Progress was made, and fun was had.
That’s a good combination, and that was an overriding theme for Cathedral High School bowling in 2019-2020.
“We had a very good season,” Irish bowling coach Mark Noe said.
Irish bowling, as has been the case in recent seasons, had stronger numbers in the boys program than the girls program in 2019-20 – but Noe said both teams improved through a season that featured a fifth-place finish in the sectional tournament for a boys program that was strong through much of the season.
The Irish boys, after contending early in the season with a near-.500 record and a Top 20 state ranking, finished fifth at the sectional at Baker Bowl – a postseason finish that Noe said wasn’t particularly reflective of the season overall.
“There was a lot of improvement,” Noe said. “We didn’t bowl very well at the sectional at the Baker Bowl, but overall it was a fun season.
Senior Jye Johnson averaged 168 to finish 12th individually at the Indianapolis North West sectional, a performance that qualified him for the regional and helped him earn team co-Most Valuable Player honors for the 2020 season. Sophomore Charlie Schenck – a team leader and captain – averaged 196 over the course of the season, also earning team co-MVP honors.
“We had a lot of fun and had a great time,” Noe said. “The kids bowled really well at times, so it was a good season. The second part of the season we didn’t bowl as well as we could have. We’re not going to hold anybody’s feet to the fire. We had a good experience.”
Senior Aydan Alerding – a co-captain along with Schenck – also was key for the Irish in 2020, averaging about a 175 score through the course of the season. Senior Jay Johnson – Jye’s twin brother – averaged about 170 and sophomore Nick Rodecap also averaged in the mid-170s.
The Irish boys featured 10 varsity members and 12-to-13 on the junior varsity, solid numbers for the program.
“They had a lot of fun,” Noe said. “We ran into a couple of buzz saws [in the postseason]. Nobody likes to lose, but we have a good attitude. We’re trying to take it up a notch.”
The eight-member varsity girls team finished sixth at the sectional tournament. The Irish girls were led by Mallory Dills, who averaged around 125 throughout the season, and senior JoJo Suppiger – who averaged a little more than 100 through the season. Lily Wagoner and Lauren Browning were also key contributors.
“Overall, they improved a lot,” Noe said. “They were a lot of fun to be around and they cheered each other on. They didn’t take themselves too seriously, but it was a good season. It’s great to see the improvement and great to see them not get mad and move on to the next frame. They definitely showed a lot of improvement.”
That was true of both programs in year in which Irish bowling continued to progress and show real growth.
“It turned out well,” Noe said. “The program’s alive and well, and the kids are wanting to make it better by bowling in the offseason. It’s going well. It’s going strong right now.”