Apollo-Ridge bowling teams off to strong start
Tuesday, January 11, 2022 | 11:56 AM
The Apollo-Ridge bowlers enjoyed the holiday break thanks to their five wins in six decisions in December.
The boys team, coached by George Galo, stood in first place in WPIBL Northeast Section 5 with a 3-0 record. The girls, coached Michelle Cominos, were in second place at 2-1.
“Both teams have shockingly surprised me already this season,” Cominos said. “The boys are very driven to be the best they can be. They have given us some really good scores as a team and individually, including the JV boys. They (JV boys) are all new and learning so much with us having a late start on coaching them.”
Seniors dominate the Vikings starting lineup, sparked by the one-two punch of Kaleb Mulkey and Connor Mamros.
“Connor has really stepped up this season, keeping the team pumped up and ready,” Cominos said. “Kaleb has been in the anchor position and doing his part to get those final pins for the win.”
Mulkey racked up a 197.1 average with a 232 high game and 653 high series. He ranked No. 2 in the section.
“My expectation is that we will make it to regionals,” said Mulkey, who started bowling in 2013.
“My mother got me started,” he said. “I also bowl in a junior league at King Lanes.”
Mamros wasn’t far behind his teammate with a 195.7 average, 222 high game and 636 high series. He ranked third in section play.
“I’m glad to be helping with this year’s group,” Mamros said. “Our team has held strong and been bringing its best for every match, and I’m excited to see how we finish as a team.”
Mamros, who plays baseball for A-R in the spring, has competed in junior bowling and in tournaments. He began his bowling career at Lees Lanes (before it closed) but actually started knocking down pins much earlier than that.
“I started at a very young age with a toy bowling set in my living room when I was around 5 or 6,” he said. “My dad got me started at Lees.”
Two other seniors, Garrett Calderone and Nicholas Cecchini, complemented the M&M pair in the early going for the Vikings.
Calderone connected for a 184.1 average, 214 high game and 555 high series. Cecchini held the fifth spot in the lineup with his 161.8 average, 197 high game and 504 high series.
Jordan Abell, a junior, rounded out the starting lineup in the fourth position. Abell clicked for a 176.1 average, 209 high game and 552 high series.
“We have five strong bowlers that have been bowling together for the past three years,” Mamros said. “They have all been bowling high games very consistently. I have high hopes and expectations for this year’s (team) outcome.”
The Apollo-Ridge girls team was led in the first month of the season by sophomore standout Mia Ament with a 179.6 average, 221 high game and 581 high series.
“The girls team has put up some really good scores,” Cominos said. “None of the girls are new this year, so we are working on some personal training and critiquing. They are comfortable in what they are doing, but they just need the bump of confidence when we fall behind in score.”
Three seniors and another sophomore complemented Ament: Amber Schwaed, Samantha Smart and Elizabeth Master held the second, third and fifth positions.
Sophomore Riley Silvis rolled in the fourth spot.
“Sam Smart has been leading off the team matches with Mia Ament bowling in the anchor position with a strong finish,” Cominos said.
Ament accounted for the fourth-highest average in the section.
Apollo-Ridge was slated to kick off the 2022 portion of its WPIBL schedule Jan. 5 against Riverview at Nesbits Lanes.
“The only expectation we had for our teams (in the preseason) was that this season would be memorable,” Cominos said. “Our boys team moved on to the championships last season and would like to move towards regionals this season.
“We also had one girl make it to regionals (last year) and would like more girls to qualify this season.
“Apollo Ridge coaches stress a team effort. We work together, lift one another up, relax and are confident. But most importantly, we have fun.”
The Vikings’ home alleys are at Wildlife Lanes in Lower Burrell.
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