Stafford Leader Winter Sports Previews

Southern Regional Bowling Squads Up Against Tough Competition Again This Season

Dec 08, 2017
Photo by: David Biggy Jack Hudson is one of several seniors on this year’s Southern Regional boys bowling squad, back for another season after averaging 196 as a junior.

Bowling in the Shore Conference South A division is no joke. Whether it be the boys’ lanes or the girls’ alleys, the competition is fierce every year, with several perennial powerhouse squads in the mix.

Unfortunately, Southern Regional plays in South A, and each week poses a big challenge for the Rams. And trying to figure out which gender has it tougher is equally challenging – there simply is not much wiggle room either way. Hence, the reason Southern girls coach Ed Costa keeps the team’s goals simple.

“Our goal as a team is to continue to work on improving as a team and to achieve our personal-best scores,” he said. “Those are the goals each time we go into practice or a match.”

With top-notch squads like Brick, Brick Memorial and Toms River North typically occupying the highest positions from week to week, it’s reasonable for Costa to keep the goals simple. Even Toms River South and Central will bring some heavy scoring to the board, so winning matches won’t be easy, and last year was proof. The Rams were a solid bunch but finished fifth, at 16-38.

The Rams have the capability to grab as many wins this winter, but they’re going to need the veterans to carry the load and get a few surprising efforts from a pair of newcomers.

Leading the charge this season will be junior Mackenzie Olson, who averaged 166 a year ago while qualifying for the Shore Conference Tournament. Seniors Skylar Calnan, who averaged 144 last season, and Keara Cousins, who scored a 144 average as a junior, again will be two of the Rams’ prominent scorers. Junior Reagan Hogan also returns and will need to raise her average from 116 a year ago. New to the varsity squad this season are senior Hope Cordasco and junior Kat Camoosa, who averaged in the low 100s as junior varsity players last season.

On the boys’ end of the lanes, things aren’t much better in terms of competition. Toms River South – a state sectional contender last season – will be a brute force this season, and Brick, Brick Memorial and Toms River East aren’t much farther behind the Indians when it comes to tallying wood.

Not to say the Rams are a slouch squad. They’re absolutely not, but being among the top-four this season will take a lot of punch throughout the lineup in each match. Last season, they finished 15-39 and certainly have the capability to notch a few more victories this winter. Consistency will be the key for Tony Salvatore’s crew.

The Rams’ top-four bowlers are seniors Jack Hudson, who averaged 196 a year ago, Steve Martin, who averaged 195 last season, and Jeff Wilkinson, along with junior Tom McCann. The latter two each averaged 193 last year. Southern also has a pair of solid and interchangeable fifth men in sophomore R.J. Petrozzino and senior Patrick Martucci, who averaged 183 and 171, respectively, a year ago. Eric Garvey, a junior who averaged 153 last season, also may be a key role player at times.

Unfortunately, both Rams squads got off to a rough start against Brick on Dec. 4 – the boys falling in three games, 1,028-924, 1,008-1,002 and 964-819, while the girls also dropped three games, 919-663, 899-650 and 820-658.

David Biggy

biggy@thesandpaper.net

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