This was enjoyable and memorable.
The Cathedral High School 2020-2021 bowling season was both of those things – and it was the most competitive season in recent memory for the boys team, too.
That made it a successful season for the growing, improving program.
“This was a fun season,” Cathedral bowling coach Mark Noe said. “It was a blast.”
Perhaps nothing was more fun for Cathedral bowling in 2021 than the postseason run of junior Charlie Schenck, who led a strong boys postseason performance while qualifying for the semi-state singles championship. Schenck qualified for semi-state by rolling a 528 – 159-201-168 – series in the regional tournament at Heritage Lanes in Kokomo.
That qualified Schenck for the 12th and final spot at the semi-state tournament. There, he rolled a 528 series and fell 40 pins shy of an appearance at the state tournament.
“He had a great season and was the constant leader of the team not only in his high level of performance but also as a cool, calm and collected athlete even when the pins were not falling his way,” Noe said.
Schenck qualified for the regional with a Top 7 individual finish with a score of 509 at the Indianapolis East Sectional. That led the Irish to a third-place sectional finish that barely missed qualifying for the regionals as a team for the first time in recent memory.
The third-seeded Irish boys narrowly missed a second-place finish at the sectional, missing advancing by 14 pins. Schenck also received the Northwest Conference Sportsmanship Award, a prestigious honor awarded by conference coaches.
Noe said junior Nick Rodecap, senior Will Teasley, sophomore Isaac Alerding, sophomore Hunter Browning, sophomore Antonio Arroyo and sophomore Alec Irwin all bowled well at the sectional to contribute to the third-place finish.
“The kids had a ball,” Noe said. “There’s something about this kind of atmosphere. It wasn’t quite as attended as it was last year because of COVID. We had a nucleus of kids, moms and dads who were trying to support us positively.
“We take it seriously, but when you make a mistake or an error, regroup and get it together. It’s all about form and delivery and approach and mental approach. It’s been a good thing.”
The Irish Keglers in 2019 didn’t field a junior varsity because of COVID-19, with the program normally fielding a jayvee of 35-to-40 bowlers. Still, Noe said with only one varsity senior bowler this past season – Teasley – the future appears bright.
“We have a nice core of kids coming back, plus we’ve got a couple of sophomores who didn’t bowl varsity this season,” Noe said.
The Irish Keglers’ girls program featured an improving group of underclassmen: freshman Monica DeSanto, freshman Jules Hollis, sophomore Sydney Moore and freshman Rachel Rodecap. Noe said the group progressed throughout the season, bowling a season high score at the sectional tournament.
“The girls started averaging between 70-90 and they all got better,” Noe said. “The big thing with the girls team was we got a great bunch of people out there, because they’re a lot of fun. And a lot of teams don’t have girls teams. We do.
“Their improvement was impressive. Some of the girls hadn’t bowled at all before. They all did a good job when they needed to do a good job. We have all underclassmen, so obviously that’s a good thing – and they had a lot of fun.”
Noe said the strong group of underclassmen could mean a bright and enjoyable future for both programs.
“We have a strong nucleus coming back and look forward to preparing for a big year,” Noe said, calling 2020-2021 a “very special team as we saw many of the bowlers improve. If they wish to get to the next level, the Irish Keglers will have to hit the lanes and put in their time with practice and tournaments.
“Both squads have shown improvement and we look forward to the next chapter to the Irish Bowling squads.”