EAST LIVERPOOL – The boys’ bowling team from East Liverpool passed the Division II district competition last week with a whopping 247-pin win.
Now the Potters are looking for more as the team heads for the State Bowling Tournament at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl on Saturday.
“Having six varsity bowlers all with an average between 180 and 206 is like a dream team.” East Liverpool coach Lori DeMarco said. “We’ve had some really good bowling teams over the past few years, but all but one of the boys grew up in youth leagues. They are veterans. To have a team like this with six strong bowlers is incredible. “
“We have a great group of people here and I had a strong feeling that if we showed up and our spirits were high, and we could maybe move on (the state tournament) and ours are doing just that, we would have a great time Guys did “ in the sophomore year said Nathan Kelly.
“It’s really adorable” Senior Anthony DeMarco said. “I never thought I’d get the chance (to the state tournament) and if it weren’t for these guys we wouldn’t go.”
The Potter boys are going to the state tournament as a team for the first time in school history. The team has played 16 games this season and has improved with every game along the way. It culminated in a district win that made them one of the top 16 teams in the state.
“We knew we could do it and we performed well that day.” Anthony DeMarco said. “We had a few hiccups here and there, but we did it. It was a fight and we had to work through different things, but overall we just worked as a team and got the job done. “
“It’s an incredible feeling” Kelly said. “We all wanted to make it and we played bowling for a long time and we wanted to prove ourselves.”
Kelly, who had a school record of 760 three-game series as the district champion, leads the team with an average of 206 per game, but all Potters are over 180. Paxton Grimes is second on the team with an average of 195 and Derek Klein is with 189 third.
“Last year we had many times where the kids came down and almost gave up, but now we have fighters.” East Liverpool coach Jeremy Maze said. “They are always struggling to correct themselves and they know how to make their corrections. That is really why they have matured so much.”
While just making it to the state tournament is a great achievement, the Potters aren’t happy to stop there.
“As a team we want to be among the top three” Anthony DeMarco said.
“Come on, have fun and have a blast and see what happens from there” Kelly said.
“With my great coaches and teammates, I just want to show and make my team and my family proud.”
Your trainers know what they can accomplish in any given day.
“They don’t just want to go to the state, they keep raising the bar.” Said Lori DeMarco
“Last year we set some records and this year we broke those records.” Said Maze.
Lori DeMarco knew it was important to play as many personal games as possible in a strange season when virtual games were possible.
“We have them busy” Said Lori DeMarco. “If we lost a match, we got a match. We were always face to face. We didn’t do any of the virtual matches. “
“When we’re not in a match, we were (in Walnut Lanes)” Said Maze. “The children put in a lot of work.
“You put in the work and it pays off” Labyrinth added. “It’s not just the practice, it’s the work you do on your own after training.”
Virtual games were when the two teams bowl in different locations and stream the games together. That was something the Potters were never interested in.
“We left it to the team and they said no” Said Lori DeMarco. “They wanted to be face to face.”
The Potters will head to Columbus today and play a practice round. The tournament starts on Saturday at 10 a.m.
In addition to the district win, the Potters won the Buckeye 8, were runner-up in the sections and lead the championship of the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference.
Despite all of these awards, the Potters are grateful for one simple cause.
“We are incredibly happy to have a full season” Kelly said.
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