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Bowling: Quakertown thriving on the lanes


While this might be Quakertown’s second season in the Suburban One League (SOL) American Conference and only its third year for the entire program, the team is thriving.

After placing fifth in the conference, for average, last year, junior Matt Weil is currently fourth, with an average over 203 pins. Among the top 10 bowlers in the league last year, Weil earned an automatic bid to regionals last season. This year, he’s aiming for placement in the top three by the end of the season.

Weil has rolled both the high game (257 vs. Plymouth Whitemarsh at Earl Bowl Lanes - Quakertown) and the high series (682 at Pike Lanes vs. Abington) for his team this season.

And classmate Connor Williams qualified for regionals both his freshman and sophomore year by placing among the top five bowlers in the SOL tournament, set this year for Feb. 12 at Earl Bowl Lanes in Earlington.

Two years ago before Quakertown entered the SOL, Williams, then only a freshman, and Panthers coach Allen Hunsicker had to drive all the way to Lancaster to earn a berth in regionals in an independent qualifying tournament.

The Panthers also have freshman Tyler Bolich and he’s knocking down over 171 pins a game. Two sophomores – Kyle Bender (161-plus) and James Lacey – (156-plus) are also contributing on varsity.

Quakertown sophomore Andrew Moteelall gets the award for the most improved bowler among the boys, having improved his average by 10 pins – to a little over 167 – since the start of the season.

“Our team is still pretty young,” said Hunsicker.

“Matt and Connor are only juniors so we still have another season with them.”

Quakertown is currently in third place in the SOL American Conference, six-and-a-half games behind Pennridge and league leader North Penn, which is 47-1. The Panthers (26.5-21.5) had a chance to gain some ground on the Rams (33-15) when the sides squared off Jan. 23 at Earl Bowl Lanes - Earlington, but it was not to be.

“There’s a mental thing with our guys – they think Pennridge is so much better,” explained Hunsicker. “We can beat them, we just have to believe in ourselves.”

The goal, says Hunsicker, is to break into the top two in the SOL American Conference as the members of top two teams earn automatic bids to regionals.

Hunsicker said the boys have learned how to close out matches as the season has progressed. The first time Quakertown faced Plymouth Whitemarsh, the Panthers were neck-and-neck with the Colonials only to see the opponent pull away in the 10th frame of the third game, which also gave them total score.

“This time when they came to our house, we took three games because we didn’t miss easy spares in the 10th frame,” explained Hunsicker.

“We are definitely starting to click on all cylinders.”

The boys eclipsed 1,000 pins as a team Jan. 16 vs. Abington and one other time this season. The team average is 871.

The Panthers have Upper Dublin and North Penn left on their schedule.

In mid-December, Quakertown pasted the only loss the Knights have suffered all season on North Penn. The Panthers also took three games from Upper Dublin the first time the sides squared off.

On the girls side, senior Kayla Feusner gets the overall most improved bowler award after beginning the season with an 84 average and raising her mean score to 124.

Hunsicker said Feusner’s improvement is hinged upon her purchasing her own ball and a lot more practice.

“With her own ball, she’s learning how to form a nice release, throw a hook and make spares,” said Hunsicker. “Having her own ball and having it fit, she sees she can throw a heavier ball and carry more pins.”

Feusner has bowled both the high game (169 at Earl Bowl Lanes vs. Plymouth Whitemarsh) and the high series (449 at Facenda Whitaker Lanes vs. Plymouth Whitemarsh) for the girls team at Quakertown.

According to Hunsicker, none of the girls was attaining 100 on the scoresheet at the beginning of the season. Now, there are five hitting the three-digit mark including juniors Cayly Jones (109.11) and Makenzie Stryker (102.45) and seniors Hailey Reiss (107.87) and Ashley Witman (101.9). Senior Alexandra Brandis (94.05) is also contributing on varsity.

With four seniors among the girls, Hunsicker said, the search is on for some new female bowlers at Quakertown for next season.

Just before the Christmas break, Quakertown finished 16th (of 36 teams) in the Snow Roller Tournament at Leisure Lanes, following a six-game standard/baker format. The team also plans to compete in the Luau Bowl Feb. 23 at Facenda Whitaker Lanes in East Norriton.

Eastern State Regionals returns to Leisure Lanes and Dutch Lanes March 1 and 2 in Ephrata.

@stevesherman222 on Twitter

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