Gateway bowlers rely on team concept

Sunday, January 12, 2020 | 9:33 AM

Through six matches, the Gateway bowling team is focused on turning the program into an efficient unit.

The team features bowlers ranked among the WPIBL East Division’s top 10 varsity averages through four games on both the boys and girls side, including Liam Brown, Cody Beckwith and Tiffany Wilkerson, but coach Joseph Bowman is more impressed with how his bowlers’ averages help the team score.

Bowman has been the program’s coach since the 2017-18 season, guiding the boys team while his wife, Tanya, coaches the girls.

The boys are 3-3, including three shutout victories. The girls are 2-4 with two 7-0 wins.

“On the boys side, across the board, their game has improved significantly since last year,” Bowman said.

“As time has gone on, (Cody and Liam’s) averages have come down when Nathan Clark’s has gone down a little, so it’s been an across-the-board team effort. Every (boys bowler) has good weeks and bad weeks where their averages (fluctuate).”

Bowman thinks Brown, Beckwith and Clark have the best chance at qualifying for the WPIBL individual championship, as well as Wilkerson on the girls side.

Wilkerson owned the sixth-best average in the East at 152 through four matches.

Brown totaled a 183.5 average through four games with a best game of 218.

Four bowlers have led the boys team in the first five matches this season.

“Last year, the boys captain (Dom Rocco) averaged around 200, but we don’t have that now,” Bowman said. “We bowl as a team and rely on each other versus one person to lead the way.

“It can be a different person every week to lead the way.”

Even contribution is what Bowman is looking for to help solidify the program and achieve greater success.

The current lineup of Beckwith, Brown and Clark, along with Mason Servello and Anthony Zappa, are all juniors so Bowman plans to build momentum for next season.

“In the long run, when you can get everyone to elevate their game and be competitive, that’s (ideal),” he said. “If you look at the top programs, they don’t have one star. They have a whole team effort.”

The girls also are trying to become equally systematic despite struggling to start the season, losing their first three matches.

They responded, however, with two straight shutout wins over Valley and Redeemer Lutheran before falling 6-1 to Plum on Jan. 8.

The girls lineup includes Wilkerson, Anna Welling and Kaycee Tokarsky, along with Maddie Smith and Remy Stone.

Smith has elevated her game from last year and developed a more consistent delivery, Bowman said.

“It’s a team effort, and the girls are improving every week,” he said. “Tiffany is the captain and averages a little more than everyone else, but from last year to this year, they have improved.”

Robert Scott III is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.


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