Hampton bowlers get boost from volleyball team

Friday, January 10, 2020 | 12:52 AM

Sometimes all you need is a spark. After spending two years hinging itself to a small group of individuals, the Hampton bowling team has two full squads.

New coach Bob Wallace did all the necessary preseason promotions. He hung up a few signs and asked athletic director Bill Cardone to make sure announcements were made at the school. But he didn’t expect much.

So he was delighted heading into an informational meeting to see a handful of girls from the volleyball team sitting down.

“I think they just had this really great kinship and decided they were going to do something over the winter together,” Wallace said.

Three of those four girls — Julia Resch, Lily Obendorfer and Bridget Wojcik — just wrapped up volleyball season in November. But it was boys team player Will Brandeis who spread the news on a night out at the lanes one evening.

“We thought it would be fun or funny to go and see what it was about,” Resch said. “So we went the next day and decided it’d be fun to do it all as a group, have fun and learn how to bowl.”

Sofia Koren also joined the team, which originally had one bowler — Jocelyn Behr.

Resch admits she only went bowling “probably once a year” before this but is getting the hang of it. The high energy seen in a volleyball match doesn’t typically transfer to the bowling alley, but the girls are making it work.

“It’s really different than bowling,” Resch said. “But we incorporate a lot of our volleyball enthusiasm and support for our teammates. It’s fun to see us come into bowling and seeing the other teams be quiet and we’re cheering each other on and having fun”

“I have to tell you they’re just wonderful girls,” Wallace said. “They cheer for each other and have so much fun. It’s a real joy to see them. They definitely make it worth every practice and every match.”

Not to discount the boys, who also started with a full roster of five bowlers after Kyle DiCaprio and Liam Wallace returned from last season. Gabe Jakovlic and Brady Longwell joined the team as well.

With five bowlers on each team, Hampton can field a full roster for the first time in its three-year history. The teams won their first match against Nazareth Prep, and they also notched a victory against Quaker Valley.

That gives the boys and girls a 2-3 record on the season as of press time — a far cry from last year, when the team was celebrating a small victory when it won its first individual game within a match.

Still, there’s no pressure to perform for anyone.

“I think the girls are especially competitive, but I want them to have fun,” coach Wallace said. “If they bowl a bad frame, I don’t want their heads being down. And they’re not like that. They smile and shrug it off.”

Glenn Thomas and his wife, B.J., started the bowling team two years ago. They wanted a school-sponsored outlet for their sons Garrett (now bowling at Muskingum) and Jacob. They handed the program off to Wallace this year after their children graduated, as a coach who had similar motivation for his son, Liam. But coach Wallace wants to credit them.

“They’ve been at every match and most of the practices trying to help with the kids like I would,” Wallace said. “They still care about it a lot. They’ve been really helpful to everybody along the way.”

With two full teams and a lot of enthusiasm at the matches, Wallace is excited about the future.

“The girls are bringing their families and friends to the matches,” he said. “I think that’s the catalyst we need where we can build a team over the future years that’ll have maybe more than just five, so we can have some spares or JV bowlers.”


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