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All-Star Lanes was a busy place on Wedensday afternoon as more than 60 high school girls from Central Kitsap, Olympic, Klahowya and Kings West were hard at work for their 2003-04 bowling campaign.
Its a busy place since all four teams call the Silverdale bowling alley home and they need every inch of the 14 lanes they occupy.
Its growing, KW coach Dan Dittmer said, noting that Bremerton just added a team this season. It is really amazing how this sport is growing.
Theres been some other changes along with the growth. The Narrows League is now broken into its Bay and Bridge Division parts, cutting down on the number of trips to Tacoma for the teams.
Theres a lot more teams in the area with Shelton and South Kitsap joining last year and Bremerton this year, that cuts down on some of the travel time, Oly coach Ken Anderson said.
And after three years of being under a single coaching staff, the CK School District teams are now autonomous with their own coaches thanks to an increase in funding.
Cougars are back in the hunt for a title
With 22 members, Central Kitsap has the largest team out and the expectations to succeed are just as high as when the team won the state titles in 2001 and 2002.
Last year there was a lot of expectations and they werent all met, CK coach Catherine Meissner. So this year my expectations are even higher and the way Ive seen these girls so far is I imagine theyll be met. Districts and beyond, thats where were going.
CKs first home game is 3 p.m. Tuesday at All-Star Lanes against Mount Tahoma.
The Cougars line-up is deeper than it was in 2002, led by North Kitsap transfer Jenny Tonges 150 average.
Im in it for the fun, Tonge said. This is my first year (on the school team), but I bowled for five or six years every Saturday in the YABA league.
Tonge will likely lead a roster of Cassie Ogle (138), Chelsea Nugent (128), Brittany Rozier (126), Jessica Diton (119) and Amanda Spooner (115.)
Weve got a lot of new faces, but a lot of these girls have league bowling experience, Meissner said. Theyre coming in with high averages already.
DeWitt back in action for Narrows champs
It will be tough for the Olympic girls to repeat last years record of 11-1 in the Narrows League, even though theyve got senior Jennifer DeWitt, a first team all-district member last February when she had the second-highest pin total at the tournament.
DeWitt has a 180 average, trailed by seniors Tatyanna Gonce (160) and Brynn Cates (140) and freshman power Erin Howard (150.)
After that the talent dips considerably as Anderson is still trying to find out who to add to the varsity roster.
Were looking to fill that fifth spot, so were getting the new bowlers comfortable with match bowling, Anderson said. Weve got some good averages (in the top four), now we just need to bring a fifth along. I know the girls would like to win the league championship again.
The Trojans, who only had 14 turnout, have their first home game at 3 p.m. Tuesday at All-Star Lanes against Wilson.
Strength in numbers
After having low numbers over the years, the Klahowya team has blossomed to a new high of 17 members.
Weve got 17 girls, doubling the size of last years roster, KSS coach Loree Hippe said. Im really excited about the season. Weve got some good seniors returning.
Among those back for the Eagles are seniors Rhianna Berg (140), Alexandria Collins, Diana Machinski and Ashtyn Murker. Theyre joined by promising newcomers Sarah Fitzpatrick, Samantha Sundberg, Andrea Milovich and Andrea Walter when the team has its first match at 3 p.m. Tuesday at All-Star Lanes against North Mason.
We should be very competitive, Hippe said.
Since the Nisqually League doesnt offer bowling yet, the Eagles compete against the Bridge teams.
Kings West had 10 girls show up for the first tryout on Wednesday, just 24 hours before their first competition against North Mason.
The Warriors have five returning letter-winners (Autumn Perrotta, Brittney Quinn, Laura Feitas, Courtney Greene and Emily Maguire) back from last season when they didnt even field a team until January 2003.
Autumn and Brittney were our two highest scorers last year, Dittmer said. Were not going to be loaded, but were still learning.
They were the first and still only Class B school in the state to offer bowling, and theyll mostly bowl against Class 2A and 3A schools in a partial schedule.
And weve got beautiful, spiffy new uniforms that our booster club bought for us, Dittmer said. We were at districts last year and we were the only team without uniforms.