderson. Second row: head coach Brian Meyer, Jordan Lorenzen, Evee Krouse, Hope Vorbeck, Shana Timm and Leah Holub. Not pictured are Grace Heinrich, Shelby Kray, Aubree Fairley and volunteer assistant coach Stacie Breitbach.
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     Twenty-six Monticello High School student athletes will embark upon a new chapter in the school’s history this season – the first Panther bowling teams.

     The Panthers were scheduled to begin competition Tuesday, Nov. 28 with a home match against Cascade at Legacy Lanes.

     For both the boys’ and girls’ teams, the season will be a learning experience, not only with their skills but also in how high school bowling works in the state of Iowa.

     “I knew we were going to be young,” said Legacy Lanes owner Brian Meyer, the teams’ first head coach. “But everybody is responding pretty well to the coaching they’re getting. They’re listening and applying what they’re learning.”

     High school matches involve 12 bowlers per team, six varsity and six junior varsity.

     Each team begins by having its six members bowl two individual games. Five of those six totals count toward the team score.

     Then, the match moves into the Baker format. Teams select five bowlers, and each one bowls two of the 10 frames, giving them a combined Baker game score. The first bowler will roll in the first and sixth frames, the second one in frames two and seven, and so on.

     “You want your best bowler to bowl fifth, because they get more opportunities in the 10th frame,” Meyer said.

     There are five Baker games in a match, and those scores are combined with the individual scores of the first two games to produce an overall team total.

     The Panthers have 12 boys and 14 girls on the teams.

     Members of the Panther boys’ team include seniors Robert Pejchl, Kegan Arduser and Hayo Eiben; juniors David Titman, Ransom Brady and Autry Fasnacht; sophomores Eli Beitz; and freshmen Noah Arduser, Jacob Farmer, Alex Fagan, Levi Temple, Gary Pasker and Caleb Gillmore.

     The girls include seniors Cassie Gillmore, Natalie Newhard, Rachel Larabee, Yutana Hughes and Jordyn Patterson; juniors Keeley Anderson, Jordan Lorenzen, Hope Vorbeck, Shana Timm and Grace Heinrich; sophomores Evee Krouse, Leah Holub and Shelby Kray; and freshman Aubree Fairley.

     “Varsity is not going to be set,” Meyer said. “There are going to be kids that float between both. Competition is going to help us determine who is on what squad.”

     While the Panthers hope to be competitive and win some matches, individual and team scoring goals will be paramount in their inaugural season.

     “The primary goal is to come out and have fun, develop your skills, and learn more about the game,” Meyer said. “We may not be super competitive with some teams, but we’re going to create our own wins. We’re going to establish a baseline.

     “The first match is going to tell us where we are. Maybe our goal is 150 for a Baker game. So if we establish the 150 as our baseline, next match we’re going to make 160 as our goal.”

     Meyer said he is encouraged by what he has seen so far.

     “They’re getting better,” he said. “Every practice you can see improvement. So I think they’re getting it. I think they’re having fun also, and that’s important.”

     The Panthers have eight dates on the regular season schedule, which runs through Feb. 6.

     Stacie Breitbach is serving as a volunteer assistant coach.




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