Port Clinton’s bowling team has established a standard of consistency with seven consecutive trips to the Northwest District Bowling Tournament.
“Since we were down there we know ho to put ourselves in position to get back and how to handle ourselves if we do get back,” Redskins senior Sean Black said. “If we get off to a good start we won’t get caught in the moment and last year taught us just to keep going.
“We have to get through (today) first. We can’t go to Columbus if we’re not in the top two so we have to be consistent.”
Today’s tournament is at Interstate Lanes in Rossford. Port Clinton’s boys finished second at sectionals.
The Redskins finished 11th at state last year as Black earned honorable-mention all-Ohio status. Port Clinton’s girls also qualified to districts this year.
“This team is more hungry for success this year,” Black said. “Knowing what we accomplished last year, we want to improve. The only thing that will make (today) a success is a trip to Columbus but we’ll take it one shot at a time and go out and have fun.”
Black could live with it if the team scores well and doesn’t move on but he’d rather not have to. “We’ve been practicing for this all year. Now, we have to let things happen. We’ve been preparing. We have to be loose and make good shots.”
Port Clinton’s Kyle Radloff stepped up and finished third overall at 640 (215-204-221) at sectionals. Radloff hopes things carry over for himself and the team.
“I’m as confident as I’ve been the whole season,” Radloff said. “It was a high point finishing third at sectionals. I feel good about (today) and there’s a lot of momentum.
“When one person doesn’t shoot as well another picks them up. Things are going smoothly and things are clicking. We’re a pretty close group. Everbody is over 185 — we’re loaded. We’ve got a solid team. We expected this and we’re not done yet. We have to get through (today).”
Caleb Conrad had a 604 series, Dave Wilburn rolled a 221 game and Darryl Trent had one of 226 at sectionals. Black struggled by his standards to a 509.
“I thought too much,” Black said. “My mindset is to do my best to help the team and I’ll preach that to the other guys. This is my last chance (in high school) so I want to make the most of it. I just want to be comfortable and loose, and not overthink. What separates going or not going is shoulders up.
“If I go to Columbus, I want my teammates there, too.”
Radloff is impressed with the program’s enduring success. “It’s really significant to take different kids out of sectionals seven straight years. That’s huge. Bob brings in new kids and does it every year. He’s a great coach. I’d put the success the program has had on him.”
Coach Black established the program and won 200 matches at the club level before earning his 100th varsity win Jan. 25.
“It was heartwarming to be part of,” Sean Black said. “Especially since my dad is head coach. That made it special to me — probably more to me than him. It’s about us to him. He told me he’s been blessed with talent and around for a long time.”
He’s been consistent as well.