sectional bowlers
1st Place:  Hayden Hopple, Plymouth 2nd Place:  Justin Dresbach, John Glenn 3rd Place:  Zach Masterson, Plymouth 4th Place:  Hunter Kirkpatrick, Riley
Area bowlers moving on to regional
By Rusty Nixon
Sports EditorPLYMOUTH — Last weekend the success of the Plymouth high school bowling program continued with three members of the team moving on to the regional.
Bowling is not an IHSAA sanctioned event so it depends on an outside organization to sponsor it and since Tim Quick of Quick’s Lanes in Plymouth started the team a little over 20 years ago it has had its fair share of success.
“We have a quiet rich history,” said head coach Zach Feree. “Tim got started with the high school bowling team in 1997. We’ve had a stream of success and the past four years we’ve been blessed with one of the best kids we’ve had in the program in Hayden Hopple.”
Again this year the team will have two of the top four seeds in the regional with Hopple heading that list. He’s joined by teammate Zach Masterson who is seeded third and they are both joined by a third local bowler in the top four with Glenn’s Justin Dresbach.
Moving through the state tournament has become a way of life for Hopple having been in the final two of the last three years but this will be Masterson’s first run.
“Zach is only a junior but it’s usually right around that time that you see the light bulb go off with some of these guys,” said Feree. “He had his break out year this year. He’s put in a lot of work to get here. To see him recover the way he did in the sectional and come back to qualify third is really, really rewarding to see. He’s been throwing the ball extremely well.”
On the girl’s side of the lane, Plymouth had a very young team this season filled with all freshman and sophomores but did get a first-year bowler into the next round.
“The future is bright for the girls,” said Feree. “One of our freshmen, Hailey Neal qualified to bowl with the boys at the regional. It will be her first year at the regional, her first year in high school. We made some changes to her game and to see her take off is exciting.”
The future is bright for the boys as well. Hopple will be lost to graduation but only one other bowler will be moving on even though it will be a big loss.
“Jake Matthews is one of those kids that you want on your team,” said Feree. “He’s level-headed, he’s easy to coach. To see him from where he started to where he is now. I’m excited for him because he just signed to join the Navy, so it is exciting to see him succeed in his career outside of bowling.”
The team will have some time to prepare with the regional round set for City Lanes in Michigan City on March 13.
“We built in a few weeks in case of inclement weather or COVID that we would have time to get our sectional completed,” said Feree. “We have some time off and we are going to practice two or three times a week to get the kids ready.”
In the sport of bowling, it’s the little things that matter.
“Your opponent is the lane and the oil pattern that day and what’s going on between your ears,” said Feree. “Bowling is twice as much mental as it is physical.”
“There are lots of small nuances that the average bowler wouldn’t think about that we have to take into consideration bowling from center to center.”
Feree believes his guys have a very good shot of going on.
“I’m not going to lie I really expect Hayden and Zach to qualify,” said Feree. “Hayden’s been there two out of three years. This is Zach’s first time and he might be a little in awe at first but he has a skill level to compete with anybody out there.”