Keyport girls team makes the season worthwhile

first_imgBY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer BY WARREN RAPPLEYEAStaff Writer During the fall, Keyport High School bowling coach Sal Principe was unsure if the school would have a girls team. Not only did the Red Raiders put together a girls team, but it went on to win the Shore Conference’s Northern Monmouth Division. A year ago, Keyport’s girls took second in the Northern Monmouth division, but lost four key rollers to graduation. With junior mainstay Jenna Stumpf coming back, the Red Raiders had the top female bowler in the division, but fellow juniors Stephanie Duke and Jen Valentino were the only others coming back. As it turned out, Melissa Manzie, who finished second in the division with a 165-pin average, transferred from Keansburg. Duke and Valentino averaged 147 pins and 143 pins, respectively, both up more than 20 pins from a year ago. Freshman Catherine Wegman joined the team and ended up with a 148.8 average. Megan Flynn, a senior, turned in a 130 average. And Principe recruited Courtney Nadolny, a junior who provided valuable depth. With Stumpf posting a 176.6-pin average, to again lead the division, the Red Raiders went 35-7 to win the division for the third time in the past four seasons. Keyport also hosted its first tourney, the Red Raider Holiday Classic, where Principe’s girls finished second. Manzie’s impact was huge as well. She posted a 167-pin average and had a high game of 256 and a high series of 619, both of which were tops in the division. “It really was remarkable because we went from having five or six girls at the tryouts to winning the division,” Principe said. “And next year, we’ll have everyone except Megan Flynn coming back.” On the boys’ side, the Red Raiders went a surprising 34-14 in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year, after winning two successive Northern Division titles. Four-year veteran Bob Rohe led the way with a division-leading average of 213.8-pins. His 279-game was high in the league and his series of 719, 713 and 709 were the best in the division. Rohe also won the Shore Conference Tournament, where he turned in a 727 series, for the third straight year. In addition, he finished third at the Bishop Ahr tourney early in the campaign. The boys benefited from the efforts of junior Marty Visaggio and sophomore James Cornelius. Visaggio averaged 187.3 pins, a 12-pin increase from last season, while Cornelius averaged 181 pins, a 21-pin uptick from the year before. Juniors Phil Specchio and Kevin Costello showed promise, averaging 161 pins and 150 pins, respectively. John Williams, a senior, and Nick Maupai, a junior, give the boys team added depth. Principe said the Red Raiders’ ongoing success comes from hard work and excellent support from team parents and the community. “We take bowling very seriously, and we’re proud of the championships our teams have won,” the coach said. “That doesn’t mean it isn’t fun, but our players respect the sport and they work hard as a team and on their own.” He added that through a variety of fundraising efforts, the team is able to practice an additional day each week during the season. In addition, the Red Raiders benefit from the tutelage of Sarah Bomersbach, a former Keyport bowler, who helps out as a volunteer assistant coach. “I’m a bowler myself, so the first thing I try to do is instill in our players a love of bowling,” Principe said. “Once that happens, everything else takes care of itself.”last_img

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