DAYTON — In order to become the best, you have to compete against the best.
That’s Carroll bowling coach Michael Sanchez’s philosophy, and the reason his Division II-sized Patriots rolled with perennial D-I bowling power Fairborn, Wednesday, Feb. 1 at Poelking Lanes Wilmington.
The result? Fairborn came away with wins for both its girls and boys teams, and despite a lengthy talk with his boys team in the Poelking Wilmington locker room after their match, Sanchez said his teams will be better off in the long run because of Wednesday’s losses.
“When I set the schedule up, I tried to get us playing some really good D-I programs. Fairborn historically is a very good D-I program. The other D-I school we play is Franklin. And those kinds of games get us ready for the really good schools in D-II, because they give us a good line of sight: Where do we have to get better?
“Today, we saw a really good Fairborn team, and they executed a little bit better than we did. … As a team we’ll come back and determine what we’re going to do in order to achieve in our league, in the post season as well as at state. We’re going to go forward from here.”
Fairborn won the boys team match by a 2,634 to 2,504 margin. Sanchez said he was especially impressed with Fairborn’s smooth-throwing J.T. Cherpeski, who rolled a 472 two-game series. “For a kid to come into an unfamiliar bowling establishment and turn a score like that, that’s saying something,” Sanchez added.
Senior Brody Dixon pointed to sophomore Jacob Schoening as a big reason for the Carroll boys’ success this season. Schoening led the Patriot boys (11-2) with a solid 407 two-game series.
“We just have a good group of guys, and we’re able to feed off of each other,” Schoening said. “When one guy is doing well, we all seem to do well, too.”
On Wednesday, Carroll had two-game series scores from Schoening (407 series), Mitch Weitz (368), Quinn Goodpaster (364) and Jacob Anderson (321) with single games from Shawn Williams (162) and Daniel Hobart (115).
Schoening, Dixon (who didn’t compete in Wednesday’s match with Fairborn), and Goodpaster are ranked 1-2-3 in the Greater Catholic League Co-Ed in bowling average. Schoening has a 217.5 average, with Dixon at 208.1 and Goodpaster at 190.7.
“We all go in with the idea of hitting deuce,” Dixon explained, meaning the boys shoot for a score of at least 200 each game.
Fairborn’s girls team defeated Carroll by a 2,389 to 1,656 margin. Maddie Riley rolled an impressive 422 two-game series to lead the Skyhawks to the win, while Alyssa Lewis finished with a 398 two-game score.
While the 3-8 Carroll girls team may have more youth than wins thus far this season, that hasn’t stopped the bowlers from striving to improve each time out and, most of all, having fun.
“We have a lot of new bowlers on this team, but they’ve all improved incredibly since they started bowling this season,” explained senior Brittney Blaschek, who leads the team with a 150 average.
In the loss to Fairborn, Camryn Joseph (second on the team in average at 147) led the Patriots with a 308 two-game series. Blaschek rolled a 284, Katy Eckhart tossed a 182 series, senior Carisa Kawsky rolled a 165 series while Sarah Dix and Mercedes Youngerman rolled games of 86 and 91 respectively.
“To be honest, I never thought I’d bowl a game higher than 100, but I’ve done that this season,” Youngerman said.
“Most importantly, we’re out here improving our games and having a lot of fun,” Blaschek added.
Carroll rolls next against GCL Co-Ed foe Cincinnati Purcell Marian, at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2 at Stone Lanes in Norwood.