Shaler Area bowling teams enjoy encouraging growth
Thursday, November 28, 2019 | 12:01 PM
Shawn Pilyih is brimming with optimism about the Shaler Area bowling program.
Not only does Pilyih think the Titans have potential for the upcoming WPIBL season, Shaler has its highest numbers in several years.
The Titans have 14 boys and eight girls. Shaler also added another coach to the program, with assistant Brandon Jackson coming on board.
Shaler will open the season Dec. 4 against perennial power Butler on the road.
“It’s nice because we know the program is growing, and the kids are recruiting each other,” Pilyih said. “That’s the way to build a program with bowling. There aren’t a lot of youth programs kids can come from. They are doing a lot of recruiting internally.”
Shaler is hoping to see the growth in the program reflected in its performance on the lanes. On the girls side, the Titans shared the section crown with Butler last season.
Senior Bella Pilyih,who has reached the Western Regional as an individual, returns to lead the girls team.
“This is her last year and her last year in youth leagues,” Shawn Pilyih said. “I think she wants to lead this team, and I know she wants to go to states and take the team to states. She was heartbroken last year when we didn’t make it that far. That’s what she wants.”
Shannon Roche, Lindsay Gill, Meghan Schwab, Macey Prosser and Lexi Pilyih will be counted on to give the Titans depth.
“Our girls team is going to be strong, I feel,” Pilyih said. “I think we can go deep and extend our season far into the postseason.”
Shaler is hoping to make the postseason on the boys side. The Titans will be led by Jonathan Zhang, Charlie Nieder and Ryan Callahan.
Shaler’s boys team just missed the playoffs last season.
With a little improvement, Pilyih thinks it could challenge for a spot this year.
“I think our boys need to have good, positive attitudes the whole time,” Pilyih said. “They spare-shoot well. If they can do that all season, it will take us a long way.”